May 21, 2024

Ministry – Prescripture: The Visual History (Book – Melodic Virtue)

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Genre/Influences: Industrial-metal, industrial-rock

Background/Info: Al Jourgensen is the charismatic pioneer, musical genius, innovator and iconic founder of the industrial-metal genre (the fusion of repeating metal guitar riffs, samples, keyboards and distorted vocals on a danceable beat). This fully authorized visual history with 248 pages of rare and unseen photos, artwork, and other stuff that spans Ministry’s entire career, shows how the band (that everyone wanted to sound like) evolved from ’80s synth-pop, over EBM/industrial to trash-metal. Ministry has been nominated six times for a Grammy award and is definitely a band you must have seen live at least once in your life!

Content: The four-pages introduction is done by Al’s good old friend Jello Biafra, explaining some hilarious anecdotes. Then this limited 9″ x 9″ casebound book is divided into six chronological chapters starting from the early Wax Trax! era (1981) until the latest release “AmeriKKKant”. We get to see lots of nice rare (promo and live) pictures, cut-outs, artwork, flyers and posters. On almost every page there are interesting quotes or anecdotes from befriended artists like Charlie Clouser (Nine Inch Nails), Moby, Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins), Ian MacKaye (Fugazi), Gary Numan, Perry Ferrell (Jane’s Addiction), Jaz Coleman (Killing Joke), Phildo Owen (Skatenigs), Jeordie White (Marilyn Manson), Alexander Hacke (Einsturzende Neubauten), David J (Bauhaus), Robin Zander (Cheap Trick), Paul D’Amour (Tool), Page Hamilton (Helmet), Scott Ian (Anthrax), Franz Treichler (The Young Gods), Gibby Haynes (Butthole Surfers), Sean Yseult (White Zombie), Dave Lombardo (Slayer), Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Till Lindemann (Rammstein), Mark Gemini Thwaite (The Mission), Chris Connelly (Revolting Cocks) and many more. Just like the music of Ministry changed from soft to very hard, it is clearly shown how Al’s style has changed all over the years ending up with dreadlocks, tattoos and piercings. The author of the book is Aaron Tanner (who also created a visual history for Pixies) and features artwork from Brian Shanley and Paul Elledge.

+ + + : We get an exclusive look at Uncle Al’s personal collection of behind-the-scenes pictures together with contributions from band members past and present.

– – – : Although many well-known artists are featured in this book, some (expected ones) are missing …

Conclusion: There’s only one thing we can conclude: Ministry has had a huge influence on many artists and Al is still going strong after all these years! This book is definitely a must have for the fans! / /

author avatar
Filip Wildhoney

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