Al Jourgensen, six-time Grammy-nominated godfather of industrial metal, will release his band MINISTRY's 13th studio album, "From Beer To Eternity", on September 6 via 13th Planet Records.
As fans of the band know, after last year there wasn't going to be another MINISTRY album, but as Jourgensen put it recently, "I had no choice."
Sessions for what would become "From Beer To Eternity" began last December at Jourgensen's 13th Planet compound in El Paso, Texas, with Jourgensen (who produced the album, composed the music and wrote the lyrics for all 11 songs), guitarists Mike Scaccia and Sin Quirin, drummer Aaron Rossi and bassist Tony Campos. Rough tracks for 18 songs were finished on December 19, and three days later, the 47-year old Scaccia died from a heart attack he suffered onstage while playing a live show with his band RIGOR MORTIS in Dallas, Texas. Jourgensen, Quirin, Rossi and Campos were absolutely devastated.
"We have never, in the history of MINISTRY, ever had a tracking session like that before," states Jourgensen. "Everything went so smoothly, it was surreal. And Mikey was so on fire and inspired, and really a driving force for this record."
After returning from Scaccia's funeral in Dallas, and shouldering the weight of grief as well as the desire to honor his fallen comrade, Jourgensen locked himself in his studio with his engineer and co-producer Sammy D'Ambruoso for three excruciating months. "There was no choice," Jourgensen says of the bittersweet production process. "During the tracking sessions, Mikey was smiling and going, 'You know what, Al? This is by far and away the best MINISTRY album we've ever done together. This is awesome.'
"I'm super proud of 'From Beer To Eternity', because it's my tribute to Mikey's incredible talent, and I feel it honors him and all of the years we spent together making music."
From the schizophrenic opening cut, the sarcasm-dripping, sound effect-laden "Hail To His Majesty (Peasants)" to the thrash-punk riffs andbooming bass reverberations of "Punch In The Face", to "Change Of Luck", a song that Jourgensen wrote directly about Scaccia's death, "From Beer To Eternity" pulls no punches, sounding at once familiar, yet completely fresh and inspired. The release also includes "Side F/X Include Mikey's Middle Finger / TV4", which old-school MINISTRY fans will recognize as a continuum in a series of TV songs that began in the mid-1990s, and underscores Scaccia's birthright as one of the greatest metal guitarists in the world.
"PermaWar", the first single from "From Beer To Eternity", will drop digitally via iTunes in late July as a three-track maxi single. Additionally, 13th Planet Records will be releasing special products for "From Beer To Eternity", including a special limited-edition digipak with 13 tracks, a special FanBox edition, as well as vinyl and limited-edition 12-inch picture discs.
MINISTRY will support "From Beer To Eternity" with a cavalcade of music videos, off-the-wall making-of digital clips, and an ongoing "dog-blog" commentary by Jourgensen's two Labradors, Lemmy and Ozzy, who were present every step of the way during the recording and mixing of "From Beer To Eternity", and have launched their own Facebook page.
But wait, there's more. In addition to "From Beer To Eternity" coming in September, July 9 will see the release of Jourgensen's authorized biography, "Ministry: The Lost Gospels According To Al Jourgensen", penned by Jourgensen with Jon Wiederhorn on DaCapo Press. "Ministry" is a memoir both ugly and captivating, revealing Jourgensen as a man who lived a hard life his own way without making compromises. Then, the two-disc DVD "Ministry: Enjoy the Quiet - Live at Wacken 2012" debuts at the already sold-out Wacken Open Air 2013 festival in Germany August 1-3. Shot live in concert at one of MINISTRY's final shows of the band's 2012 tour at Wacken Open Air in front of 75,000 fans, the DVD features "New World Order", "99 Percenters", "Ghouldiggers", "Psalm 69", "Thieves", "Just One Fix" and "Khyber Pass".