More behind-the-scenes footage from the making of MINISTRY's 13th studio album, "From Beer To Eternity", can be seen below. The CD was released 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 mastermind Al 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", dropped digitally via iTunes in late July as a three-track maxi single.
July 9 saw 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.