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Ministry at the Metro – now that’s a gig Australian fans were not going to turn down. They almost toured a decade ago but cancelled weeks out from their shows, breaking fans hearts everywhere, so this sold-out show was a real treat. Especially for those of us who had given up on ever seeing them live in Australia.
Fellow industrial legends Godflesh opened the night. Hailing from Birmingham, these two guys have been at it since way back in 1988. They’ve been credited with influencing the likes of Faith No More, Fear Factory, Metallica, and Ministry – and it’s glaringly obvious why. Their often brutal, weird, frustrating, heavy beats certainly make for interesting listening.
To the uninitiated, tonight’s show was definitely a little odd – pounding drum machine beats and twisted, droning guitars – was this performance art? There were a few punters looking puzzled. As one sagely pointed out, “It’s just 2 dudes and an iPad!” They did, however, rock the f**k out, and it was an adequate entree to the main course. Following the show, they simply packed up their guitars and exit the stage.
Ministry came out blazing with the new song double of Hail To His Majesty and Punch In The Face. Well, hello there. The intensity didn’t abate for the rest of the evening. The insane thrash metal of Senor Peligro was a joy to behold, as was the super groovy Life Is Good. Stone cold classic N.W.O. rightly received the biggest response of the night.
Right behind it, though, was Just One Fix, which featured a very surprising guest vocalist in Fear Factory’s Burton C. Bell.
Watch: Ministry with Burton C. Bell – Just One Fix (Live at Metro Theatre, Sydney 27/02/15)
Whilst the setlist was a little light on fan favourites, this was clearly Al Jourgensen playing the songs he wanted, on what is probably Ministry’s final ever tour. They were slick, professional and one hell of a tight unit. The guitar work of Sin Quirin was a thing of beauty. Seriously, how good is this guy?
With such sonic power, a trippy video backdrop, and a super cool stage setup, Ministry delivered an often epic performance devoid of crowd baiting or wanky solos. They laid down pulverising songs in succession and the mosh pit responded in kind.
The encore was an absolutely f**king stunning rendition of the epic Khyber Pass. The show then ended on an odd note, with Al Jourgensen walking off stage, leaving the band a little bemused. Apparently there was another song to play.
No biggie. The fans left the Metro well and truly satisfied. We had seen Ministry, and it was a little piece of magic for us all.
Photo: Liam Cameron