on 15 April 2001
Ministry have spent the last fifteen years defining Industrial metal, and as such, this album comes as a slight disappointment. Not that it isn't good - it is - but lacking something of the 'out there' quality that Ministry have displayed in the past; the original, cutting-edge sound that surpasses that which has gone before and changes the boundaries for everything that comes after. This is still Ministry, but it's a repetition of Filthpig, and although more of the same can only be a good thing, a little of something new could have been astounding.
Dark, heavy, yet still melodious, 'The Dark side of the Spoon' moves away from the industrial archetype through the increased incorporation of guitars and fewer samples, becoming more mainstream in the search for this 'contemporary' sound. As such, this album, good though it may be, is likely to date in a way that 'The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste' and 'The Land of Rape and Honey' never will.
With an abundance of raw feeling contained in this polished production, 'The Dark Side of the Spoon' stands above most other current releases, if only through it's obvious perception and intelligence. This album is dark, aggressive and angry, but still ironic, still tongue-in-cheek. The inlay art alone is proof of that, as is track five, 'Step', which would perhaps have been more comfortable on a Lard or Revolting Cocks album than released under the Ministry banner. The bonus track, however, sounds uncannily like something one might find as a bonus on a Lemonheads album, and is 'hidden' in that it is track sixty nine, preceded by fifty nine silent tracks of around three seconds each. Doesn't this sound familiar? It's a disappointing day when Ministry, who used to be so innovative, are borrowing from ten-year-old Nine Inch Nails.
This album is definitely worth owning, but it still seems that this release stands not on it's own merits, but on the significant legacy of Ministry's past. And yet 'Dark side of the Spoon' is still a decent album. It is perhaps only a reflection on Ministry's usual brilliance that even they themselves are finding their past releases a hard act to follow. For anyone who likes Ministry already, this album is essential (in fact, you know you're going to have it anyway, so why are you even reading this?), but for Ministry virgins, I'd recommend their older releases over this one.
on 15 May 2010
This came out at a very volatile time for Ministry. They toured it, but it did not do well commercial, similar to the previous album Filth Pig thought artistically both of these albums are very good interesting and still pounding mad dark industrial albums.
From the start this is a crushingly heavy full on album, pounding and twisting away in many directions along with Al's grizzly dark distorted vocals. It is a slightly disturbing record, unsettling lyrics and themes, but has dark humour in places and is notably stunning on a few tunes. As a whole album it is pretty bleak, but sometimes that is a good thing next to all of the pop punk and predictable rock out there. It is a very entertaining, mad heavy and strange album. Highlights include the twisted distorted bass guitar and industrial wild jazz sax near the end. A mad dark Ministry album.
on 30 November 1999
... alittle different to what people may expect of Ministry. Then again, people who know Ministry will expect something different at every album's release. So, although this doesn't sound like other Ministry albums, it *is* unmistakably Ministry. Am I making sense yet? Buy it. Play it. Play it again. Play older Ministry albums. Play this one again.
See what I mean?
on 21 September 2001
If you are new to ministry, I recommend starting with an earlier album such as Land of... or The Mind... This is quite a change for ministry, there's not so much of the dance beats that made them famous, but there's some good work with the synths, which are used often in quite a subtle way but always help the sound and blend in seamlessly. This makes the whole album feel a lot darker than previous albums, hence you won't always be in the mood for listening to it, but when you do you realize what a great album it is, and if you listen to it enough you will begin to appreciatte it more. My main quibbles would be that some songs plod along a bit, which is particularly noticable becuause of the pounding opener, and the last track is a bit duff, especially since the one before it is one of my favorites and a great closer. Then again, 10/10 could be seen as a kind of appendix to the album, which leads me to the next point, that the album only has 9 songs on it altogether. Still, they're fairly long and you'd be hard pressed to find another album like this.
on 27 July 2000
I got this CD cos I wanted to hear Mr. Jourgenson and Barker's latest offering after the phenomenal run of Land Of. . ., The Mind. . ., Psalm 69 and Filthpig - I was not disapointed.
From the first track you are catapultd into Ministry's world and it is a good place to be. They mix the nasty evil side of things with a great sense of humor and you know Al probably laughing his arse off at us all.
My favourite song is probably Nursing Home or Whip and Chain but there's not a bad track on the album.
Buy and and listen to all the Ministry albums afterwards.