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on 23 July 2004
The previous reviewer has beaten me to the punch, but 'Houses Of The Molé' (another brilliant title by the way, slightly less obvious than 'Dark Side Of The Spoon' though, so how many manage to spot the reference this time remains to be seen!) is the best Ministry album since 'Psalm 69'. The albums between this and 1992's illustrious Industrial masterpiece have all had their moments and high points, but as a whole they have been let down by mainman Al Jourgensen's copious substance consumption. However, he rises above his problems here, notably the departure of long-time right hand man Paul Barker to produce an album to reaffirm faith in the Industrial Metal genre. The opening track 'No W' with it's sampled and looped extract from Carl Orff's notorious 'Carmina Burana' (the theme from the Old Spice adverts!) is possibly the band's best song in their existence. Obviously an update of the classic N.W.O. from 'Psalm 69', it shares that songs title (though rearranged), penchant for crushing riffs and George Bush samples (though George W in this case, rather than his father). It's an absolutely stunning way to open an album and isn't matched throughout the rest of the record, though some other tracks such as 'Waiting' and 'Warp City' do run it close. If you're a fan of any kind of crushing music, you need to get yourself a copy of this album as soon as possible as the overlords of Industrial Metal are back and they're in the form of their lives.
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on 20 July 2004
....and he's not going to take it anymore!! Seems the Hunter S. Thompson of rock 'n' roll has got a fire lit under his ass as never before. While it's a shame that the strange new paths tentatively opened up on "Animositisomina" aren't explored any further, "Houses..." has more pressing concerns than innovation or artistry. This is an album at WAR, goddamnit, and musical imagination is irrelevant when you're in this mindset...
God, I love Ministry. Any idiot band can be 'angry' or 'aggressive' or even 'hateful' but only Ministry can be truly...ugly. Take any random track here - say, "Warp City" - and you'll find something so out-of-control it sounds like it could (and would) actually hurt you. The opening "No W" is so ridiculously powerful, in fact, that it almost overshadows the rest of the album!...Over slashed shreds of "Carmina Burena", it builds to such a frenzied boiling point that by the end you really feel as though you're being strafed by jet fighters on all sides.
Elsewhere, "World" has a gigantic, lumbering tech-step rhythm Godflesh would be proud of. "WTV" is a fairly obvious "TV II" rewite but blows you away anyhow, with a series of starts, stops, roars, judders and belches, while TV commercials gibber inanities in the background and El Jourgo's vocals reach the apoplectic heights of Today Is The Day's Steve Austin. The closing "Worm" is something new. Over a plodding drumbeat and stray sax bleats floats a weirdly wistful melody that definitely has the ghost of Faith No More lurking somewhere round about it, the overall picture painted being that of a bunch of people rather half-heartedly trying to throw a party amidst the ruins of a nuclear wasteland.
But that's the only hint of respite. The rest, it's music to lynch Republicans from lampposts to.
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VINE VOICEon 18 February 2005
There'd been a certain amount of quiet expectation about this album as a spiritual successor to 'Psalm 69'. In the same way that album was led by anger at George Bush senior's war in Iraq, so this album was led by his son's crusade. The sad fact of it is that the lead track of this album ("No W" - No Dubya, a follow up to Psalm 69's "NWO" - New World Order) is probably the weakest track of the album. It samples heavily from 'Carmina Burana' (used much more successfully by Apoptygma Bezerk on 'Love never Dies'), and the listener gets the feeling that Al put so much effort into creating a worthy successor to his undeniably classic NWO that he tried too hard and it didn't pay off.
That's a shame, because the rest of the album *is* a worthy successor to Psalm 69; tracks like 'Warning' and 'Worthless' are solid, crisp, industrial metal like only Ministry on form produce. No, this album doesn't have anything to match the deranged genius of 'Jesus built my Hotrod', but it's got a lot of tracks that fit nicely against the best that they were producing ten years ago, and Houses of the Mole will fit neatly into my selection of driving music with no trauma whatsoever.
Not their best, but then again they were never going to cap Psalm 69 anyway. Worth your money.
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on 11 July 2004
The previous guys have both beaten me to the punch, but 'Houses Of The Molé' (another brilliant title by the way, though how many manage to spot the reference remains to be seen!) is the best Ministry album since 'Psalm 69'. The albums between this and 1992's illustrious Industrial masterpiece have all had their moments and high points, but as a whole they have been let down by mainman Al Jourgensen's copious substance consumption. However, he rises above his problems here, notably the departure of long-time right hand man Paul Barker to produce an album to reaffirm faith in the Industrial Metal genre. The opening track 'No W' with it's sampled and looped extract from Carl Orff's notorious 'Carmina Burana' (the theme from the Old Spice adverts!) is possibly the band's best song in their existence. Obviously an update of the classic N.W.O. from 'Psalm 69', it shares that songs title (though rearranged), penchant for crushing riffs and George Bush samples (though George W in this case, rather than his father). It's an absolutely stunning way to open an album and isn't matched throughout the rest of the record, though some other tracks such as 'Waiting' and 'Warp City' do run it close. If you're a fan of any kind of crushing music, you need to get yourself a copy of this album as soon as possible as the overlords of Industrial Metal are back and they're in the form of their lives.
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on 5 July 2004
Many see Psalm 69 as Ministry's greatest album and have judged everything since against it. Let's face it, as raw as Filth Pig was, as dirty as Dark Side... played and as violent as Animositisomina chugged along, nothing has really matched Psalm 69.
Until now. I put my cards on the table and say that Houses... is Ministry's best album for a long time and by a long way. It makes you realise, not how bad their previous albums have been, but how good they can actually be.
Starting with a simply genius sample of Carl Orf, Houses... starts with vicious intent and doesn't let up. Each track has it's own distinctive hook and I've found myself humming (!) almost every track at some point while at work.
Some people (myself included) were shocked when they heard Paul Barker had left Ministry, feeling it was effectively, the end of the band. Ministry has always been Al's baby though and he makes his mark known here.
I don't want to break the album down track by track, it is meant to be listened to as a whole with tracks running into each other and a DJ introducing the last song from the end of the track before it.
The secret tracks are dissapointing but forget them, set aside 45 minutes of your time and listen to some pure, simple, melodic, thrash metal.
Linkin Park should hang their heads in shame.
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on 17 June 2009
For Ministry fans: This is another in a long line of fanastic albums from Uncle Al and the Crew, a vitriolic, scathing set of songs which both move your feet and make you scratch your head at the same time. Buy it, buy it, buy it.

For Newcomers: This is a great place to start getting into one of the most influential industrial metal bands in the world. This album, Ministry's ninth, is the first of a series of passionate attacks on the Bush administration. The songs, all of which have a W in the title and contain numerous Bush samples, are fast, aggressive and heavy. Jourgensen's vicious humour is displayed in force, his intelligence bared for all to see. Few can hope to have such a clever and influential back-catalogue to their name as he has.

Overall, whether you are a fresh-faced newbie or a hardened member of the Ministry faithful, this album is worth every penny, a fantastic listen.
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on 6 July 2004
This album blows the last 3 out of the water. I love it. The only thing that lets it down is the cheesy Carmina Burana sample opening on No W. The "psalm 23" version is better. Apart from that, it's awsome. A real sonic boom exposion of noise record. If you like Ministry, you will like this. It's got the beats, the samples, the kick-ass riffs, the meat grinder vocals and George Bush. Of course no Paul Barker this time, but the sound does not suffer. But if we had Chris Connelly on it as well...
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on 25 March 2010
Here is the first of the final three studio albums from industrial legends MINISTRY. It began the W Bush hating focus, and brought back the superfast insane industrometal anthems similar to thier previous peak with Psalm 69 in 1994. Huge riffin intense album. Cool stuff.
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on 19 October 2009
Folks - contradicting the last reviewer there is no looped Orff on this amazon album - a big disappointment as it's a great intro - worth looking a bit further afield to get one with it on. Other than that Ministry at their industrial metal best.
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on 16 August 2004
I was sceptical of buying this after seeing Ministry play earlier this year. I was wrong. This is a MUST buy for any fan of old school angry Al. It's faster, louder, and cleverer than the immortal Psalm 69. Buy it now, crank up your speakers as loud as they will go, and joyfully annoy your neighbours. I repeat buy this now. Ministry are back on form, and as pissed off as ever...
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