Metallica’s 1991 self titled album stands out for me, or the Junior High me, as one of the first, popular, bootleg albums to circulate my clique (nearly our entire 7th grade class). I received a 3rd generation cassette which I borrowed for a few days to make a 4th generation (my 1st generation), then proceeded to Enter Sandman for the next 24 years. This non-cassette, double vinyl copy is a 2008 remastered reissue, and in a pinch, gets the occasional, late evening spin. If you’re looking for a copy, and believe me, you most certainly should, I’d suggest shying away from the original (fetching $143.38 currently on Discogs.com), and instead, dig around for this remastered version ($34.39, also on Discogs.com). That is, of course, if you don’t already own a 5th generation bootleg cassette.
Released in June of 1989, Faith No More’s third studio album, The Real Thing, is chiefly known for its funk metal classic, Epic, as well as being the first album from the band to feature newly crowned frontman, Michael Allan Patton. Although not as complete a Patton-led Faith No More album as their 1992 follow-up, The Real Thing remains one of the most successful funk metal albums ever released.
“You want it all but you can’t have it,” exclaims Mr. Patton. Fans would only have to wait three years for the opportunity to have what they wanted: 1992’s Angel Dust.
This slow-building, structure-oscillating, melodically obtrusive Metallica classic features, for the first time on a full-length release, Jason Newsted on bass. Mr. Newsted would record four studio albums before leaving in 2001. He was the 2nd of three bassists for the band, winning the auditioned spot after the untimely death of original Metallica bassist, Cliff Burton. Current bassist, Robert Trujillo’s audition and ultimate acceptance into the band is featured in the (surprisingly good) documentary, Some Kind of Monster. Even for non-Metallica fans, this doc is a worthy watch.
Worth noting, the back sleeve lists the trt at 6:25, while the label lists it at 5:89. (89 seconds over 5 minutes yields 6:29, so I’m stumped on this one.)
Officially titled ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ, Ministry’s 1992 release is often referred to by its alternate banner: Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs. Industrial Metal’s junky grandfathers, Al Jourgensen and Paul Barker (Hypo Luxa and Hermes Pan, their respected aliases as music producers), close out their undeniable stint of groundbreaking Industrial Metal with this, the third major release by the Jourgensen/Barker brigade. Ministry had been releasing New Wave BS since 1983, but it’s unlistenable. They REALLY didn’t start until Barker joined in 1988. “We call it, the departure point.” – Bruce McCulloch
Starting with 1988’s The Land of Rape and Honey, and continuing with 1989’s The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste, 1990’s In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up (their live, and best in my opinion), and finally with 1992’s ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ, Ministry single handedly created the iconic Industrial Metal sound. Pretty boy Trent Reznor and his vastly inferior NIИ be damned! About the only ups Mr. Reznor had was that he could control his heroin habit, thus granting him more commercial success. (I still can’t take Nine Inch Nails seriously, but I will admit their viral campaign for Year Zero was pretty amazing.)
ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ starts with the Grammy nominated N.W.O. (losing out to pretty boy’s Wish), followed by Just One Fix (the 12” cover to this single features the William S. Burroughs painting, Last Chance Junction and Curse on Drug Hysterics, btw).
Track 3 is the second in the TV series. A collection of various samples from obscure television shows set to a bed of Industrial thorns. TV III, the non-album track on 1995’s The Fall single is arguably my favorite Ministry song, but that’s a post for another time.
Track 4 features samples from the hit 80’s cartoon, G.I. Joe, and is titled, Hero. Jesus Built My Hotrod follows, then comes arguably the only skippable track on the album, track 6’s Scarecrow. This unfortunate cloud is quickly lifted and all but forgotten by the title track, Psalm 69… clearly the climax of the album.
Corrosion and Grace round out the album, offering well deserved breathers after an intense, Industrial workout.
ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ, or Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs is by far not Ministry’s best, but it does neatly sum up an unparalleled 5-year adventure, unimagined by anyone before, and untouched by anyone since.