Ministry is the brainchild of Al Jourgensen. Beginning in 1981 playing synth pop with a strong disco influence, they released their first 12″ on Wax Trax! Records, before being signed to Arista and releasing their debut “With Sympathy” in 1983. After a falling out with the label and the direction of the project, Jourgensen returned to Wax Trax! Records to release a series of 12″ Singles, including “All Day / Everyday (Is Halloween)” which became an instant club favorite and would go on to become one of the band’s most popular songs.
Jourgensen then signed to Sire/Warner Bros. Records in 1985. Ministry’s second album “Twitch” was produced by Adrian Sherwood and had a more menacing sound reflecting Jourgensen’s interest in the international EBM (electronic body music) scene of the time. Ministry’s third album, “The Land Of Rape And Honey” (1988,) was both a natural evolution of their aesthetic and a sharp break with previous pop tendencies and, with the arrival of Paul Barker and other new members, Ministry’s sound developed into a crossover between EBM, industrial, and heavy meta. Their experimentation with heavy metal was then continued with the following “The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste” (1990), where the guitar began to take on much more importance to their sound. Ministry’s breakthrough album, “ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ” (1992), was a very dark, powerful, and violent album, that saw the band moving further into thrash metal while still retaining elements of industrial music and noise. The following records “Filth Pig” (1996) and “Dark Side Of The Spoon” (1999) showcased a much more straightforward heavy metal sound, to lower sales than previous records. The band released their first best of collection entitled “Greatest Fits” (2001) and were then dropped by Warner Bros. Records.
In 2003, the band then moved to Sanctuary Records and released “Animositisomina”. Paul Barker left the band in January 2004, leaving Jourgensen to put together a new line-up for “Houses Of The Molé”. After the 2004 Evil Doer Tour, there was yet another change in personnel with Prong founder Tommy Victor on guitar and Paul Raven (who had also played in Prong and in Killing Joke) on bass. In may, 2006, Ministry released “Rio Grande Blood” which was quickly followed by what was announced as their final album, “The Last Sucker”, in 2007, and a collection of covers entitled “Cover Up” in 2008.
Despite Jourgensen’s claim that the band was over, 2010 saw another collection, mixing covers and remixes, entitled “Undercover”. Following a serious illness, Al Jourgensen decided to restart the band with Mike Scaccia and two new Ministry albums followed, “Relapse” in 2012 and “From Beer To Eternity” 2013. Scaccia’s death in 2012 had apparently brought a final, definite end to the band with the 2013 album until early 2017 when Jourgensen began working on a new album, tentatively titled “AmeriKKKant.”