SandmanVI | Glen Allen, VA United States | 01/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the best hard-hitting albums ever made. But before I get into that, other items need to be addressed. I hate reading diatribes from people who clearly know nothing. J Brady proclaims that Ministry is not an "industrial" band. Are you stupid? Allow me... yes, you are stupid. A history lesson is in order. Industrial was started (at least the concept) in the 70's by experimental artists like Einsturzende Neubauten who constructed what can loosely be called songs from found sounds, odd tape loops, banging on trash cans and other abrasive noises. Yeah, they sounded a bit like industrial machinery... imagine that - maybe that's where the term comes from. Non-traditional vocals often accompanied the edgy music. Of course there were other bands like early Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, CAN, etc. However it didn't take off until a few years later when certain bands, working from same central concept, honed the sound and took it in new directions that greatly expanded the following. Generally Skinny Puppy (along with perhaps Front Line Assembly and Front 242) is considered the core band, if not necessarily the first, of the Electronic Industrial movement. On the other side, Ministry was at the epicenter of the Industrial Metal movement. No one really disputes this - certainly not the bands themselves. To this day, many more mainstream metal bands have copied the formula of combining razor sharp riffs, pounding & potentially danceable beats, samples and other elements (see White Zombie, KMFDM, Linkin Park, System of a Down, Fear Factory, God Lives Underwater, Stabbing Westward, Tool and the list never ends). To dispute Ministry's involvement in Industrial is an open admission of your ignorance.
OK, let's move on then. Next gripe I have concerns the NIN comparisons. First off, NIN is very rooted in Ministry. Reznor worked with Ministry early on; He was an understudy of theirs back in the old Wax Trax days. These are facts. The 1st NIN album has a production style very reminiscent of 'Land of Rape and Honey' or 'Twitch'. The industrial metal format that Ministry had created was Trent's template. Some may argue that he ultimately surpassed them in quality and some may argue otherise; That's a great debate as both are wonderful artists. However, denying their influence on him, or proclaiming him vastly superior is comical.
On to the songs of this album. "Thieves" and "Burning Inside" are absolutely smashing, grinding powerhouses to open the album with. Both offer pummeling beats, lightning guitars and wild samples intertwined with harsh, distorted vox that almost act as another instrument to abuse the listener. To the uninitiated this will be grating on your nerves. "Breathe" is an enviromentalist track that shows the dark end result of systematic neglect... it's the metal version of Skinny Puppy's "Shore Lined Poison" (or half the songs on 'Too dark Park' for that matter). "So What" is equally harsh but leans more on the bass-line that the other gems. Those 4 tracks are masterpieces in the genre. "Never Believe" is straightforward Industrial Metal, good but not epic. "Cannibal Song" features a huge, droning bass and some creepy samples; It's the closest the album has to a Goth piece. "Faith Collapsing" is another droning effort that creates a mood over time. "Test" is a strange hip-hop hybrid that works fairly well.
It's important to remember the age when this got released. Glam rock clowns were still posing with big hair and disgusting tights, lame-o's like Pantera were still flexing their arms in a desperate attempt to prove who was tougher. Fashion and false bravado ruled the day. Then came this. It was harder and faster than everything else. Everyone shut up and took notice. The posing stopped, the big hair died and the legions of copycats soon followed. Ministry certainly had a powerful image but many people missed the joke. They wore ridiculous 10-gallon cowboy hats, referenced country legend Buck Owens as a key influence as well as Satan (Al Jourgenson wanted to originally name the band Buck Satan & The 666 Shooters), and stood in front of a giant screen of Macauley Culkin's head melting. It's huge and it's freakin' hilarious. And the whole time they're rockin' the balls off the heavy metal scene. If that doesn't scream "Cut your stupid hair, take off your girly tights, quit making pansy music and shut the hell up!" then nothing does. It's critical that fans of today realize that Ministry was far more important to killing hair metal than Nirvana ever was. Nirvana came much later after glam was already a rotting corpse. The Seattle boys followed more in the footsteps of Pixies and Janes Addiction long after the burial of the lame 80's rehash of Poison and Bon Jovi. Get your facts straight. Oh, and enjoy the CD!"
skulliest | Edmonton, Alberta Canada | 06/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's unfortunate that a lot of people discovered this album in their college years and between this and Nine Inch Nails, it's the only 'industrial' music they've heard; fitting somewhere in their CD collections between The Cranberries and The Proclaimers. They will just never have any clue how influential this album is. I guess that's the price you pay for commercial success.Speaking commercially, nothing sells in America like them big old blazin' guitars, and Al and Paul use them to perfection on this CD. Combined with in your face drum beats, gut rumbling basslines and noisy samples, Ministry is in their top form with The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste. Starting off with 'Thieves', you are immediately hit with the machine gun guitar and the obligatory Full Metal Jacket samples. 'Burning Inside' is another song that continues on a blistering pace with some killer guitar. 'Never Believe' and 'Cannibal Song' are a couple of slower, creepy songs that fit into the mix so well. Chris Connelly makes an appearance on Cannibal Song with his trademark evil sounding vocals. 'Breathe' is a mid-pace guitar extravaganza. But my favorite song on the CD comes after 'Breathe'. 'So What' is over 8 minutes I think, but has one of the best riffs I've ever heard. Employing some long samples from God knows where, a wonderfully dark mood is created before Al cranks it up to 11 with the buzzsaw guitars and devilishly distorted vocals. Top Notch!!! The only disappointing song on the CD is 'Test', I've listened to it over and over trying to get to like it, but I can't. 'Faith Collapsing' has a very oppressive, militaristic beat and rhythm, conjuring images in my head of ... divisions marching in Berlin with ... tossing books on a huge bonfire... very scary stuff. Last but not least is 'Dream Song' which is not a throwaway tune, like some would label it. A slower song kind of like 'Grace' from Psalm 69 or a couple of tunes on Dark Side Of The Spoon.To sum it up, industrial metal has yet to come up with a disc that can closely rival The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste. If you dig bands like Static X and Fear Factory, maybe you should check out who they are getting inspiration from."
Terrible to taste, good to hear.
H3@+h | VT | 01/31/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There are some album covers you can look at, and just know the music within is going to be hard and heavy. This is obviously one of those albums. Some may argue, but I believe more than other bands, and even more than Ministry's prior album, this is when industrial and metal came perfectly together. Sure there's a few repetitive low-points, but the majority of this album is like a punch to the face. The opener "Thieves" with it's power-drill sample sets the tone, and "Burning Inside" and "Never Believe" take it from there. The next powerhouse is "Breathe", which leads to the climax of the album "So What", which includes the choice lyrics "I only kill, to know I'm alive". These tracks aren't simply heavy, they're also well written, and basically catchy. "Test" even makes rap sound good. I recommend a proper stereo for this."
Metal Machine Music
Ilya Malafeyev | Russia | 02/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The title is taken from Die Krupps' song, and it perfectly describes the 53 minutes of this record. Al Jourgensen and Paul Barker are at their best, inspiration flowing out of every note.This is the template and master-class for all industrial-metal. The drum-machine fills the air with mechanized super-precise pounding, that forces your body to convulsions. Bass-guitar adds to the overall heaviness. The guitar riffs are incredibly catchy, drowning the listener deeper in this entrancing sound of violent machinery. Highly processed voice of Al tears your eardrums apart."Thieves" and "Burning Inside" are Ministry's classic merciless tracks, that are as fresh-sounding now as they were 15 years ago. "Never Believe" is a bit lighter, and has emphasis on bass-lines. "Cannibal Song" is a slow hypnotic track, with a simultaneous feel of both Ministry's previous effort (The Land of Rape and Honey) and their sound of mid-90s. "Breathe" returns us to violent force of the 1st song. "So What" is my favourite here. It's incredibly innovative, since the whole "verse" part is one big sample taken from the movie "The Violent Years". The sampled speach is broken into smaller pieces, that are inserted precisely into the rhythm pattern. This is sampling perfection, rivalled by none! Remember, there were no sound-processing PCs at that time. "Test" is another brave experimentation, that tries to mix industrial-metal with rapping vocals. Very innovative again. Traces of this song could be heard on 1997's "The Fat of the Land" by British ravers The Prodigy. "Faith Collapsing" and "Dream Song" again return to slower tempo. With not really much vocals, they are filled with samples, that create that specific Ministry atmosphere.This album competes with "Psalm 69" for the best Ministry album ever, and is doubtlessly one of the best and most influential recordings in recent 20 years. Essential purchase."
Ministry's "The Mind" Is A Menacing, Brilliant Album...
M. Jarrett | New England, USA | 02/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ministry is one of the most definitive industrial-metal bands to ever grace the mainstream music scene. While LAND OF RAPE AND HONEY began the track towards great Ministry albums to come, THE MIND IS A TERRIBLE THING TO TASTE is a splendid album, complete with with a mix of electro, metal, and industrial rhythms. "Thieves" burns with the best of them with it's staccato, machine gun-type guitar riff and Al's menacing vocals. It's a fitting beginning, opening into "Burning Inside", a fast-paced thrash rocker with a chorus that will blow you to bits. The next two songs, "Never Believe" and "Cannibal Song" are slower, darker, and the latter features vocals from Chris Connelly, who's evil vocal lace really gives "Cannibal Song" a chilling contrast. And who could forget the 8-minute-plus "So What", one of the live favorites by many Ministry fans. Found on many of their live discs, it's one of the most influential songs in their catalog. "Dream Song" is quiet, moody, and sinister; "Test" is a neo-rap metal twister of a track; and "Breathe" is an angsty number with jagged guitar lines. While PSALM 69 rivals which Ministry album is great, THE MIND IS A TERRIBLE THING TO TASTE really begins the industrial-metal fusion that Ministry helped to influence on many of today's popular industrial rock bands."