Ministry of Hooks! – Ministry of Hate’s All Your Godz Are Dead (2012)
The East Coast of the US has always been a somewhat unsung haven for Thrash. Despite having a handful of the biggest names in the genre among it’s ranks, people have never really talked about this scene in the same reverential tones as with the Bay Area or German scenes. I’ve always found that to be a little unfortunate, because most bands from the original thirteen colonies seem to have something that their distant brothers seem to lack: Infectious Hooks.
This isn’t something that’s necessarily lyrical, but something that can also be seen in the way songs are constructed. East Coast thrashers have always had a penchant for subtle yet definable licks and flourishes that, at times, can border on more traditional rock music. This hookiness can be clearly seen within the music of Anthrax, Overkill, Whiplash, and certainly in this; the debut album by Ministry of Hate.
All Your Godz Are Dead features ex-members of New York Thrash act Prowler and current members of Overkill and Hades. A solid pedigree for a band, to be sure. But the fact is, this album is a completely different animal. From album opener “Rise to the Bottom”, through to the raging “Blood of Achmed” and the two speed gallop of “Bagged”, it’s clear that this is a band that knows how to employ not only a variety of velocities, but a gaggle of grooves as well.
It’s in the small details that one can see the differences between MOH and the main acts of each member. It’s the little guitar licks and drum fills scattered here and there that wouldn’t be out of place on an album by Judas Priest, Motörhead or even Soundgarden. One of the most obvious places on the album that one can see this during the chorus on “Painmaker”. Just little inflections placed on certain notes at certain times that cause entire passages to stick in your head like a virus. It’s unbeleivable how memorable these little touches within the arrangement of the songs can be.
Despite the groove and catchy choruses, speed demons shouldn’t fear, as there are plenty of blazing speed metal tunes on off as well. Re-recorded Prowler gem “Thrash & Bang” is a real treat from those who are aware of the one EP band, and it’s also the fastest track on the album. Pure moshable madness of the highest order that truly benefits from a great 21st century mix.
“Machine Gun Serenade” is actually sort of a half-ballad, with those more traditional Hard Rock hooks once again making an ear grabbing appearance. Final track “The Ballad of Charlie Sheen” even brings us some S.O.D. styled humour, but don’t worry, it’s not in the same style as that band’s “The Ballad of Jimi Hendrix”. For one thing, it’s nine times longer.
So I guess I’ve still neglected to mention one thing: does it amount to anything worthwhile? The answer is a definite yes. While it may not be the ultra-fast hyper-Thrash that some people might be looking for, it’s a collection of memorable, well-written, and well-performed Metal from a group of guys who know their way around not only their instruments, but their music too. Ministry of Hate’s debut album is everything an old school punter needs: riffs, laughs, gang vocals, and generally just Thrash in abundance.
Score: \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m (9.5 out of 10)
This entry was posted on 01/06/2012 by mattmiller247. It was filed under New, Review and was tagged with 2012, All Your Godz are Dead, Anthrax, debut, East Coast, Hades, Heavy Metal, Mike Cusamano, Ministry of Hate, MJ Malinski, music, Overkill, Prowler, Ron Lipnicki, Scott Lepage, Thrash.