Those who know of Ministry (and therefore Al Jourgensen) are well aware of their industrial and metal mix. However when it comes to Surgical Meth Machine it is a lot more diverse than that. The album starts off with more speed metal than anything else and as it progresses becomes more industrialised, but even in the more speedy metal tracks the industrial side is still ever present.
The first track, “I’m Sensitive”, may start off with more of an industrialised sound, but as soon as the lyric ‘I don’t fucking care!’ kicks in the mad metal frenzy begins. Heavy and fast riffs from the guitars and pounding drums add so much diversity to the usual music we expect from Al. This metal frenzy carries on through to the second track ‘Tragic Alert’ with more crazed, ridiculously fast and complicated guitar riffs. It just shows how experimental Al can be with his art, especially when not shackled within the expectations of creating another Ministry album.
By the third track, “I Want More”, the industrial sound has made a comeback, with quick-paced drums nestling perfectly into the mix. This track may not have the speed of the previous tracks but the heaviness is still very much apparent although in a less frenzied way. In other songs, the industrial sound balances with the metal sound giving an equal distribution between the two – such as the sixth song on the album entitled “Smash and Grab” which is a perfect example of how metal and industrial can work together. It even has a strong hook alongside the lyric of ‘Just get it over with’, giving the track a pure energetic sound and that shows the true creative side of the band itself.
If we’re going to make the inevitable comparison to Jourgensen’s previous work with Ministry then it’s a positive one. Every aspect of the album has been thought of in a creative and cherished way – from the instruments to the melodies to the lyrics, which have had so much thought put into them. They all come together to create powerful imagery lending an extra depth to the metallic insanity.
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