Ministry is an American industrial metal band founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1981 by producer, singer, and instrumentalist Al Jourgensen. Originally a synth-pop outfit, Ministry evolved into one of the pioneers of industrial rock and industrial metal in the late 1980s. The band's lineup has changed frequently, leaving Jourgensen as the sole original member. Musicians who have contributed to the band's studio or live activities include vocalists Nivek Ogre, Chris Connelly, Gibby Haynes, Burton C. Bell and Jello Biafra, guitarists Mike Scaccia and Tommy Victor, guitarist Cesar Soto, bassists Paul Barker, Paul Raven, Jason Christopher, Tony Campos and Paul D'Amour, drummers Jimmy DeGrasso, Bill Rieflin, Martin Atkins, Rey Washam, Max Brody, Joey Jordison and Roy Mayorga, keyboardist John Bechdel, and rappers and producers DJ Swamp and Arabian Prince.
Ministry attained commercial success in the late 1980s and early 1990s with three of their studio albums: The Land of Rape and Honey (1988), The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste (1989) and Psalm 69 (1992). The first two were certified gold while Psalm 69 was certified platinum by the RIAA. Psalm 69 was followed by Filth Pig (1996), which was a stylistic departure for the band, and earned Ministry its highest chart position on the Billboard 200 at number nineteen, although it was met with mixed reception by critics and marked the beginning of the band's commercial decline. The lackluster response to their next album, Dark Side of the Spoon (1999), resulted in Warner Bros. dropping Ministry from the label and the group entered an extended hiatus in early 2000s, when Jourgensen entered rehab after years of substance abuse.
Following Jourgensen's recovery, Ministry resurfaced in 2003 with Animositisomina, which turned out to be their last album with Paul Barker, who would leave the band the following year after nearly two decades as an official member. Ministry returned to the thrash/industrial style of Psalm 69 and released three albums critical of then-President of the United States, George W. Bush, dubbed the "Bush Trilogy": Houses of the Molé (2004), Rio Grande Blood (2006) and The Last Sucker (2007); these albums effectively revitalized the band's commercial viability. Although The Last Sucker was initially intended to be the band's final album, Ministry reformed in 2011 and released Relapse in the following year. On December 22, 2012, longtime guitar contributor Mike Scaccia died of a heart attack, and he was posthumously featured in the next Ministry album, From Beer to Eternity (2013), which was again supposed to be their last album, as Jourgensen thought his death was the end of the band. Despite this, Ministry has since released two more albums: AmeriKKKant (2018) and Moral Hygiene (2021), and they are working on new material for a sixteenth studio album as of October 2021.
The band has been nominated for six Grammy Awards and has performed at several music festivals, including the second annual Lollapalooza tour in 1992, co-headlining Big Day Out in 1995 and performing at Wacken Open Air thrice (in 2006, 2012 and 2016).
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