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Animositisomina (Sanctuary)

Not long ago, the onetime industrial behemoth Ministry was all but written off the books: too cerebral for the short attention spans of nü-metal kids, and officially uncool for the industrial-goth club crowd, who were contented by computer-generated mopefests. And Ministry didn't help its cause with the sludgy, directionless mess that was 1999's Dark Side of the Spoon.

Nearly four years later, Al Jourgensen, Paul Barker, and company are back, with an album that's much more than a creative recharge: Jourgensen and Barker didn't just get new batteries; they replaced them with white-hot uranium slugs. Animositisomina recalls the urgency, relentless drive, and unmitigated vitriol for which Ministry was initially known. The title track keeps your attention clamped in a vice grip, the noise volleys of "Impossible" are warhead-volatile, and in a perfect world, radios would be blaring Ministry's long-sought cover of Magazine's "The Light Pours out of Me" instead of the latest "Landslide" hack job. Ministry is back: The band has dispensed with the pleasantries, brought out the howitzer, and painted targets on everyone.

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More by Norman Narvaja

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