80. Ministry, ‘ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ (Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs)’ (1992)

Two stories and then two points.

1. I saw Ministry essentially perform this album at an outdoor festival in the summer of 1992. It was insane. First, they had some massive sub-sub-sub-woofer that you couldn’t really hear, but could feel in your guts. It was the lowest pitch in the universe and had some kind of quantum effect on my brain, ending my ability to process information or think about the past or the future. Second, they were the loudest band that I had ever heard up until that point. The music was like a wave washing over the crowd, moving us around in brutal little eddies. Third, the music completely energized a very large crowd—everyone was jumping around and slamming, like they hadn’t been at an outdoor concert all damned day, and weren’t completely dehydrated, high, and/or drunk. Sometime toward the end of the set (I think), a giant skinhead with a row of metal spikes somehow glued to his scalp or screwed into his skull put an uppercut into my solar plexus, and darkness warshed over me. I do not remember how I survived, but I came to on the side of the stage where a very nice hippie couple were gently pouring cold water on my head. All in all, it was a great day to be alive.

2. That same year, in my leisure time, I used to partake in some low-grade mood-altering substances. I quit that shit shortly thereafter, because it eroded my discipline, and like, I was an all-A type student. Anyway, kids, drugs are bad. Don’t do drugs. During long afternoons partaking, I used to lie on the pueblo-style carpet in my dorm room and listen to records at megavolumes on the 1970s era stereo that I had inherited from my parents (they didn’t die—just got a new stereo and gave me the old one). Both this album and Ministry’s previous album The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste were some of my favorite albums for these special times. The homogenous repetition of beats and riffs and the low, rumbly bass put my mind into some peaceful trance like state, in which the hours would sort of slip away until the sky began to darken, which was a sign that my dinner shift as a dishwasher at Hiram College’s cafeteria was about to begin.

All that said, I hadn’t listened to this album in 28 years.

My two points are my review. 1. Sometimes live music is way more fun than recorded music. 2. Sometimes music sounds way better when you’re high.

Addendum: The song “Psalm 69” contains a notably stupid lyric that I do not remember noticing in 1992. I’m glad I got my shit together.

Congregation, please be seated and open your prayer guides to the book of Revelations, Psalm sixty nine

Cover By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=225959

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