Headed up by none other than Ministry’s Al Jourgensen, this is 40 minutes of mostly speed and aggression, just the way we like it.
Kind of taking what Ministry did only ramping it up to the nth degree, this is the sound of an artist unburdened by expectations of past achievements and just plain going for it.
This is a smorgasbord of blasting beats, samples and the singer’s distinctive voice. Industrial Metal kind of has a bad reputation in some ways, with many bands just adding some samples to a dance beat and going from there. Surgical Meth Machine is the real deal, however, and sounds every bit as authentically executed as you would expect from the pedigree behind it.
It’s pretty unrelenting for the most part, although some different sounds, beats and ideas are included to mix things up here and there, including rare snatches of melody, (Gates of Steel, for example). This track also acts as somewhat of a watershed moment too, as things get progressively more experimental and industrial-edged as the album advances. The distorted guitars increasingly become replaced by other instrumentation and sounds, culminating in the catchy and pop-laced I’m invisible.
Although I’m always a fan of aggression, I think I actually prefer the latter part of the album, with its relatively different and interesting viewpoint.
For such a comparatively high-profile release, this is refreshingly full of bludgeoning riffs, intensity and creatively demented industrial pop. Whether giving vent to its channelled aggression via an industrial Metal slant, or providing the listener with the more unusual and experimental side of the band, Surgical Meth Machine is an enjoyable foray into the mind of a long-serving artist.
Turn up the volume and get ready for a wild ride.