With the fate of the Industrial Strength Tour still in question, Al Jourgensen has taken the time in isolation to bunker down in his studio and focus on creating new music. The first result has been released in the form of a new single, titled “Alert Level” [Quarantined Mix], now available via Nuclear Blast Records on all major digital outlets. Set to a mid-tempo marching rhythm, wrought with searing yet melodic layers of guitars, and laden with samples that beckon the question, “How concerned are you?” – the song finds Jourgensen addressing the current state of the world in his signature abrasive fashion. Of the song, Jourgensen comments, “We finished the song in January and it sounded great during rehearsals for our Australia/Japan tour dates, before we went into quarantine.”
Furthermore, Jourgensen calls upon fans to answer the question, “How concerned are you?” by posting their own video responses – videos should be 30 seconds or less and posted to social media with the hashtag #MinistryAlertLevel. The band members will select and share the responses they find the most meaningful, with Jourgensen saying, “I’ll be interested to see how folks answer it themselves.”
The Quaratined Mix of “Alert Level” marks the first new material from MINISTRY since the release of the 2018 album AmeriKKKant; since then, Jourgensen had taken the band through several tours, including a series of shows in support of the Industrial Accident documentary about WaxTrax! Records, and an opening spot for thrash/metal legends Slayer on their farewell tour. Most recently, MINISTRY had made its full discography, including the new single, available to stream on Spotify. Additionally, the MINISTRY: Prescripture visual document of the band’s history is available via Melodic Virtue; with the company having to downsize offices, the backstock is now available at a reduced price of 40% off, “Now’s the time. They won’t offer another sale like this again!”
The Industrial Strength Tour featuring MINISTRY, KMFDM, and Front Line Assembly was scheduled to begin on July 1; given the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and the necessity for social distancing, none of the bands have yet announced if the tour is to proceed as scheduled. Jourgensen states that the original plan was for the new MINISTRY record to be completed before the tour, to be released in time for Election Day. With a long history of social and political activism, MINISTRY has partnered with Head Count to assist votes with registering in time; more info can be found on the band’s website.
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)