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Despite the fact that they started out as a more pop-oriented goth band, Ministry's unspeakably abrasive, endlessly negative music remains pretty much definitive industrial metal. On top of that, we have singer Al Jourgensen to thank for the whole post-apocalyptic biker-cowboy look that led to sales of millions upon millions of full length black leather coats in the early 1990s. But more importantly was when Ministry released their 1988 album, The Land of Rape and Honey, it was clear that the music was genuinely unique in the mainstream and that they had created a sound as powerful and heavy (if not more so) than any alternative or metal band of the period. The band crossed those alternative and metal lines, drawing hordes of fans from each camp and helping along the eventual blurring of those traditionally opposite styles that occurred in the late '80s and early '90s with the onset of grunge rock and alternative metal. Ministry's influence (which can be felt even today in the industrial scene) was both musical and stylistic and the albums they put out during their peak (Land Of Rape And Honey, The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste and Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed & the Way to Suck Eggs) actually stand up over a decade later. The band continues to release albums today and, to its credit, remains as Satanic and sex-obsessed as ever -- an aesthetic Nine Inch Nails may have taken to the top but Ministry invented.
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