Ready to blast with L&DR this beginning of week? As always want to Thank all of you for all your support! Keep sending your requests and feedback! Here's Today Featured Bands!
Ministry (US) - Al Jourgensen began Ministry in Chicago, Illinois in 1981. His first band prior to Ministry was Special Affect with Groovie Mann (of My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult), drummer Harry Rushakoff (Concrete Blonde) and bassist Marty Sorenson. After that was the short-lived Silly Charmichaels, with Ben Krug, Tom Krug and Tom Wall (all of The Imports). The original line-up of Ministry consisted mainly of Jourgensen (vocals and guitar), Stephen George (drums), Robert Roberts (keyboards), and John Davis (keyboards), although with a few personnel changes, the band's image would begin to focus more on Jourgensen and Stephen George. Ministry's original sound was essentially New Wave synthpop that was more melodic and stylized than the aggressive music for which they would become known. Ministry released four 12" singles on Wax Trax! Records from 1981 to 1984 (anthologized on Twelve Inch Singles that featured the club favorite "Everyday is Halloween"). Their first LP, With Sympathy, was issued on Arista Records in 1983, and sold slowly but hit the upper 90s in the Billboard 200. The music in With Sympathy, and the various singles that Arista issued in association with it, was melodic pop. Jourgensen has always expressed disappointment with Ministry's music during those early years, reportedly referring to With Sympathy as an "abortion of an album." According to him, after signing the record contract, all artistic control of Ministry was "handed" over to other writers and producers. Some of his preferred recordings from that era were collected into the CD Early Trax (Rykodisc Records, 2004). By the mid-1980s, Jourgensen parted ways with George and signed to Sire Records. Jourgensen performed mostly solo for Ministry's next LP, Twitch (1986), which sold well, but was still considered to be "underground". The music was danceable electronic music, but wasn't pop music, and the sound was harsher and more aggressive than what Ministry had recorded before. According to Jourgensen, "Twitch was stuff that I was doing before With Sympathy came out. Some of that stuff was already four or five years old, but the record company didn't want to use it, so...". Much of the new sound was created with the use of digital sampling and the input of producer Adrian Sherwood. After Twitch, Jourgensen made the most significant change in Ministry's history when he became re-enchanted with the electric guitar. Jourgensen also brought bass guitarist Paul Barker of the Seattle band the Blackouts into the Ministry camp; Barker would remain Jourgensen's bandmate for many years when he was the only person credited as a member of the band other than Jourgensen. With the addition of The Blackouts drummer William Rieflin, Ministry recorded The Land of Rape and Honey (1988). The LP continued their success in the underground music scene. The Land of Rape and Honey made use of synthesizers, keyboards, tape loops, jackhammering drum machines, dialogue excerpted from movies, unconventional electronic processing, and, in parts, heavy distorted electric guitar and bass. The album was supported by a tour in 1988 and the singles and music videos for "Stigmata" and "Flashback". Stigmata was also used in a key scene in Richard Stanley's 1990 film Hardware, although the band shown performing the song was Gwar. The follow-up, The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste was supported by the "RollerBall" tour from 1989 to 1990. Due to the complex nature of the album's drumming, a second drummer, Martin Atkins, was used. In addition to Atkins, a ten piece touring line-up was formed, consisting of Chris Connelly (keyboards and vocals), Nivek Ogre (vocals and keyboards), Joe Kelly (vocals and backing vocals) and guitarists Mike Scaccia, Terry Roberts, and William Tucker, with Jourgensen, Barker and Rieflin serving as the groups core members. This tour was documented on In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up. One single, "Burning Inside" (for which a video was made), was released from the album. Throughout the late 1980s Jourgensen and Barker expanded their ideas beyond Ministry into a seemingly endless parade of side projects and collaborations. Many of these bore Ministry's signature sound and the duo's "Hypo Luxa/Hermes Pan" production imprint. (These side-projects were also responsible for the delayed release of Ministry's next album.) Foremost of these was Ministry's alter ego, the Revolting Cocks. "RevCo", as it is often referred to, essentially became the same band as it had originally featured Belgian musicians Richard 23 (of Front 242) and Luc Van Acker. Jourgensen and Barker also formed Lard with Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra, Acid Horse with Cabaret Voltaire, 1000 Homo DJs (which featured Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor doing vocals on a cover of Black Sabbath's Supernaut), PTP with Chris Connelly and Pailhead with Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat and Fugazi. Barker released his own material as Lead Into Gold and Jourgensen produced and played electric guitar on Skinny Puppy's Rabies LP. Atkins and Rieflin also formed the band Pigface, which featured Barker on several tracks, as well. The smaller of these projects were later collected on the CD Side Trax (Rykodisc Records, 2004), and the RevCo discography was remastered and reissued. Ministry broke into the mainstream in 1991 with "Jesus Built My Hotrod" (co-authored by Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers and Michael Balch of Frontline Assembly affiliation).
Kromlek (DE) - In the ides of March of the year 2004 deep in the industrialized Franconian wastelands a fateful alliance took place. The till then inconsiderable Black Metal formation "Puritan Disbelief", consisting of rhythm guitarist Draugh, bass player Rico, drummer Christoph [aka Galt] and singer mr alphavarg got reinforced by two outstanding talents namely Hrím [now known as NhéVaN] as lead guitarist and Hrísdólgr as keyboard wizard. Due to a thoroughgoing change in both sound and content this strong union was sealed by a new name: KromleK was born. The first steps in musical expression lead the band into the pagan genre especially the Viking Metal in the epic vein of ere Thyrfing songs. Another inspiration manifersted in the earliest songs was the folky Humppa style with its catchy melodies and off-beat rhythm that impressed all members at that time. So the first four songs ["Han som rider" (never released), "Träskens näve", "När tiden vissnar" and "Huldrasson" (never released)] were forged underneath that "Trollish Viking Metal" banner. Armed with that four-headed Hydra KromleK faced their fate in the early days of the year 2005 by participating the Newcomer Festival in their hometown Schweinfurt. Rico left the band right before the first gig so KromleK was forced to perform without a bass player, a state that became a sad tradition from time to time. Nevertheless the first live-battle was adumbrated by a great victory as KromleK won the competition. From that point the band was fuelled by the will to grow concerning to the huge number of followers and fans. Two gigs in 2005 followed that heralded the name KromleK to the much appreciated Thuringian realm. But the crowning glory of that year was definitely the release of the first, long awaited debut EP called KVELDRIÐUR right after the band signed a deal with Trollzorn Records. With Kai and Stefan from Trollzorn KromleK found two passionated partners that both discovered and supported the young formation with all their energy and appreciation. Draugh left the band during the recordings and was replaced by Foradh. Through label and distribution work the name KromleK crawled slowly but surely into the auditory canals of fans of the by and by growing Pagan Metal wave all over Germany and even beyond the borders. As consequence KromleK was booked for shows an Bavaria, Thuringia again and Northrhine-Westfalia in 2006. In March 2007, exactly three years after the "Swamp fist" [Träskens näve] was raised for the first time, the first first long-player STRANGE RUMOURS… DISTANT TREMORS was forged by an enormous increase in both sound and composition. As KVELDRIÐUR was quite naïve, SR…DT became much more serious, more epic. Thus the Humppa parts were reduced. Through a short period that also included the recording of the album KromleK introduced a seventh band member, the fiddle player Aoife. She left after a few gigs due to personnel differences. Another member has been inaugurated: Alex, who also did the recording, mix and mastering for both releases, became a full member as bass player. The inofficial release of SR... DT at the Ragnarök Festival broke loose an incredible wave of euphory and although KromleK was the second band in the line-up the crowd transformed into a melting pot yet unseen by the band. Further festival invitations followed, not only in Germany but the Netherlands by our appreciated friends of Elexorien. Through a three days lasting mini-tour the Kromlexorien-pact was sealed. The year 2008 brought the hardest time for the established pagan force. As mr alphavarg and KromleK seemed to diverge in substance and the ideas of the future sound, appearence and content grew inconsistent, the late summer marked the deepest cut in the band's history. Mr alphavarg left the band due to a different vision of audiovisual art. He returned in March 2009. But the personnel carousel had to move on, so Galt left the band for private reasons. His successor Jules completed the line-up that has become stronger than ever before. Meanwhile KromleK managed to liberate from the inappropriate stamp ‘another band riding the Pagan-wave’ and is heading a great future with an own style, an own vision and especially without any puristic cliché immature. The third output FINIS TERRAE will underline the proclamation of being unique and lead into a new, higher sphere of Metal Music. The album was released April 8th under Trollzorn label.
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