GIG REVIEW: MINISTRY & DEVILDRIVER Live at The Forum, London
Ministry have long lead the way in bridging the gap between industrial and metal. The resulting sound is heavy and relentless, guitar led with harsh industrial rhythms- a perfect aggressive moshpit soundtrack. The choice of support for a Ministry gig could easily swing into either genre, and for this tour they chose Devildriver, a metal act who may not be industrial but easily kept up the pace and velocity.
Devildriver expertly planted their rhythms onto a crowd steadily warming up and getting into the mood, inspiring people into cathartic anger and ready to exorcise some demons. It’s a surprise to see these guys still as support act after being around so long- but who would pass up the opportunity to open for Ministry? It’s a grand feat and they smashed it. Barely a head was left un-banging. Metal was the way to go.
Ministry built anticipation prior to arriving on stage with war visuals and a supporting WW2 propaganda style musical accompaniment. They have long been politically minded and obviously have WW3 on their minds. However, the pensive atmosphere was quickly dissipated once they erupted onto stage, straight into a full hard set of crowd pleasers.
Focused as I was on photographing the first three tracks, I quickly dropped off my kit with security and bowled my way into the mosh pit. I’ve been a Ministry fan for 15 years and I don’t think I’ve missed a London show… it’s been a while since they last played and I was totally eager for this. I’ll be honest… the rest of the gig was a bit of a blur of flailing arms, stomping feet and full bodies being thrown around- and picked up off the floor. Hit after classic hit played and delivered with a ferocity unchanged from earlier gigs. I was 18 again, I was mad.
Political imagery served as a perfect backdrop for music not only disenchanted with the state of the world- namely the band’s home of America, currently in turmoil with a defunct political two-party, terrifying system- but fully furious, and not afraid to shout and pound it out in a glorious hour of cathartic, feral, classic industrial metal. Not a lot has changed really; the president may go by a different name but Ministry have need to stand for the same.
I probably could have done another half hour or so, but was still mildly relieved at being able to escape the madness, clothes stuck to me with a dozen other people’s sweat, into the London night, knowing I’d be aching in the morning. A lot of people are now kicking themselves for missing this show. Ministry returned on top form and dealt a stunner of vitriol.