Artist: "Ministry"
Album: "With Sympathy"
Genre: Pop
Label: Arista

Reviewer: -RoG-
Posted: 3/27/2008

Review: Al Jourgensen may have described this as an "abortion of an album", but this is easily one of my favorite releases by Ministry. I know that when most people think of Ministry, they think of the insanely heavy guitars on Psalm 69. Believe me, I'm a huge fan of 'em myself and enjoy shouting "Push the button, connect the goddamned doooooots!!!" as much as the next guy, but it's music like that which makes it so amazing to hear With Sympathy.

The second you play the album you'll wonder how the hell this music can even be coming from the same band. How did they go from from a new wave synth pop band to one of the loudest industrial metal bands in existence over a period of 10 years? How did Al go from having those clean euro-accent vocals (he's from Chicago after all) to those menacingly dark, grainy vocals we've come to love in songs like "Just One Fix"?

Well, whatever the case may be, I for one am glad this album exists if for no other reason than I can always point to it and tell anybody: "You want to know what the 80's sounded like? Just listen to 'With Sympathy'. From the very first track, this is the 80's in a nutshell." I know it's a bold claim with so many other shining examples out there, but I really believe this to be one of the quintessential albums when it comes to representing the decade of decadence. From the hilarious group chants of "Wooork?" on "Work For Love" to ultra-cheesy lyrics like "quiet as a mouse, no sound was stirring throughout the house" on "Revenge", if you don't get a kick out of this album, then you take yourself and your music far too seriously. Don't even get me started on the awesomely hilarious wailing saxophone on "Say You're Sorry". To say they don't make 'em like this anymore would be an extreme understatement, but god how I wish they still did.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeWholeHalf
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

James Brown in hiding
Mar 28th, 2008, 04:47 AM
I'm still trying to forget what the 80's sounded like RoG. Yeah it was funny and if it was an old school horror movie it'd be great because you could point and laugh and go "man that's lame but I can't look away". It's an album however and there's no cool visuals. Seriously I'm wondering what the hell the appeal is. It's like looking at an office cubicle decorated with annoying pics of fucking babies dressed up like fruits and vegitables with kitchy sayings that are really only appealing to soccer moms. Most of the time is spent "this was cool?".
Fookin' up planets!
Mar 28th, 2008, 09:29 AM
The second I saw this album was up for review I knew... knew in my heart of hearts that D-Mon would be the first to poop out a rant. If I was a betting man I could have just retired rich. RoG, I think I understand what you are trying to say about this album... it's an amusing and catchy "time capsule". Is it the best music ever made? No. But it has a novelty factor and it shows what a slew of early 80's dance, trance, electro and industrial bands sounded like in their early years... listen to (D-Mon's head is about to explode...) Nine Inch Nails first album "Pretty Hate Machine" and then compare it to their first EP "Broken". Like night and day. But a good transgression. Kind of like When Janis Joplin sucked and then.... well... she always kind of just stayed in that spot didn't she? I will always prefer the more aggressive stuff but there will always be a place in my heart for the early synth poppy stuff... mostly just to annoy D-Mon. Oh and I am picking up one of those "Babies dressed up like fruits calendars today."
Mar 28th, 2008, 10:07 AM
How could they "go from from a new wave synth pop band to one of the loudest industrial metal bands in existence over a period of 10 years"? One word: heroin.
Forum Virgin
Mar 28th, 2008, 12:47 PM
Horrible. Just horrible. And don't get me wrong, it's not that I hate the 80's or synth pop, hell, I think Devo and A flock of seagulls are great. But this is just an abortion. Thankfully Ministry got a lot better since then.
Forum Virgin
Mar 28th, 2008, 01:28 PM
Perfectly said ROG. Love this album. My favorite was always "Effigy (I'm Not An)", its a perfect start to an awesome 80s industrial album.
frappez le cochon rouge
Mar 28th, 2008, 03:45 PM

I'm not an effigy, no, no.
skank pronger
Mar 28th, 2008, 05:12 PM
Funny this review should pop up, because I was just listening to this album the other day. In addition to the US release, I also own the European CD version. That version of the album is titled Work for Love, and the songs are in a different sequence. "What He Say" was retitled as "Do the Etawa," which I actually prefer just because of the cheesiness factor. In addition, there's the European vinyl version, which has a different (and even more hilarious) cover.
Forum Virgin
Mar 28th, 2008, 05:39 PM
I remember the 8o's, I was slaying Aesir scum at the time...
Mar 29th, 2008, 08:50 PM
I bet they are ashamed of this album.
Pickled Patriarch
Mar 29th, 2008, 10:32 PM
Originally Posted by Aries View Post
In addition, there's the European vinyl version, which has a different (and even more hilarious) cover.
Aries, do you have a pic of that European vinyl album cover? I'd definitely like to see that!
Forum candy dispenser
Mar 30th, 2008, 10:08 PM
"Everyday is Holloween" is my favorite Ministry song (on the 12 inch singles CD). Then I go for "Stigmata", "Jesus built my Hot Rod", and "Burning Inside." Check out the youtube "commericials" for their last album.
skank pronger
Mar 31st, 2008, 05:32 PM
Sorry it's so small, but it's all I could find. I have no scanner, unfortunately.

Pickled Patriarch
Mar 31st, 2008, 06:58 PM
Haha you were right, that cover is even better. Thanks for sharing!