New England musicians band together for Ministry’s debut album

'Effigies: A Tribute To Ministry's 'With Sympathy' gives props and attention to an album hated by its own creator, Al Jourgensen


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Here an early Christmas present for Ministry fans. But it’s also one that Al Jourgensen will likely be a scrooge about.

Eleven New England-based bands and artists have come together to record a full-album tribute to Ministry’s 1983 debut album With Sympathy. That record, which was recorded the year prior at the Synchro Sound studio in Boston, is beloved by synth-pop fans but notably hated by Jourgensen. This compilation, Effigies: A Tribute To Ministry’s ‘With Sympathy’, which you can stream and buy below, was curated by Lilz Martin (Boston DJ Sawtooth), and proceeds benefitting Education Through Music.

Among the contributors here include Vanyaland faves Big Time Kill covering the opening track “Effigy”, as well as efforts from MOЯIS BLAK (“I Wanted To Tell Her”), Downcity Armory (“Work For Love”), Christopher G. Brown (“Say You’re Sorry”), and more, including Sawtooth’s version of “What He Say”).

And Martin is well aware of Jourgensen’s feelings on the record. She describes Ministry as “a band which would expand and grow into one of the great innovators of industrial music, and an acclaimed and celebrated metal act in it’s own rite. The debut album however… was markedly different from the fuzzy, distorted industrial music Ministry would become known for, instead possessing a pristine, synth-pop sound.”

Martine continues, on the Bandcamp page: “As late as 2016, Jourgensen has disavowed the album, stating: ‘I had nothing to do with that record except my face is on it and my voice is on it. They wrote the lyrics, made me cut my fucking hair, bought me a wardrobe, assigned me management. I was literally a product of the old-school star-making machine. It was revolting, disgusting and it traumatized me for years.’ Which is a shame, because we actually like it quite a bit.”

Effigies: A Tribute To Ministry’s ‘With Sympathy’ is distributed by graphic design imprint Combustible Designs, and the comp ranges across a variety of styles and interpretations. There’s a pair of bonus tracks for those who download or buy the LP in full.

Even if you’re Al Jourgensen.