Monday, 22 August 2016

Live Review: Ministry/Devildriver

The Tramshed, of the Welsh capitals newest live music venues having only opened late in 2015, but where it lacks in credentials in terms of putting on shows, it already has a rich history. A protected Grade II listed building, dated as far back as 1902, this beautifully rustic brick-building from the industrial age, is the perfect location for one of music's most iconic industrial bands, and it just so happens that tonight, they steamroll their way into town to kick off their 5-date UK tour. Yes we're talking about MINISTRY...formed in 1981 by the infamous and sole surviving original member Al Jourgensen, they have been unstable to say the least; break-ups, hiatuses, reformations...but with that instability comes excitement, lets see what happens when Al and friends get their shit together...

We start tonight with one solitary support band which is unusual, but when it's DEVILDRIVER the amount of fucks given is less than none! Fresh from his nostalgic stint with COAL CHAMBER, Dez Fafara returns with a new lease of life, a new found ferocity and a crushing new album by the name of "Trust No One" to promote. Over the past couple of years Devildriver themselves have had a little shuffle in the ranks but they've lost absolutely none of their bite, with new tracks like "Daybreak" and the new title track getting the 1000 capacity venue well and truly oiled up. There's headbanging galore, with Dez in fine form tonight, he's soaking people with bottles of water, there's crowd banter, he's joyfully praising the US for their legalisation of marijuana in his home state of California (for medicinal purposes, of course), but it's when talking about back home, that they throw themselves into "Clouds Over California" and the crowd goes nuts. It's not a Devildriver gig without circle pits and tonight Cardiff doesn't disappoint, the majority of the floor engulfed, and really, you couldn't ask for a better support set. Trust no one? Trust Devildriver! [7]

After a brief pause for everyone to get their breath back or even pick themselves up off the floor, it's time for Ministry to hit the stage...and the Tramshed sounds like a freight train just rammed through it! Opening up with a triple-threat from latest album "From Beer To Eternity", tracks like "Punch In The Face" and "PermaWar" are like shiny, cold, reflective examples of how industrial metal should not only sound, but feel. The back drop on stage tonight has been turned into a projector screen and for the duration, it flashes images of propaganda, political controversy and corruption and it's classic Ministry through and through. Proven all the more by the inclusion of "Rio Grande Blood", a scathing outlook on the Presidency of George. W. Bush, and older hits such as "N.W.O." plus fan favourite "Psalm 69" during the encore that get the Cardiff crowd pumping like pistons, powering through tonight's set. It's not very often Ministry come to the UK...and even this time let's face it, they're only playing five dates, but it's because of this that, seeing them here makes it all the more rewarding. Granted industrial isn't everyone's thing, but tonight's sold-out crowd couldn't care less, this machine keeps on going and for as long and as miraculously there's life in Al Jourgensen, it will keep on going. From beer to eternity, I'll raise a glass to that! [8]

Photo credit: Georgia Laurie Brittian contact:

Review by Gavin Griffiths

Fuel Rock Club

Fuel Rock Club
Cardiff's Only Dedicated Rock & Metal Bar and Club