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Ministry

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Chicago, Illinois, United States (1981 – 2008, 2011 – present)

Ministry was formed in Chicago, Illinois, United States in 1981 by Alain Jourgensen (born Oct. 8, 1958, Havana, Cuba), who had previously been in a band called Special Affect (fronted by future My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult leader Frankie Nardiello, aka Groovie Mann).

With drummer Stephen George, Ministry debuted with the Wax Trax! single Cold Life, which — typical of their early output — was in the dance style of new wavers like the Human League and Thompson Twins. The album With Sympathy, on the major label Arista in 1983, followed a similar musical direction — one that Jourgensen was dissatisfied with. He returned to Wax Trax! and recorded several singles while rethinking the band’s style and forming his notorious side project, the Revolting Cocks.

In 1986, with Jourgensen the only official member of Ministry, the Adrian Sherwood-produced Twitch was released by Sire Records. While not as aggressive as the group’s later material, it took definite steps in that direction with a more / sound.

Following a 1987 single with Skinny Puppy’s Kevin Ogilvie (aka Nivek Ogre) as PTP, Jourgensen once again revamped Ministry, with former Blackouts bassist Paul Barker officially joining the lineup to complement Jourgensen’s rediscovery of the guitar. Fellow ex-Blackouts William Rieflin (drums) and Mike Scaccia (guitar), as well as vocalist Chris Connelly, were heavily showcased as collaborators for the first of several times on 1988’s The Land of Rape and Honey. With Jourgensen and Barker credited as Hypo Luxa and Hermes Pan, respectively, this album proved to be Ministry’s stylistic breakthrough, a taut, explosive fusion of heavy metal, industrial dance beats, samples and punk aggression.

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