I am not usually a fan of live CD's/DVD's; in the past there has always been some issue to annoy me, usually the sound balance, but I am pretty impressed with Ministry's 'Last Tangle In Paris- Live 2012'.
The release comprises of three discs, two audio and one DVD, marking thirty-three years of Ministry as a band, an impressive achievement.
The main thing that I liked was the fact that the pace was fast and flowing with plenty of music and not too much filler which is often another annoying point with live CD's/DVD's. The sound is also good with just enough crowd sound to know it's live without interfering with the musical side of the release.
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The DVD (Disc 1) opens backstage with Al jokily saying: "I hate this job, when do I get a better job?", but it's clear the minute he hits the stage it couldn't be further from the truth, stamping around and owning the stage in his top hat and battle kilt.
Opening with 'Ghouldiggers' and moving into Doors cover 'Roadhouse Blues', he may be older and more gnarly - certainly he's twice as crazy - but most importantly he can still cut it in a live environment.
The Reverend Al has been in the business long enough to know what works and how to work the stage and the crowd. The live show footage is cut with scenes from rehearsal sessions and discussion sessions including reflecting on the death of Mike Scaccia but not so much as to be annoying or disjointed, in fact it helps to create a bigger picture.
The highlight of the performance for me was 'Lies, Lies, Lies!' a favourite of mine from the 2006 album 'Rio Grande Blood'.
Spanning almost an hour and a half of footage, the reactions and obvious enjoyment of the assembled crowd is the real testament as to how good this is. The full set-list for the DVD is 'Ghouldiggers', 'No "W"', 'Senor Peligro', 'Lies, Lies, Lies', ' 99%ers', 'Life Is Good', 'Relapse', 'The Last Sucker', 'Psalm 69', 'New World Order', 'Just One Fix' and ending on 'Thieves' as a tribute to Mike Scaccia the credits roll to 'Mikie's Middle Finger'.
The live audio footage is split between two audio discs, the first (Disc 2) is nine tracks from their newer albums, opening with 'Ghouldiggers' from 2012s 'Relapse' as well as the title track from that release.
I was particularly pleased that it features quite a few from 2006s 'Rio Grande Blood', my favourite of their releases; including the title track, the politically charged 'Senor Peligro',' the superb 'Lies, Lies , Lies' also a couple more from 2012s 'Relapse', '99%ers' and the title track of that release.
The second audio disc (Disc 3) has a couple more tracks from 'Rio Grande Blood', 'Khyber Pass' and 'Fear Is Big Business' but is predominantly earlier material; 'Psalm 69', N.W.O. and 'Just One Fix' from 1992s 'KEΦAΛΞƟ' and 'Thieves' and 'So What' from 1989s 'The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste'.
Both discs also contain a couple of tracks from 2007s 'The Last Sucker', the title track on disc one and 'Watch Yourself' and 'Let's Go' on the second.
Whether you are a long-time Ministry fan or like me, just have a keen fascination with the band and their catchy mix of industrial Metal, this is a great insight into the musical history of a legend and his band. I have not yet managed to see them live and this helps to plug that gap.