Ministry-Tapes of Wrath (2000)
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Various|
Luc Van Acker
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
A side-project called The Revolting Cocks (or 'Revco' to the cognoscenti), consisting of Jourgensen, Barker, drummer Rieflin, Chris Connelly, and a few other musicians, has released three rather brilliant albums in parallel to Ministry's output: Big Sexyland (1987), Beer, Steers, and Queers (1990), and Linger Ficken Good (1993). While similar in style to Ministry, Revco has a cleaner sound and a more satirical ethos. Personally speaking, as good as Ministry is, I prefer The Revolting Cocks' brand of sterile, test-tube bred synthrock to the guitar fuzz that typifies latter day Ministry. In fact, there may be only four or five dud tracks on the three Revco albums released so far. It was rather frustrating to see Ministry at the Big Day Out on the Gold Coast and not have them play any Revco songs. *sob*
That disappointment has been addressed somewhat by Warner's compilation of Ministry music videos on DVD, which includes two of the Revolting Cocks best songs, Do Ya Thing I'm Sexy and Crackin' Up. The remaining Ministry tracks almost spans their entire recording history, from the rough-as-guts Over the Shoulder, to three tracks from The Land of Rape and Honey, and the hit singles from their last couple of albums, including my favourite Ministry song (and video clip) Just One Fix, featuring an ancient William S. Burroughs droning "smash the control images...smash the control machine". It was also good to have Crackin' Up, a video I'd never seen before. Note that the Dennis Hopper sample from Blue Velvet in Jesus Built My Hotrod ("Let's hit the f***ing road!") is needlessly censored here as it was for American television.
All in all, The Tapes of Wrath is an essential purchase for any Ministry/Revco fan, since it contains videos that would take you about five years worth of watching the ABC's all-night music programme Rage to see. Now, I hope Warner releases the live Ministry video In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up in the near future.
|1. Over The Shoulder|
4. Burning Inside
5. The Land of Rape and Honey
6. Jesus Built My Hotrod
|8. Just One Fix|
9. Lay Lady Lay
11. Bad Blood
12. Crackin' Up
13. Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?
Sharpness is on par with what you'd expect with a video source. While many details are apparent in each clip, the transfer to DVD has not yielded a bounty of visual nuances compared to PAL broadcast resolution. Of course, the image is better here than on the Very Hazy System copies I have on tape of Just One Fix, New World Order, and Do Ya Think I'm Sexy. With the frequently washed out, low grade, high grain footage used in many of the clips, there was not much difference between VHS and this DVD apart from a reduction in video noise. The amount of shadow detail also depended on the stock.
Colours were strong when they were meant to be. Crackin' Up, with its overlapping psychedelic swirls, and the lurid lighting of Do Ya Thing I'm Sexy, fared well in the leap to DVD. Again, there was little if any obvious advantage over broadcast quality images. Colour bleed was not a problem.
Film and artefacts varied from one clip to another. The oldest track, Over the Shoulder, exhibited a massive amount of grain, with what looked like noise correction thrown in, too. As mentioned earlier, the variety of video and film stock used to make each clip has resulted in a mixed bag, ranging from super glossy to absolutely rank -- often in the same song. Unintentional cross colour artefacts were not apparent, and there were no other flaws or glitches.
In summary, the intended look of the 13 video clips is preserved on this DVD.
The front stereo sound stage is nice and wide, with good fidelity and imaging. Comparing the early tracks to their CD counterparts, I found that the LPCM audio was marginally better in detail and presence. I put this down to the fact that the DVD audio would have been produced with today's technology. Hence, the difference between more recent songs, for example Bad Blood and Lay Lady Lay, was less obvious than with the 1980s material. Indeed, I could not say for sure that there was any difference, given the grungy distortion used on later songs. Crackin' Up sounded excellent, as did Just One Fix. The low frequency ranges pretty much matched the CD -- the subwoofer loved the deep, deliriously slow bass notes in The Land of Rape and Honey. At high volumes all of the songs held together well...I have played this DVD several times all the way through at wall-shaking, roommate-evacuating volumes. This is the best advantage the DVD has over a Very Hazy System equivalent.
Direct Comparison: Just One Fix CDSingle and DVD (CD player: 20-bit Arcam 8). The CD single for this song also contains the 'video edit' remix, which is of course the version on the DVD. I hit PLAY on the CD and DVD player remote controls in synch enough to account for transport lag times. Miraculously I got them playing perfectly in synch, allowing me to swap between the two. The CD was slightly louder at the same amp volume. The decoder master volume was set to its maximum. Imaging was the same. I could spot no significant differences. My one and only sorbothane anti-vibration platform was under the DVD player to compensate for the Metz player's build deficiencies.
Listening to the stereo track in Dolby Pro-Logic on my decoder produced a deeper sound stage, with more a prominent (and artificial) bass sound. I didn't care for it. Porting the 48kHz/16-bit LPCM directly into the amplifier, using lower standard interconnects than those on my CD player, resulted in a softer sound at the same volume level. (The master volume on the decoder is set to the maximum.)
|Surround Channel Use|
This consists of a web-link to Ministry's website at www.darkspoon.com.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
|DVD||Metz DE 71, using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Ergo (81cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital decoder.|
|Amplification||Arcam AV50 5 x 50W amplifier|
|Speakers||Front: ALR/Jordan Entry 5M, Centre: ALR/Jordan 4M, Rear: ALR/Jordan Entry 2M, Subwoofer: B&W ASW-1000 (active)|