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Ministry started in Denver at a time when synth-pop was just starting to get off the ground in a meaningful way. But Al Jourgensen wisely moved to Chicago when the Wax Trax label was starting up and more or less creating the influential Chicago electronic and industrial sound that would subsequently prove to have worldwide impact — partly through the efforts of Ministry, which became one of its flagship bands early on. The act's sound changed profoundly when Jourgensen teamed up with former members of experimental Seattle band the Blackouts. Long before Nine Inch Nails, Ministry established industrial rock as a commercially viable form of music through groundbreaking albums such as 1988's The Land of Rape and Honey and the even more mainstream Psalm 69 in 1992. (Stop by backbeatblog.com for a Q&A with Al Jourgensen.)

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.