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Houses of the Molé

Houses of the Molé
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 21, 2004 (2004-06-21)
StudioSonic Ranch, El Paso
ProducerAl Jourgensen
Ministry chronology
Houses of the Molé
Early Trax
Singles from Houses of the Molé
  1. "No W"
    Released: 2004

Houses of the Molé is the ninth studio album by American industrial metal band Ministry, released on June 21, 2004 by Sanctuary Records. It is noteworthy for being the first Ministry album not to feature bassist and longtime collaborator Paul Barker since Twitch (1986). It was also the first album to feature Mike Scaccia on guitar since 1996's Filth Pig.


The album is the first part of the band's anti-Bush trilogy, followed by Rio Grande Blood (2006) and The Last Sucker (2007). It was released in the run up to the 2004 American presidential elections, in the last few months of Bush's first term as president. Nearly all songs start with the letter "W" in their title, except for "No W" and the hidden track "Psalm 23". The first track on the album, "No W", features numerous satirical samples of Bush's speeches, particularly samples in which he spoke of his war on terror. Compared to its subsequent follow-ups, the musical style of the album is more thrash metal-oriented.

Jourgensen describes Houses of the Molé as a "rebirth" album as he started Ministry anew without long time collaborator Paul Barker who left after the Animositisomina tour due to a falling-out.[1] In his autobiography, Jourgensen describes that he wrote "Walrus" as a way to "celebrate" Barker's departure. In it, it has the words "Paul is no longer with us" played backwards on repeat.[2]

Jourgensen has stated that the name Houses of the Molé is a tribute to Led Zeppelin's 1973 album Houses of the Holy.[2] Mole itself is a Mexican sauce made from chocolate that is nearly black in color, an image that Jourgensen believes represents crude oil.

Former drummer Rey Washam criticized Houses of the Molé, claiming to have worked on the album which he received no credit for. He called Jourgensen a "liar" and "full of shit," which prompted him to sever ties with him. In addition, he said "Houses of the Molé" was "the worst [album] title in the world."[3]

This was the first Ministry studio album to not chart on the Billboard 200. Due to slow sales, the band left Sanctuary.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[5]
The Austin Chronicle3.5/5 stars[6]
Playlouder4/5 stars[8]
Q2/5 stars[4]
Rock Hard10/10[9]
Rolling Stone2/5 stars[10]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2/5 stars[11]

In 2005, Houses of the Molé was ranked No. 434 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.[12]

Track listing

1."No W"Al Jourgensen3:24
  • Jourgensen
  • Scaccia
  • Brody
5."Warp City"
  • Jourgensen
  • Scaccia
  • Brody
  • Monte
  • Jourgensen
  • Scaccia
  • Brody
  • Jourgensen
  • Scaccia
  • Brody
  • Jourgensen
  • Scaccia
  • Brody
23."Psalm 23" (hidden track)Jourgensen4:41
69."Walrus" (hidden track)Jourgensen2:43
Total length:55:00

Original printings of Houses of the Molé featured "Psalm 23", an alternate version of "No W". Later versions feature a similar version of this song as "No W", and instead feature a 13th (hidden) track titled "Bloodlines".[13]

"Walrus" is track 69. Dark Side of the Spoon, another Ministry album, features a hidden track called "Everybody" which is also track 69.

*Note: Every track on the album starts with or contains the letter W, except for the hidden track "Psalm 23".



Additional personnel

  • Max Brody – programming (2, 6, 7, 9), drums (8), saxophone (9), background vocals (9)
  • Angie Jourgensen – background vocals (5, 9)
  • Odin Myers – background vocals (5)
  • Carl Wayne – background vocals (5)
  • Kol Marshall – B3 organ (8, 9)
  • Turner Vanblarcum – DJ voice (8)
  • Lawton Outlaw – original cover, inside tray art, art direction, design
  • Paul Elledge – photography
  • Rey Washam – drums (uncredited)[3]

Chart positions

Chart (2004) Peak
French Albums Chart[14] 162
UK Albums Chart[15] 135


  1. ^ Acharya, Kiran. "Revolting Lots: Al Jourgensen's Favourite Ministry Albums". The Quietus. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b Jourgensen & Wiederhorn 2013, p. 234.
  3. ^ a b Prindle, Mark. "Rey Washam - 2005". Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Critic Reviews for Houses of the Molé". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-11-10.
  5. ^ Loftus, Johnny. "House of the Molé - Ministry". Allmusic.
  6. ^ Chamy, Michael (2004-09-03). "Ministry: Houses of the Molé". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-11-10.
  7. ^ Paoletta, Michael, ed. (July 24, 2004). "Ministy, Houses of the Molé". Billboard Picks. Billboard. Vol. 116 no. 30. p. 53. Retrieved September 29, 2018 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ Robb, John (2004-06-16). "Houses of the Molé". Playlouder. Archived from the original on 2004-07-12. Retrieved 2012-11-10.
  9. ^ Mühlmann, Wolf-Rüdiger. "Rock Hard review". issue 206. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  10. ^ Hoard, Christian (2004-08-05). "Ministry: Houses Of The Molé : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2007-10-02. Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  11. ^ McLeod, Kembrew (November 2004). "Ministry". In Brackett, Nathan. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 544. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8 – via Google Books.
  12. ^ [...], Rock Hard (Hrsg.). [Red.: Michael Rensen. Mitarb.: Götz Kühnemund] (2005). Best of Rock & Metal die 500 stärksten Scheiben aller Zeiten. Königswinter: Heel. p. 35. ISBN 3-89880-517-4.
  13. ^ "The Dogs Space Blog". Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  14. ^ "French chart positions" (in French).
  15. ^ "Chart Log UK: M - My Vitriol". Zobbel.


External links