Lead Into Gold

Picture of Lead Into Gold

Age of Reason

Lead Into Gold - Age of Reason ©1990 Wax Trax
1. Age of Reason
2. Unreason
3. Snake Oil
4. A Giant on Earth
5. Faster Than Light
6. Lunatic/Genius
7. Sweet Thirteen
8. Fell From Heaven
9. (untitled)
10. 13

At the height of Ministry's productivity (possibly before the drug abuse began to take a heavier toll on the various characters involved with that troupe), no band seemed to spawn more side projects. Mainstays Al Jourgensen and Paul Barker seemed to be involved in efforts far and wide, rivaling even Bill Leeb for most side projects ever. In cases such as Revolting Cocks, the projects ultimately turned out to last years over multiple releases and many tours. Others, such as Pailhead, were amusing one-offs, but still chock full of good music.

And then came Lead Into Gold.

Apparently not content being Jourgensen's wingman, Barker formed Lead Into Gold as his own pet project. In total, a couple singles and one full length were released and frankly, Age of Reason is dull beyond description. While Barker has added unmeasurable skill and input into Ministry and some of the other side bands, he didn't seem to fare so well when the focus was entirely on his songwriting. Oddly, these plodding tracks lack his trademark basslines. But worse, his singing voice is entirely without character. Age of Reason incorporates the least interesting elements of industrial/electronic music of the 80s, except with far less appealing songwriting. The closest Lead Into Gold comes to an interesting song is "Faster Than Light", but it sounds like a 1986 era Ministry reject more than anything.

Paul Barker deserves respect for his many years in the Ministry circus as well as some of the other side bands he played in. Unfortunately, Lead Into Gold is an instantly forgettable record and not one you should rush out to buy in case you're trying to complete your Ministry & Pals record collection.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/2010

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