Houses of the Molé

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Houses of the Molé
Studio album by Ministry
Released June 21, 2004 (2004-06-21)
Recorded 2003–04 at Sonic Ranch, El Paso, Texas
Genre Industrial metal, thrash metal
Length 55:00
Label Sanctuary/BMG
Producer Al Jourgensen
Ministry chronology
Houses of the Molé
Early Trax
(2004)Early Trax2004
Singles from Houses of the Molé
  1. "No W"
    Released: 2004

Houses of the Molé is the ninth studio album by industrial metal band Ministry. The album was released on June 21, 2004, internationally, and a day later in the United States, through Sanctuary Records.

It is noteworthy for being the first Ministry LP not to feature bassist and longtime collaborator Paul Barker since Twitch in 1986. It is also the first album to use Ministry's new logo, as well as their first with 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, with George W. Bush being president at the time of its release. 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 the Houses of the Holy album, released by Led Zeppelin in 1973. 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 for not being credited in the songs he had worked on. As a result, 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 and so far only Ministry studio album to not chart on the Billboard 200. Due to slow sales, the band left Sanctuary.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 75/100[4]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[5]
The Austin Chronicle 3.5/5 stars[6]
Billboard favourable[7]
Playlouder 4/5 stars[8]
Q 2/5 stars[4]
Rock Hard 10/10[9]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[10]

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.[11]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "No W" Al Jourgensen 3:24
2. "Waiting" Jourgensen, Mike Scaccia, Max Brody 5:02
3. "Worthless" Jourgensen, Scaccia, Brody 4:09
4. "Wrong" Jourgensen, Scaccia, Brody, John Monte 4:54
5. "Warp City" Jourgensen, Scaccia, Brody, Monte 4:01
6. "WTV" Jourgensen, Scaccia, Brody 4:35
7. "World" Jourgensen 5:13
8. "WKYJ" Jourgensen, Scaccia, Brody 5:14
9. "Worm" Jourgensen, Scaccia, Brody 9:11
10. "Psalm 23" (hidden track) Jourgensen 4:41
11. "Walrus" (hidden track) Jourgensen 2:43
Total length: 55:00

"Psalm 23" is track 23, while "Walrus" is track 69.

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".[12]

"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[edit]

  • 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[edit]

Chart (2004) Peak
French Albums Chart[13] 162
UK Albums Chart[14] 135


  1. ^ Acharya, Kiran. "Revolting Lots: Al Jourgensen's Favourite Ministry Albums". The Quietus. Retrieved 5 October 2016. 
  2. ^ Jourgensen, Al; Wiederhorn, Jon (2013). Ministry: The Lost Gospels. Da Capo Press. p. 501. 
  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. ^ "Houses of the Molé". Billboard. July 24, 2004. Archived from the original on 2004-08-08. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  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 2012-11-10. 
  11. ^ [...], 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. 
  12. ^ "The Dogs Space Blog". Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "French chart positions" (in French). 
  14. ^ "Chart Log UK: M - My Vitriol". Zobbel. 

External links[edit]