Since there seems to be no fucking decent definition of Ministry that is clear and unbiased in just its description ([seriously guys]?) I'm going to add one.
Ministry was an influential [post-industrial] band, formed in 1981 as a synthpop group, releasing a record titled "With Sympathy" that was received mostly well. In the mid 80's, the group transitioned. [Synthpop] to [EBM]. They released an album called "Twitch", which again was well received. Then came their most experimental and lauded work: "The Land of Rape and Honey", which paved the way for Ministry to be a prolific post-industrial band. Before recording this, [Al Jourgensen] dropped his faux British accent. The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste is often considered to be a fantastic example of an Industrial Metal style Ministry. However, this was short lived: in the early 90's after a falling out with some kid named [Trent Reznor] (who I'm only bringing up because you guys can't seem not to) who Al had befriended and worked with, Ministry released an album that begun to alienate the audience, called "Psalm 69". Its style was different, bearing a Thrash Metal tinge with Industrial Metal framework. It was in this same year, 1992, that Nine Inch Nails' "Broken" released. Regardless of your feelings about either work, they were not only the records to bring Industrial Metal/Rock into the spotlight, but they opened doors, and a lot of you fuckers probably wouldn't know about any of this music before this point.
People have their opinions, but commercially and critically the consensus is that said kid bested Al at his own game, eventually dethroning Al for a short time as the poster boy for [Industrial Metal]/Rock, until Trent and his band moved in a different direction.
At the same time, Ministry did as well. The record "Filth Pig" effectively split the fanbase in half, and it was at this point that the Ministry that established all its greatness was gone. From that point on, any elements related to Industrial music were expunged from the records Ministry released, and they became largely a [Thrash Metal] band - though would release older, previously unreleased material from the golden ages from time to time.
Explaining Ministry is one thing, sharing an opinion is another. I'm going to acknowledge mine as subjective: the work out out for a long time has been horrible. "Relapse" is probably the worst since the turn of the century and the remaking of older songs is cringe inducing. People may not feel the same way but it is generally regarded, even if someone considers post-80's Ministry to be good, that the band's quality of music had dropped drastically. Brilliant stuff was made in the 80's, though. It's such a significant body of work to so many modern groups of post-industrial music, and even if old uncle Al's gone crazy, a permanent mark of that will not soon be forgotten.
Ministry in the 80's - their greatest hits.
Ministry in the 00's - their greatest shits.