Marilyn Manson was deemed unsavory for much of the mainstream public’s tastes in the mid 1990s, on the basis that he was a projection of nihilistic youth that was up and coming. Marilyn Manson himself actually wanted to create an album that was not simply mass produced Pop music that was the musical equivalent of fast food. Being shocking is nothing new in the music industry, from The Beatles drug references to the anger and energy of Punk. But Marilyn Manson took this to the next level. In effect, the names and depictions of his music are from a dark place. This is likely his best album, let’s see how this sounds and if it has artistic merit.
We kick off with Irresponsible Hate Anthem which begins with a crowd cheering and some strange distorted vocals, before the piece continues on with the cheering. Before long, we go into an amazing sound anthem for the dispossessed. It is a loud anthem that has some intelligent lyrics that are scary, and some really awesome screaming from the Antichrist Superstar. It sounds loud and incredible, this is not mere novelty. You can hear some of the Nine Inch Nails influence through this track, minus the depressing stuff. An excellent musical statement from the star, and very surprising with the changes from quiet/loud and stop/start dynamics. Amazing stuff, and definitely listenable. Gloriously demonic. Some guitar noise finishes this off before going straight into the next song.
Following is The Beautiful People which begins with some nice backwards guitars, before going into a drum led chugging anthem that is very catchy. It sounds really awesome and fresh, there is nothing quite like Marilyn Manson in the music industry. An excellent tune that is gloriously dark and demonic. The chorus is super catchy and well delivered, and the verses are dramatic, with some nicely mixed whispering. This is music for the fans of Nosferatu/Dracula and criminal murder mystery. Obviously an ode to his fans, this is a glorious sounding piece. Nice stuff. Very catchy.
Dried Up, Tied And Dead To The World has an eerie intro with some excellent electronic sounds, before going into a gory piece with electronic drumbeats and some awesome textures. It is a good song, and demands attentive listening. Soon enough, the piece really kicks in with some loud and terrific guitar riffs, before alternating between the quieter and louder sections. This is nicely constructed, and actually sounding like a soundtrack to a horror movie. The midsection has some interesting textures and great quality riffs, before bursting back into the mayhem. “I’ll be your lover, I’ll be your forever!” scream Marilyn Manson. If this is a love song, it is the most messed up love song you can hear. Excellent song though and it demands repeat listens. The outro is freaky.
Tourniquet begins with some ghostly noises that are reversed, before the bass guitar kicks in to signal the band, and again, we are underway. A very dark and demonic listen, it sounds creepy and amazing, particularly when Marilyn Manson screams magnificently. A really devilish and intense listen, it sounds like a good mixture between Alice Cooper and Nine Inch Nails, in an original context of course. Brilliant song, as Marilyn Manson sings about having other people’s hatreds delivered onto him. Much like The Sex Pistols, one cannot take this too seriously. Still, an excellent and groundbreaking piece of craft. Another great song, and very catchy. Interesting listening, and shocking, especially at the time. It ends with a load of feedback and electronic sounds. Weird and wonderful.
Next up is Little Horn which begins with some cool guitar riffs, acknowledging the influence and likes of Black Sabbath. Although a shorter piece, this is just as good as the songs before it. A strangely uplifting piece with some nice palm muted Metal riffing, this is really cool. Continuing the theme of the Antichrist Superstar, Marilyn Manson delivers a great tune once again. The second half builds up to a climatic finish, which is dramatic and out there lyrically. Another excellent song here.
Following is Cryptorchid which begins with some interesting electronic textures, and Marilyn Manson enters with some dark and disturbing lyrics. This is another shorter piece that is wonderfully uplifting and dramatic. There are no loud guitars here, just a lot of really awesome electronic textures and a Mellotron style melody here. The chanted repeated lyrics towards the end are really cool, which repeat to the end.
Deformography begins with some more interesting and intelligent electronic textures, before Marilyn Manson whispers away. Before long, a heavily distorted groove enters and we get going. A lively and loud piece to annoy your parents or family, it goes into a wonderfully screamed chorus that sounds incredibly amazing. The age of the Antichrist Superstar was here and Marilyn Manson was here to stay. Some pretty dark and disturbing lyrics are here, before our star goes into screaming overdrive. The second half has a really awesome guitar riff and groove to it that just sounds cool. More chanting by Marilyn Manson is here, before singing about being a dirty Rockstar. Clever and different, this is a great listening experience. It ends with more whispering of the earlier chanted lyrics, nice.
Wormboy begins with some alternative Metal riffs, before going into a strange listen with many awesome guitar parts in it. This is a good song for those who love Industrial Metal and similar kinds of music, it has an unmistakable groove to it. “When you get to heaven, you will wish you are in hell,” sings Marilyn Manson. This piece may not be single material, but fits the concept and musical setting of this album nicely. Some 8 Bit guitar sounds in the second half along with more background singing in the right channel occur, before launching straight back into the mayhem. Another great listen from this album. It has a freaky outro before finishing up.
Next is Mister Superstar which begins with a lone guitar in the right channel, before some fuzz in the left channel enters and Marilyn Manson whispers over the top seemingly from a fan’s perspective. The lyrics here are pretty dark and dramatic, before launching into a tremendously loud and awesome Metal sounding piece. It is actually quite funny in a way, but enjoyable regardless. This is one of the better pieces from the album, and a signature staple from Marilyn Manson himself. The second half builds up in a concoction of noise, very awesome. Some disturbing lyrics inciting suicide and murder are here, obviously not good for your grandparents or young children. It gets pretty disturbing towards the end in terms of sonic sound and guitar playing. It gets super loud, before finishing abruptly.
Following is Angel With The Scabbed Wings which begins with some loose Metal guitar riffs, before awesome drums enter and this song gets underway. Some excellent sounds are here, before Marilyn Manson sings about a demonic angel, likely himself. The song continues with a brilliant and underrated groove here to match, this is really cool music to hear, particularly if you are anti-religious. Another decent tune with some nicely mixed sonic values about it, the whole thing is hugely satanic. In the second half, it goes back into the first section nicely. One can imagine that people such as the supposed Illuminati would like this sort of music, a good tune nonetheless.
Kinderfeld begins with a drum intro, before bass and electronics get this song underway. This is a slower and sludgy sounding piece, which has more lyrics that sound dark and disturbing. Continuing with the concept of demonic things, it is freaky sounding. Unfortunately, this song is not as good as others on the album, seemingly more an exercise in textures rather than being more like an actual song like the rest of the album is. Still, an interesting listen and if you understand concept albums, not really worth skipping. Some awesome screaming is in the second half of this song, before going back into the subdued groove. The ending is quite dramatic, building up to a close before segueing into the next song.
Antichrist Superstar begins with some ghostly electronic noises which are different. Before long, the song kicks in and we have an absolutely awesome riff led piece that is likely the best song on this album. It is undeniably catchy and unique in its own way. Our Antichrist Superstar sings wonderfully over the top of this piece, before going into some multitracked screaming alternating with singing. A glorious and demonic piece, if you want to have your horror movie instincts tested musically, this is a good starting place. Sounding on top form, Marilyn Manson and co. do a wonderful job here, even if it is seemingly pitched to a limited audience. An almost false ending occurs in the second half, before going back into the crashing piece of music. Top effort, and a very dark listen. Towards the end, the groove repeats with some multitracked freaky vocals repeated in different levels of distortion. Freaky.
Next is 1996 which is when this album was released. It begins with amplifier hum before going into a distorted guitar led piece with some great screaming from Marilyn Manson. This piece is somewhat akin to Thrash Metal, but sounds ridiculously good. A really cool listen from our Antichrist Superstar, it has an uplifting chorus that is very catchy. The verses have some intense screaming in them, showcasing a different sort of music to much of what was out there at the time. There is a freaky breakdown in the second half, before going into an audio assault again. This is really cool, and very loud and noisy. The outro has some random noises, the musical equivalent of a car crash. Awesome.
After that is Minute Of Decay which begins with some weird watery sounds, before a bass guitar and drum beat enter, with some overdubbed guitars. This is really cool, a more subdued listen for those who needed a break from the noise of the previous track. A lyrical reference to deliberately choosing satanic living, it is a very good piece, with some interesting piano parts. Towards the middle, the Antichrist Superstar gets louder vocally, before emerging into a crashing piece that sounds quite disturbing as per usual. This is really warped but awesome listening. Towards the end, we hear a load of screaming from Marilyn Manson, but not overwhelming so. It ends with the piano motif reoccurring.
The Reflecting God begins with Marilyn Manson comparing the world to an ashtray, before another decent groove kicks in. This track is great, being both musically punchy and interesting. This music is a lot like Nine Inch Nails, minus the overly depressing/suicidal elements in the music. Riffs are aplenty here, and on a musical level, this is brilliant. There is a great amount of original sounding screaming here, along with a massive riff in the midsection. The second half is tremendous with cool drum rolls and a warped sound about it. Sounding eerie and anti-religious, Marilyn Manson screams about said concepts. A strange piece that has a crowd cheering sampled, before finishing off a dramatic and energetic song dealing with the concept of the eternal God, with Marilyn Manson screaming for the listener to commit horrible deeds. The piece ends with a sharp melody.
Man That You Fear is a longer piece here. It begins with more freaky melodies, Marilyn Manson singing and some nice piano. You can clearly hear the dark and devilish lyrics here, as the musical backdrop permits it. Definitely unusual for this album, it builds up gradually in volume and textures throughout. This is a very much autobiographical statement from Marilyn Manson. After some time, discordant guitar playing and whispering enter this song. In the middle is some acoustic guitar playing, more demonic lyrics and a great musical sense before going into a freaky second half which is really (if you don’t listen to this sort of music often) scary and dark. The freaky digitized voices return from earlier in the album here, along with a load of loud bass guitar and weird electric guitars here. The outro gradually finishes this piece, with the freaky vocal sampling clearly heard, which is really odd.
The very last piece here is the short Untitled, which continues with the freaky vocal samples and a bunch of random sounds and recorded parts. It is probably not really needed here, but all the same is interesting. Definitely music for those who dig devilish and satanic concepts. Weird and wacky, it ends with the same vocal sample that is at the start of the album, much like in Pink Floyd’s The Wall.
Okay this is an excellent album that was seen as groundbreaking and a classic, which it is. However, some of the lyrical and musical content are not going to be to everybody’s tastes, no matter if you find it shocking or not. Also, it is a little too long and some tracks could have benefitted from some minor editing. Aside from that, this is the Antichrist Superstar Marilyn Manson, and he will be valued for this release.
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