Marilyn Manson – The Pale Emperor ★★★★★

By: editor

So, Marilyn Manson has shed his band members, some as iconic as the man himself (Twiggy Ramirez anyone? John 5?). Is this as scary as it sounds? Actually, no.

As a HUGE long time Marilyn Manson fan, I was ecstatic when I heard Twiggy was returning for The High End Of Low. But let’s be honest, his reappearance didn’t really have the impact everyone thought it would. In the three albums since The Golden Age Of Grotesque there’s been something lacking in the Manson sound. It’s not that they were bad albums as such, just not the quality we’d come to expect. Some very good songs and a lot of filler. Almost as if the band were just going through the motions and not really feeling what they were doing anymore.

Now Marilyn Manson has returned, with just himself and producer/composer Tyler Bates, a name that hasn’t previously featured in the band’s line up. But you know what, thank fuck for Tyler Bates. Whether Manson has just finally found his groove again, or Master Bates (sorry) has truly reignited the flame, something wonderful has happened. This is the first album since 2003(!) where I can honestly say there is not one track worth skipping. This album has soul. No plodding along, just making music so people don’t forget about him, this is Marilyn Manson doing what Marilyn Manson does.

To fans it should come as no surprise that he’s changed direction yet again, but that’s when he’s at his best. You could argue that the three albums before this one could easily have made one decent release by just cutting out the filler and putting the best tracks together, they were that similar. In his prime, Manson was releasing album after album of new directions, experiments and mind fucks. Finally, he’s back to doing the unexpected.

The Pale Emperor is a toned down, bluesy affair, but with the dark undertones that keep Manson fans coming back for more. There’s subtle moments that take me back to Holy Wood, Mechanical Animals or even Antichrist Superstar. And this is a very good thing, without trying to recreate those albums. In fact, don’t get me wrong, this sounds absolutely nothing like those albums…but the same genius is intact.

I’m so glad that this is the review I’m writing. When I first heard Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge, I was in awe. Then Deep Six was revealed, and although the video was a bit pants, I had hope. This hope was not misplaced, I’m happy to say that this is the Marilyn Manson album I’ve been waiting for.

Hail to the king, baby!



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