All hail the Pale Emperor! What can I say about Marilyn Manson that all those who’ve listened to his music don’t already know?
A long time ago, when I was a wee lad and wet behind the metal ears, I had an intense disdain for the man. My reasons were the same as every other ignorant fool who’d justified their prejudice based on something as fickle as looks. This lasted until one day, when I was lost in a sea of melancholy, I found myself forced to listen to his music by a great man and good friend who saw the pain in me. He knew exactly what medicine to prescribe.
After weeks of incessant bitching he simply grabbed me, shook me by the shoulders and proclaimed that I “SHUT THE FUCK UP AND LISTEN!” before putting on a song entitled; “Long Hard Road Out Of Hell”. What followed was nothing short of an epiphany. My feelings, my resentment towards life and all things beautiful, had been addressed in those four minutes of outright profanity!
“Fuck Me!” I thought to myself as I listened to this gothic titan’s syrupy voice. It soothed all that was aching inside in one fell swoop with his keen insight into my broken soul. This man was, is, and always will be one of my absolute heroes. His honesty is enough to cut to the core of even the most jaded.
So it’s with great delight that I, the humble court jester, declare my undying loyalty to the God of Fuck, The Antichrist Superstar and most recently anointed The Pale Emperor . And after 21 years of blowing minds he’s struck gold yet again with his new album.
He’s come a long way since his humble beginnings at Nothing Records under the care of Trent Reznor, but has clearly come into his own. He is now, without a doubt, one of the most creative song writers of the 21st Century. Upon listening to the first track I was both pleasantly surprised and shocked. Sans angst, but laden with soulful bluesesque baritones he tackles lyrical content that is all too familiar yet packaged and styled in something that is entirely new!
His 9th studio album sees him bringing in Gil Sharon, formerly of “The Dillinger Escape Plan” and Tyler Bates, who Manson met during his stint on Californication, on Guitar, Violin and Bass Guitar. This makes The Pale Emperor clearly something vastly different from his other records.
The bad news for industrial junkies is that this is the first album since 2008 not to feature the stylings of the much loved, Twiggy . It’s therefore not the thundering aeroplane-hanger, murder music that we’ve come to know and love but something far more somber, heart-felt and manic. Yet also intensely more driven and deeply personal.
He throws out climaxes with haunting synths and keyboards in all the right places and leaves you begging for more. This is gothic art at its absolute finest. Best enjoyed with an open mind and poison in hand so that you can let loose the cobwebs of your soul whilst jamming to anthems like “Killing Strangers” and grinning from ear to ear. This album is full of surprises and instant classics.
If you don’t want to take my word for it take a look at this video for Deep Six!
Veteran freelance journalist & student of Gonzo who's every word can only pay homage. "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."- Dr. Hunter S. Thompson