Album Review: Marilyn Manson ‘The Pale Emperor’

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On January 20th 2014, Marilyn Manson released his much anticipated and highly speculated album, “The Pale Emperor,” on his own label, Hell, etc. (under Cooking Vinyl). From the opening stomp of the bass and drums, all fears are squashed. That being said, some still fear that our “Antichrist Superstar, or “God of Fuck” has lost his edge. To those claims, I call bullshit.

While he may have traded in the thongs and ripped hose for pants and a jacket, that is merely dismissing the shock for substance. This record has a raw edginess to it. While it may not be as heavy as previous efforts, it is hard as fuck. The bass is dirty and the drums have an ominous presence, while the guitar flows from dirty and grinding, to twangy and melancholy, melting into an aural eardrum fucking that leaves you in anticipation of the next track. While tracks like “The Mephistopheles Of Los Angeles” (one of my favorite tracks), “Warship My Wreck” and “Odds Of Even” may come off as mellow, I challenge you to not argue that they are still hard as hell. Tracks like “Deep Six,” “Slave Only Dreams To Be King” and “The Devil Beneath My Feet” (another one of my favorites) are reminiscent of an earlier Manson that give a glimmer that he can still deliver tracks that reflect the shimmer from earlier in his career. While on “Birds Of Hell Awaiting,” Manson digs down deep and pulls out his inner Jim Morrison and gives a driving blues groove that both musically and lyrically hold up against any track by The Doors that I’ve ever heard.

One thing I have always liked, or even appreciated, about his albums, are the lyrics. They challenge your beliefs and make you think. This album is no different. On this record, Mr. Manson proves that lyrically, he can still deliver. Sometimes you must read between the lines, or even, god forbid, do some research to grasp what he is saying. Not everything can be taken at face value. Because of him, at 16 years old, I was reading Dante and Nietzsche. He forces you to open your mind and actually use it while giving you some killer tunes in the process. Take the album title for instance. Look it up and then tell me Manson isn’t the same as he used to be.

My advice to you is to head out to the store and pick up a physical copy. Get yourself the deluxe version. Not only do you get three bonus tracks that are pretty great, but this disc is pretty cool. It’s a black polycarbonate. Also, I put the disc in to play it and it’s black. I take the disc out when finished, and it’s white. Nifty!

http://www.marilynmanson.com/

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Track Listing:

1. “Killing Strangers”

2. “Deep Six”

3. “Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge”

4. “The Mephistopheles Of Los Angeles”

5. “Warship My Wreck”

6. “Slave Only Dreams To Be King”

7. “The Devil Beneath My Feet”

8. “Birds Of Hell Awaiting”

9. “Cupid Carries A Gun”

10. “Odds Of Even”

Deluxe Edition

11. “Day 3” (Acoustic version of “Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge”)

12. “Fated, Fateful, Fatal” (Acoustic version of “The Mephistopheles Of Los Angeles”)

13. “Fall Of The House Of Death” (Acoustic version of “Odds Of Even”)

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Marilyn Manson – Deep Six

02 Deep Six

Marilyn Manson – Cupid Carries A Gun

09 Cupid Carries A Gun

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