Unless you’ve been lost in the furthest, darkest reaches of Narnia since 1992, then I’ll guess you’ve at least heard the names Marilyn and/0r Manson. The Pale Emperor is studio album number nine in a career which has seen its fair share of monumental victories and crushing defeats, more so the latter in recent years.
After taking a much needed break (some of which spent playing a white supremacist in Sons Of Anarchy. He kills it by the way), The Pale Emperor promises to be a much needed return to form, I for one was skeptical.
Straight away, I think it’s safe to say that Twiggy Ramirez is back to his best. There’s something very sleazy about the way he sounds and the opening bass line to ‘Killing Strangers’ sounds like something right out of Mechanical Animals. It’s that feel that the band has severely lacked since his departure in 2004, and it’s back. There’s a sense in the whole album that they’ve taken a much more grass roots approach, and you’ve got to believe that Twiggy had a hand in it. It’s like the last 10 or so years never happened, which I think is fair to say hasn’t been too kind to the god of fuck, and his trusted minstrels.
‘Deep Six’ is Manson’s statement that he’s back, and quite possibly better than ever. What’s even better is it’s like John 5 is back! OK, obviously he is’nt, but it’s like they’ve made a clone of him from various samples of DNA collected through the years and renamed that steaming pile of organic material Tyler Bates. It’s a ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ kind of mentality, a mentality that was somehow lost after losing their mainstays, like Twiggy, like John 5, like Ginger Fish (He was he drummer if you were wondering).
This stripped back, new (or old) sound is Marilyn Manson at their best, I honestly wasn’t expecting them to sound like that was ever going happen again. But I guess stranger things have happened at sea.
The greatest success story though is Manson himself. It’s like with all the shit that’s gone on over the past few years, he came through it with a new found maturity, and it shows in his music. Well perhaps The Devil Beneath My Feet shows otherwise, with it’s use of the words Mother Fucker throughout, I guess you’ve got to have some shock value in there somewhere. That aside though, the song is a proper throwback to when Manson released Holywood, a point I feel when they were at their peak. Back to the man steering this gloom ship, I don’t think I’ve ever heard him be this good, let alone in the last 10 years.I doff my cap to you sir.
Imagine all the best bits from Antichrist Superstar, Mechanical Animals and Holywood, they’re ground down into a smooth paste and injected into a mould that resembles the form of a 6ft 8 cross dressing goth, that has a liking for fine suits. The finished product is exactly what The Pale Emperor is, with a few sprinkles of hate added for good measure. If you liked Manson way back when, then you will be pleasantly surprised by this, to say that they’ve returned to form would be a massive understatement, this very well may be the best Manson album ever produced!
When I was about 15, and dressing like an extra from Coal Chamber was apparently a thing, Marilyn Manson were without a doubt my absolute go to band. Fast forward to the present day, and The Pale Emperor was like taking a step back to a simpler time, but as I’ve matured ,so have they, albeit (arguably) it has taken them a bit longer.
I know we’re only a few days into the new year, but I think I may of already found my album of the year, and by the very least, it’s set a massive measuring stick to try and beat.