Release Date: May 1, 2012
Record label: Downtown
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Industrial Metal, Industrial Dance
With their eighth studio album, Born Villain, Marilyn Manson return from the depths of their mid-2000s limbo with almost an hour of the type of evil industrial and glam-infused metal they made their name on in their earliest days. While the band's blazingly controversial public profile died down tremendously since their late-'90s heyday, legions of devoted fans followed them through the next decade's bevy of changes. The departure of founding member Twiggy Ramirez coincided with a few of the band's weakest albums, and even his return to the fold on 2009's The High End of Low couldn't redeem a substandard record from what seemed like a flailing band past its prime.
Some things to know about the eighth Marilyn Manson album: it is the first on his own label, ‘Hell, etc’; trailing it is a short film, directed by Shia LaBeouf, which features weird-looking people getting their hair shorn off, topless acrobats, midgets with no legs being stroked by busty hookers, an old man having a gun put in his mouth by Manson, and Manson reciting lines from Macbeth (“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”); to make the album, he ditched the grandeur of the Hollywood Hills and went back to the squalor of the apartment where he made ‘Antichrist Superstar’, aiming for back-to-basics grit. So far, so return-to-form.
Let’s face it, Marilyn Manson would probably be pretty pretentious if his music wasn’t so gosh-darned populist. He’d probably be really transgressive, too, if using transgressive pop music to piss off mom and pop didn’t seem so awfully old fashioned these days. Indeed, while Manson is clearly very articulate and intelligent, his whole aesthetic has always seemed all too carefully styled for maximum media attention.
When Lana Del Rey was spotted taking an elevator to Marilyn Manson’s hotel room a few weeks ago, it was taken as a sign that the two were engaged in some kind of sordid sexual relationship. For many of us, there was something deeply troubling about the thought of that lanky, sin-and-death-obsessed, croak-voiced and fake-named weirdo corrupting poor Marilyn. If forced to choose the most controversial individual in that photograph of Lana Del Rey, Marilyn Manson, and Barry Manilow, how many of you would pick the harmless goth bloke in the middle? Despite his success at satisfying America’s hunger for an anxiety-inducing hate figure in the years of relative tranquillity bookended by the collapse of Soviet Communism and the attacks of 9/11, Marilyn Manson has always been a deeply conservative character.
All people are liars. Everyone. This may sound harsh, but it’s irrefutable. It’s one of many unpleasant truisms of life that we all know, but never choose to discuss. The most honest person you know has to lie from time to time – situations call for it. And while there are varying degrees to ….