Sunday 24 December 2017

Album Review: MARILYN MANSON - Heaven Upside Down

Marilyn Manson - Heaven Upside Down

01. Revelation #12
02. Tattooed In Reverse
03. We Know Where You Fucking Live
04. Say10
05. Kill4me
06. Saturnalia
07. Je$u$ Cri$i$
08. Blood Honey
09. Heaven Upside Down
10. Threats Of Romance

There's no disputing the fact that Marilyn Manson has achieved legendary status in the worlds of Rock, Metal, Goth and Industrial music. The downside is that a huge amount is expected of him. Personally, I think he has a lot of awesome songs in his repertoire, but quite a lot of dross too.

This new record is like the bastard offspring of his earlier records, Anti-Christ Superstar and Mechanical Animals. It has plenty of the Industrial rage and heaviness of the former, and a good dose of the Pop sensibilities and sexy grooves of the latter.

To quote Spinal Tap, "There's such a fine line between stupid and clever". I feel Marilyn Manson hopscotches over this line quite a lot. Having seen numerous interviews with him, he's clearly a very educated man with a sharp mind, and a deep social and political understanding. Some of his lyrics reflect this intelligence, and are also wonderful pieces of art and poetry. However, on some tracks, his lyrics and performance make him sound like an angry 14-year-old trying to be edgy. For example, hearing a middle-aged man screaming "When you say God, I say Say10" is a little cringey, especially when the line is delivered with such passion and devoid of any sense of irony. I'm sure kids who spend all of their parents money in Hot Topic think it's the best thing ever, so who am I to judge? In fairness, I think the song is otherwise awesome.

There are some truly killer songs on here, such as Kill4me, which is one of the best songs he's ever released, with its sleazy blues licks and depraved tone. Saturnalia has a riff reminiscent of the Bauhaus classic Bela Lugosi's Dead, and develops into something more Industrial and melodic, without losing that distinctive Classic Goth influence. We Know Where You Fucking Live is a much more aggressive beast, where melody has been gladly traded for blood-thirsty rage. 

Another gem is the title track, which has more of a straight forward Hard Rock sound, but dragged through the Marilyn Manson style machine, giving familiar sounding riffs that bit of magic to make them sound fresh and engaging.

Overall, Heaven Upside Down is a shining jewel in Marilyn Manson's catalogue, drawing inspiration from his best moments and mixing them with plenty of new ideas. It's certainly proved that he's still a major player with plenty to offer.


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