He’s back, the one and only Mr Marilyn Manson has a new album on the horizon. With Pale Emperor’s release almost 3 years ago, it’s definitely time for one of America’s most influential and certainly most controversial artists of the past 20 years to release an album when the world has become well a little upside down to say the very least.
Mr Manson has been in this wonderful world of music for a long time now; he wasn’t just a blip on the radar that most right wing and hardcore religious zealots wanted.
Forming almost 3 decades ago as Marilyn Manson & The Spooky Kids, it was however in the late 90’s that Manson really became the poster child of hate and controversy. Adhering himself to the youth of America and further afield, much to the dismay of parents.
Yet in recent years, his notoriety has fallen by the way side, the right wing and media outlets that lambasted Manson have just moved onto the next thing that upsets the supposed status quo, so in 2017 is Manson still as relevant?
Simple answer is no, not in terms of pop culture, however we are not so fickle you and I, those of us that stay true to artists or genres and do not just jump ship when they aren’t flavour of the month.
So is `Heaven Upside Down` Manson’s return to bite back and return to the helm of parents most hated individual?
Let’s go through some of the tracks, so track 1 `Revelation #12’, feels a little strange. Quite honestly, it feels like a much extended song opening and doesn’t really feel that it goes anywhere. It’s a track that builds brilliantly but just feels anticlimactic when it reaches its high point on the choruses. However, it’s overall an interesting beginning; let’s see where it goes to next.
Track 2 is `Tattooed In Reverse` or as I will call it `The Stripper Song`. It has that industrial electronic vibe that Manson can do just as well as adding in a tonne of metal. The song has a slow and driving beat that’s wholly seductive that quite honestly will be perfect for the dark, gothic inspired strip club.
Track 3 `We Know Where You Fucking Live`, ok now this is where we hear what we want and that’s full on fuck you attitude, more what can class as classic Manson. Opening with an eerie charisma, which launches into a full blown roar in your face chorus shouting `We Know Where You Fucking Live`. This is the track that really kicks the album off and takes what was a little bit of a let down from the first track and tosses it aside.
Track 4 `Say10’, has perhaps the best choruses and brings in that full on Manson fuck you, I say what I want attitude, `You say God, I say Satan`. Although, his shall we say pop-culture standing has somewhat diminished, he doesn’t give a shit on that and will still shout from the rooftop whatever he fucking wants, whether you like it or not.
A nice touch is track 10, `Threats of Romance` opens up with what can only be described as an industrial steroid version of the famous `Children of the Revolution` by glam rock legend T-Rex. However, the track itself, for the most part is far softer and more melodic, which is a nice treat to hear from such a heavy hitter as Manson.
Overall, `Heaven Upside Down` does throwback towards what I personally fell in love with back in the days of `Mechanical Animal` or `Antichrist Superstar`. It has more of a raw energy and less polished feel, what it lacks in its “Metalness”, Manson takes it through a more of an electronic/industrial vibe to make the album less organic, less human and more machine like vibe, yet his raw voice is really a great counteraction to that machine like atmosphere.
Worth picking up, yes definitely, it’s not quite to that level of how Manson achieved his true notoriety, yet he creates what he wants and whether you like it or not, he does what he wants and for that admiration is always due.
8/10- Manson bringing the noise, not quite Metal but more Industrial, this is 100% Manson through and through.
Stand out tracks:
`We Know Where You Fucking Live`, `Say10` and `Threats of Romance`.
1. Revelation #12
2. Tattooed In Reverse
3. We Know Where You Fucking Live
7. JE$U$ CRI$I$
8. Blood Honey
9. Heaven Upside Down
10. Threats of Romance
Marilyn Manson online: