Marilyn Manson – The Pale Emperor
The Pale Emperor
Released 20th January 2015
Alternative Rock/ Hard Rock
Released via Cooking Vinyl Records
The legendary American alternative rock artist Marilyn Manson doesn’t need much of an introduction. Whether you love or hate him, you cannot deny that the shock-rocker has left his mark on the alternative scene; be it through his memorable songs such as ‘The Beautiful People’, his stage antics, his art work or his recent acting roles in films and TV shows such as ‘Sons of Anarchy’.
In my case I still remember the day when I sneaked into my older sister’s bedroom and I borrowed (or rather stole) her copies of ‘Portrait of An American Family’ and ‘Antichrist Superstar’. I must have been about fourteen at the time. Over a decade later and ‘Antichrist Superstar’ is still one of my favorites and I occasionally revisit the other albums, everything up to and including ‘Eat Me, Drink Me’. I have to admit that the two subsequent albums ‘The High End of The Low’ and ‘Born Villain’ didn’t leave a lasting impression on me. So when I heard about the latest effort ‘The Pale Emperor’ I decided to give the band another try.
After a slow start, the opening track Killing Strangers draws you in gradually with its blues-rock style guitar riffs that accompany the singer’s melancholic cries of despair. Deep Six however, is an entirely different animal. Not only is it faster and more energetic sounding than its predecessor but it also features a catchy chorus and some good guitar riffs. The Third Day of A Seven Day Binge is one of those tracks that you could picture someone playing in the later stages of a party. You’re not quite ready to go home yet and although you may have had one or two drinks too many, you hear this and you get up to dance or rather sway along to its guitar melodies and the hypnotic vocals.
Yet as with any hardcore drug, there will be a high and a low stage. If Deep Six was the high, then the aptly named Warship My Wreck is the low. Here the sparks of energy have vanished and all it’s left is a wretched and depressing song in which the cries of anguish are perfectly matched with the eerie guitar tunes. Not that Marilyn Manson was ever known for his happy tunes but this song is about as bleak as it gets. Another song which caught my attention is Cupid Carries A Gun, which sounds like a continuation of where the ‘Holy Wood’ album left off.
In summary, although it’s no match for Marilyn Manson’s earlier work, ‘The Pale Emperor’ has succeeded in where the two previous albums have failed. It has some memorable songs that stick in your head. Fans of Manson’s industrial period may not appreciate the new blues rock influence, but if you enjoyed ‘Holy Wood’ and ‘Eat Me, Drink Me’, you won’t be disappointed.