Musician, actor, novelist, model, complete cultural icon; there aren’t many things you can’t call Marilyn Manson. His output since the mid-’90s has helped to define a generation by feeding the mainstream some of the darkest and most dangerous music that’s ever been able to infiltrate it.
For all his consistency in desolate atmospherics, Manson has never been afraid to take reference points from other genres; industrial (‘Antichrist Superstar’), glam rock (‘Mechanical Animals’), and blues (‘The Pale Emperor’) – although on new album ‘Heaven Upside Down’, his second album with close collaborator Tyler Bates, the self-styled God Of Fuck fuses all three to devastating effect.
Opener ‘Revelation #12’ is the perfect introduction, merging the blood-curdling screams of ‘Antichrist Superstar’ with the rock ‘n’ roll stomp of ‘Mechanical Animals’. Manson doesn’t completely rest on his laurels here though, experimenting with trap-esque percussion on the soaring ‘SAY10’, and almost ambient soundscapes on ‘Saturnalia’ – proving that while he’s aware of the importance of his discography, there’s more than enough life in his work to shock, provoke thought, and inspire for another two decades.
Words: Phil Grant
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