Review Summary: This was really long and hard to do because this album I think must be seen as a whole, and I tried to be brief but this is a really complex album and it would take someone years to understand it completely. Whether you like what this band is doing now or2 of 4 thought this review was well written
ARTIST: Marilyn Manson
RELEASE DATE: October 8, 1996
Marilyn manson: voices, guitar, pan flute
Twiggy Ramirez: lead and rhythm guitars, acoustic guitar, bass.
M. W. Gacy: all keyboards, loops
Ginger Fish: live drums, programming
Zim Zum: live guitarist
Produced by Trent Reznor, Marilyn Manson and Dave Ogilvie.
About the album:
This was Marilyn Manson’s second Album after the EP smells like children and it marked the breakthrough of the band into mainstream success, but despite the commercialization of the band afterwards this is an album that was made to be one of those classic albums and not a one hit wonder success.
Hate them or love them these guys have created one of the most important records of the decade, making a huge remarkable statement of their political and religious views. Recorded in New Orleans in a context of eight months of decadence, drug abuse, and self-destructing hedonism, where the band was about to break up in several times, described by the leader of the band Mr. Manson himself as a painful but necessary process of giving birth. They also lost one of the founding members Daisy Berkowitz who had just a small participation in the writing process; the whole concept of the album is so complex that it would take a whole thread just to try to develop it. It is divided into three stages of evolution of a worm into a superhuman being ready to take over the world and destroy everything before inflicting himself into that destruction too:
CYCLE I. the hierophant.
CYCLE II. Inauguration of the worm.
CYCLE III. The disintegrator rising
Apocalyptic visions that swing between power and vulnerability, and symbols from numerology, the bible, the necronomicon, the Nietzsche philosophy and a variety of sources are used by the band to explain the metamorphosis of a misfit into this all mighty rock star, the incarnation of evil, the antichrist himself.
The Hebrew symbols in the back cover, are the equivalent to the letters L, V, Y, S, N in reference to leviathan one of the creatures in the biblical relates. Also the roman numbers are references to Tarot in order to express the message that this angel with the scabbed wings was sent to deliver, the destruction of the whole idea of god by replacing it with the feeling of power upon ourselves. I wanted to write a little about the album concept just to make clear that this is not only another rock record with satanic references and theatrical
Dark posses, this is a masterpiece written by an amazingly clever artist, now let’s get to the most important stuff, the music:
1. Irresponsible Hate Anthem
2. The Beautiful People
3. Dried Up, Tied and Dead to the World
5. Little Horn
9. Mister Superstar
10. Angel With the Scabbed Wings
12. Antichrist Superstar
14. Minute of Decay
15. The Reflecting God
16. Man That You Fear
1. IRRESPONSIBLE HATE ANTHEM. “When you are suffering, know that I have betrayed you”
A great way of opening the album, this track was recorded live and it’s a preview of the overwhelming power of the record “I hate the hater, I’d rape the raper” is where the worm makes his first statement, and begins to lead himself into the transformation. This is the beginning and the end of the metamorphosis, if you hear the track 99 and then immediately this one you’ll see it all comes around in full circle. The chorus just makes you want to bang your head until it falls off. An awesomely angry song.
2. THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE. This one was the reason of the commercial success of the album, the drums played by ginger fish just stick in your head and the chorus is really catchy, the lyrics are about the rejection of belonging to some elite. Personally I don’t like this song that much.
3. DRIED UP, TIED AND DEAD TO THE WORLD. The transformation of the worm goes on its way while he sings “I’ll be your lover, I’ll be forever, I’ll be tomorrow I am anything when I am high”. Manson plays guitar in this one and the last chorus it’s really powerful, his screaming reaches one of the major levels in the album.
4. TOURNIQUET. This is one of my favorites, the mood of the song swings between hatred and complete vulnerability, lyrically it’s about a dream of Manson having some twisted love with a woman made up from his hair and teeth, the video directed by Floria Sigismondi explains it better, awesome song, awesome video, awesome lyrics. This is one of the few songs where Berkowitz had a chance to play guitar and you can tell that for the weird parts in the chorus.
5. LITTLE HORN. Reznor actually co-wrote this song, the chorus has a great rammstein-ish riff, excellent for some head banging. It’s a very simple song but it knocks you out right from the beginning. But considering the whole context it’s nothing too special.
6. CRYPTORCHID. This song it’s very symbolic about the worm changing its shape, renouncing to everything in order to fulfill his mission. This song it’s almost completely electronic, with an excellent work from M.W. Gacy, all the layers and loops create a very dark and creepy ambience, which fits perfectly with the lyrics, the electronic voocoder voices at the end just make the song even scarier. There’s a video for this song that I think was only available on the video collections, it’s just Manson pulling his guts out of his stomach.
7. DEFORMOGRAPHY. Reznor is playing guitar in this song too. “I will bury your god in my warm spit, you’ll be deformed in your ****”, this is the disintegrator fighting the worm (a.k.a. B. Warner), the rock star taking over his body to become the dirty antichrist who will take over the world. This song begins with electronics but as it goes right to the climax it builds until the chorus explodes with a great screaming from Manson and high pitched guitars that create great tension. At first I didn’t find this song so great but it grew on me amazingly.
8. WORMBOY. This song happens to be really weird, lyrically and musically, the guitar work has the mark of Berkowitz and it’s actually very good recalls me of the days of POAAF with all those “mini-solos” and weird stuff, but I think there’s something missing maybe in the lyrics or the song structure so i think this is one of the weak points on the album.
9. MR. SUPERSTAR. This I think it’s the most industrial influenced song, the lyrics are about idolatry and worshipping to the extreme of desiring the death of our idols for entertaining, the vocals are great and it has some acoustic guitar played by Berkowitz and lead guitar by Reznor, the chorus is one of the heaviest parts on the album and it rocks.
10. ANGEL WITH THE SCABBED WINGS. Danny Lohner actually plays guitar on this one. This is when the transformation of the worm comes to its highest point, the intro is really great and this song is amazing live, the screams in the chorus are great and when the keyboards emerge and everything comes together you can hear that the angel has arrived and he made one hell of a song. It even has some church-type chants in the background that make the song even better.
11. KINDERFELD. This song was originally going to be called smells like children and it is about losing your innocence, the lyrics talk about the memories of Manson’s grandpa masturbating to **** magazines while he turned his train sets to cover his noises, and the impact that it left in his mind and how that contributed to his perverted vision of the world. The bass line sounds completely Twiggy-ish and you can tell that by listening to his actual work with APC. The song goes on while Gacy manages to build a disturbing ambience full of strange noises, also there’s a weird part when Manson plays flute. A great song with great lyrics but is not for everybody it might take a long time until it grows on you completely.
12. ANTICRIST SVPESTAR. This is when it all comes together lyrically, the antichrist announces his arrival to the world, and exhorts everyone to renounce to god before it is too late, “prick your finger, it is done, the moon has now eclipsed the son, the angel has spread his wings, the time has come for bitter things”. This song is also one of the highest points of the band’s concerts, despite what your beliefs are this song has one of the most powerful choruses I’ve ever heard.
13. 1996. The song could have easily been named I. H. ANTHEM part II; the lyrics are just a statement against hypocritical politics and religion. It’s a good song but not one of my favorites. The guitar solo is very good though.
14. MINUTE OF DECAY. This song has a very particular bass line; it’s one of the few quiet songs in the record, with amazing lyrics, very depressing, I think it’s about the destructor of the world feeling something for a minute, feeling blame and having resignation about his own dead.
15. THE REFLECTING GOD. Having left behind all kinds of feelings the disintegrator is back on his mission to bring dead to the world. “I went to god just to see and I was looking at me, saw heaven and hell were lies, when I’m god everyone dies”. It’s self –explanatory. The world ending it’s as easy as shooting a gun inside your mouth. I think this song was matter of controversy when some man accused the band of causing the suicide of his son. Not a smart accusation. But anyway, this song has an amazing chorus and watching it live is one hell of a treat, the vocals are great again, one of the best songs of the band. The end of the song with the fast drums and weird guitars while he screams FORGIVENESS it’s the perfect way of ending it.
16. MAN THAT YOU FEAR.
And now the perfect way of ending the whole album, this is the quietest song on it. This has a beautiful piano melody courtesy of Reznor; the lyrics are once again awesome. He came up with the phrase “the boy that you loved is the man that you fear”, when he came back to his hometown for a familiar event and felt rejected by his family. The song it’s very depressing and beautiful, and there’s a really good acoustic version in the remix album. This is the final statement of the antichrist with a pessimist vision of the world’s future and his future too. Like if he was going to be sacrificed for his own sins but not for anybody else’s. Really good song.
This track isn’t really a song, just some weird voices talking about burying the messiah, and Manson becoming the antichrist, if you set your stereo to play track 1 right after this one you’ll see that it begins where this one ends, other than that I don’t think this is much relevant, besides adding more to the controversy that keeps the hype feeding the record sales. Pretty clever though.
GENERAL RATING 4.7/5 I didn’t consider all the tracks ratings, this is just how I rate it generally.
This was really long and hard to do because this album I think must be seen as a whole, and I tried to be brief but this is a really complex album and it would take someone years to understand it completely. Whether you like what this band is doing now or not, the effort of doing something smart and timeless must be recognized, in my opinion there are just a few bands that offer to the world real artistry and intelligent music actually.
I hope this review was helpful for anyone, and I also hope it was correctly spelled and written since this is my first review and this is not my first lenguage. Hehe : )