Review Summary: This release has to be one of the greatest in Marilyn Manson's career.
At this point in time, we have seen Marilyn Manson undergo two different changes: The first sees them going into a transition from shock rock (Portrait Of An American Family) to a heavier degree in regards to metal (Antichrist Superstar) with which the band had ditched after having Trent Renzor take the spotlight. This second change turned heads upon release and caused some speculation, but nobody was expecting a record like this...
The new album introduces itself as a two-fold concept album which was called Mechanical Animals. It focuses on two main characters which are seemingly similar to that of the 'Wormboy' from Antichrist Superstar, but to a far less violent degree. Firstly, we have a person called 'Alpha'. Having only just recieved his emotions back, he struggles to use them properly and blames this on everyone else, citing them as people with a lack of emotion. He calls this herd of people "Mechanical Animals." The second of the characters is referred to as Omega, an adrogynous organism which has fallen into the star-studded city of Hollywood. He is moulded into a great big rock star and forms a band named Omega And The Mechanical Animals. He uses drugs to relieve himself of the pressures of his fame.
The first of these vinyls target our Alpha songs. These songs have an overarching theme within them, the first of which referrs to how 'numb' this Alpha fellow is the eerie, anti-rainbow anthem "Great Big White World". The second theme highlighted is one of depression, as is highlighted in the acoustic classic "Speed Of Pain" and the final, bone chilling song on the B-track "Coma White". Majority of these songs depict Manson exposing Alpha's sorrows with Twiggy Ramirez and Zim Zum strumming their guitars softly in the background to give an ambient effect (Number two of the B-track has John 5's guitarring skills and the only song on this record to do so.) Props to Ginger Fish as well for giving us that stellar feel that lightly pounds in the background.
The second of these vinyls has Omega and the Mechanical Animals churning out the music their record producers asked them to.(Conceptually speaking) The overruling themes here include that illegal stuff named drugs. We can find it lined within the lead single and song for the A track, "The Dope Show". The second theme present is the constant sex that this individual has. Ironically, this is also the final act of the B-Track, being the slighty-dubstepped "User Friendly" Madonna Wayne Gacy makes his prescence felt here with his high-pitched keyboards having been coupled with the poppy guitar ballads that Ramirez and Zim Zum dish out, being finalised by the head-pounding drumming that is offered by Ginger Fish. Mansons' vocals are a bit raspy here, but it won't hinder the overall listening quality of the record.
While this record is a gem, it has but one flaw with its' vinyl release: there is a repetitive hollow drum in the interludes on the Alpha songs which generally lasts about 10-12 seconds, and it can become rather annoying at times, but again, this does not hinder the overall quality of the record.
All in all, this record is a fun and very conceptual look into the world of fictitious bands and a depressed guy who blames society for being so. I recommend you get this album, but in a CD format rather than in Vinyl, unless of course annoying hollow drums is your thing.