Marilyn Manson – Heaven Upside Down (Caroline International)
Genre – Industrial Rock
For three decades Marilyn Manson has painted himself as society’s antihero, the self-proclaimed God of F**K. His career has been a flurry of experiments, intertwined with controversy and acting cameos, but his outlandish vision has never been compromised.
As a solo vocalist, Manson has released nine albums of varying success, with 1996’s Antichrist Superstar widely regarded as his finest piece of work to date. From the opening riff of Revelation #12, it’s clear that Heaven Upside Down is built around the same template as the Trent Reznor produced iconic album.
Following the success of 2015’s The Pale Emperor, Manson has continued his partnership with Tyler Bates, which is arguably the best thing that has happened to his since he and Reznor went their separate ways.
Bates’ ability to create an emotive connection between audience and music has allowed Marilyn Manson to do what he does best, while also having a creative influence to rein him in when needed. It also allows him to push the boat out and try something new when it’s right. Tattooed in Reverse sees Manson experiment with rap and it works. It’s dark, dirty and industrious in the best possible way.
Vocally, there’s no arguing with Manson’s talent. His voice has allowed him to bring a sinister nature to a song and tell a story, and album number ten is no different. SAY10 portrays this in the best possible way. From the opening whispers to creepy, croaky blurts to the big powerful mid track screams, Manson’s vocals effortlessly dictate the tempo of his backing band. This brilliant track contains traces of The Beautiful People, and is so fantastically Manson, it must go down as one of the stand out tracks of this brilliant album.
Saturnalia continues in the same vein, with the drum beat dictating the direction of the track, and big, heavy industrial guitar riffs pushing their way to the surface at the chorus. Lyrically, this track contains all the eccentricities that the former music journalist is known for, and ‘smile like a rifle’ must certainly be up there with his most wonderfully weird.
Marilyn Manson’s shock factor has worn off over the last twenty years, but Heaven Upside Down shows that his creativity has not dwindled. His partnership with Bates has made him a force to be reckoned with once again, and at just 48 years old there is still much, much more to come from him.
RUSHONROCK RATED – 9/10 A thunderous return.