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  MARILYN MANSON
'The Pale Emperor'
(Cooking Vinyl)
Out Now


Johnny Main

johnny main



marilyn manson

'The Pale Emperor' is Marilyn Manson's first album since 2012s 'Born Villan' (which was the first album released via the Cooking Vinyl imprint, as his previous contract with Interscope Records has lapsed) and was greeted warmly by fans and critics alike for his first return to music since 2009.

Now in his mid-forties, you have to ask what's left for the shock rocker to do with his career but if this album is anything to go by, then it's clear that he still has a lot to offer. When he wasn't producing music, Manson has been far from idle as he has found new passions in film/television as well as art and this has had an obvious influence on his musical album. Manson has described 'The Pale Emperor' as being "very cinematic" and, on the whole, the album does achieve this aim.

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It should be pointed out that by "cinematic", he's not talking about creating music for specifically for films, but he's created a more rounded sound that steps away slightly from his Industrial Metal roots and he comes across as a more mature artist who still has something to say and isn't just trying to rehash the same sound over again with each subsequent album.

'Slave Only Dreams To Be King' is probably the most "traditional" sounding Manson track on the album. There's a spoken intro sample before the almost industrial drum beat is bashed out by drummer Gil Sharone, whilst the guitar track from Tyler Bates is quite inconsistent, leaving the drums and Manson's voice to effectively carry the song. It's a very basic track sound wise but lyrically, Manson retains the his aggressive vocal style. Certainly a song to get the crowd clapping along during a live show, but it's not exactly a stand out track for me.

For me, the first single released form the album 'Deep Six' is a much better track – and on hearing it, you can see why they chose it as the lead single. It's a great mid-paced number which brings Mansons heavier side very much to the fore but it still it's quite as heavy as some of his past compositions. The guitar from Bates along with Sharones drum really drive the number whilst the gloriously shouty chorus is textbook Manson. The chorus lines of "Love is evil, Con is confidence, Eros is sore, Sin is sincere" is repeated with typical Manson ire, giving a slice of menace to the song. You can see the official video for the track, which was directed by surrealist artist, Bart Hess, below.

'Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge' was a the first track actually publicly released from the album after it was premiered on YouTube back in October 2014, the same day it was made available as a free download from the band's official website. A somewhat simpler affair again, it shows Manson in a more relaxed style. There's a simple guitar riff and drum beat here along with an almost lethargic sounding vocal from Manson.

The song's obvious subject matter might be heavy, but the vocals have none of the aggression or menace that has been prevalent in the past and instead flows along quite nicely. If you were to substitute the lyrical content to something less serious then I'm sure no-one would think twice about the song.

Of course, it wouldn't be a Marilyn Manson album without a religious rant, and 'The Devil Beneath My Feet' fulfils the criteria admirably. Lyrically, Manson is railing against not only religious groups but God himself, but again, it's not done in an overly aggressive vocal style. His vocals are very understated here, except for the occasional f-word sounding like it's being spat out with venom at his detractors. There's a small section with just a keyboard sound and Mansons voice remaining in the mix, which is an interesting interlude but it's not long before the track reverts to type, with the keyboard beats remaining present but pushed to the back of the mix.

'Birds Of Hell Awaiting' is the most sonically interesting track with Manson whooping and hollering during the intro with some echo added to his voice to give it an unearthly feeling. When they lyrics themselves do finally come in, the subtle echo is still there, giving this song a unique sound. Sharone keeps the beat with a solid but simple drum pattern whilst the guitar from Bates adds the rest of the atmosphere to the song as it flanges in and out.

This is the album's epic number and although it may not exactly be the longest song in duration, coming in at just over five minutes, it certainly gives Manson the scope to show how interesting and different he's able to make his records sound. Lyrically, it's another simple enough composition with the chorus of "This is your death, this is your death, This is your death's desire" repeated in between two fairly simple verses showing that Manson is still capable of making simpler tracks, but ones that are still very evocative.

The album closes with 'Odds Of Even', which is the longest song presented here. It's another track with a sampled intro which quickly fades out before the slow guitar and drums kick in with an unhurried tempo. Manson's voice retreats once again to a softer vocalisation and the subtle addition of some vocal effect gives his voice a slightly unearthly quality.

There's no doubt that Manson has matured with this album and it'll be interesting to see which songs he chooses to air on his upcoming tour and to see how they fit in amongst more established industrial material in his back catalogue, and that's one ticket that high on my gig list for 2015.



You can see Marilyn Manson live here:
Monday 2nd February – Sound Academy, Toronto
Tuesday 3rd February – Fillmore, Detroit
Thursday 5th February – Riviera Theatre, Chicago
Friday 6th February – Mystic Lake Casino, Prior Lake
Saturday 7th February – Eagles Ballroom, Milwaukee
Monday 9th February – The Pageantst. Louis
Wednesday 11th February – Fillmore, Denver
Friday 13th February – Marquee, Tempe
Saturday 14th February – House Of Blues, Las Vegas
Saturday 21st February – Soundwave Festival, Melbourne
Sunday 22nd February – Soundwave Festival, Adelaide
Saturday 28th February – Soundwave Festival, Brisbane
Sunday 1st March – Soundwave Festival, Sydney
Wednesday 25th March – Roseland Theater, Portland
Thursday 26th March – Showbox, Seattle
Saturday 28th March – Okanagan Events Centre, Penticton
Sunday 29th March – Queen Elizabeth Theater, Vancouver
Tuesday 31st March – Centre, Prince George
Wednesday 1st April – Encana Events Centre, Dawson Creek
Thursday 2nd April – Shaw Conference Centre, Edmonton
Saturday 4th April – Enmax Centre, Lethbridge
Monday 6th April – Sask Tel Centre, Saskatoon
Tuesday 7th April – Rec Building, Regina
Thursday 9th April – MTS Centre, Winnipeg
Friday 10th April – Fargo Civic Center, Fargo
Saturday 11th April – Minot City Auditorium, Minot
Saturday 25th – Sunday 26th April – Rockville Festival, Jacksonville
Saturday 2nd May – Carolina Rebellion, Concord
Friday 15th – Sunday 17th May – Rock On The Range, Columbus
Wednesday 3rd June – Caribana Festival, Nyon
Friday 5th – Sunday 7th June – Rock Am Ring, Mendig
Friday 5th – Sunday 7th June – Rock Im Park, Nurnberg
Monday 8th June – Vega, Copenhagen
Tuesday 9th June – Sentrum Scene, Oslo
Saturday 13th June – Download Festival, Donington Park
Friday 19th June – Graspop Festival, Dessell
Friday 19th – Sunday 21st June – Hellfest, Clisson

'The Pale Emperor' Tracklist:
Killing Strangers
Deep Six
Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge
The Mephistopheles Of Los Angeles
Warship My Wreck
Slave Only Dreams To Be King
The Devil Beneath My Feet
Birds Of Hell Awaiting
Cupid Carries A Gun
Odds Of Even

Marilyn Manson's band are:
Marilyn Manson – Vocals
Tyler Bates – Bass Guitar/Electric Guitar/Electric Violin/Keyboards
Gil Sharone – Drums

Marilyn Manson Online:
http://www.marilynmanson.com
http://www.facebook.com/MarilynManson


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27.1.2015










 


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