Marilyn Manson – The Pale Emperor (Rewind – Album Review)

*Editor* – We’ve revisited this review as originally posted on a website that has since gone AWOL. This particular album, according tour writer @Plugga73 is in contention for one of the album’s of the year & hence we’ve revisited it – WOS

MARILYN MANSON – The Pale Emperor

OUT: January 15th, 2015

Marilyn Manson | Vocals, percussion, keyboards

Additional personnel for studio recording:
Tyler Bates | Guitar, bass, keyboards, programming
Gil Sharone | Drums

Marilyn Manson online:

-Originally posted Jan 10th, 2015-

Marilyn Manson is back! Of course for the die-hard fan, he’d never gone away but for a lot of people, the Manson albums across the years have just lost their edge since 1998’s Mechanical Animals. Unfair criticism or not you can’t deny the mass appeal of the gothic one had certainly waned slowly since the late 90’s. Fear not however, as new album ‘The Pale Emperor’ may escalate things rapidly.

The new record is dark, with Manson himself describing the album as ‘dirty’ with minimum takes on each track. Besides the riff frenzied ‘Deep Six’ which rivals the anthemic ‘The Beautiful People’ from 1996’s Antichrist Superstar, the album is jam packed with what could only be described as industrial rock blues. Trust Manson to invent a whole new genre.

Kicking off with ‘Killing Strangers’, the intro track sets the scene for the entirety of ‘The Pale Emperor’. Dripping in that ‘cool as fuck’ bluesy vibe, Manson’s dulcet tones spill out across its epic chorus line, “We’re killing strangers so we don’t kill the ones that we love”. Bowie-like in delivery, this is the type of track that will automatically cast off the uneducated who are still crying out for an Antichrist Superstar Part II. But, as with the majority of this album, take your time and delve into the sadistic mind that is Manson and you will be rewarded. It is dark, but there is light at the end of this tunnel and it is beautiful.

The striking ‘Deep Six’ is next, the eth want for a straight out rock track is answered with a no nonsense approach by guitarist Tyler Bates and Twiggy Ramirez handling the bass with aplomb. Bates also co-wrote the track as he did with the following ‘Third Day of a Seven Day Binge’. Perhaps, the dirtiest on the album as intertwines the drug filled cloud engulfing the lyrics with the sultry bass lines of Twiggy that in turn combines majestically with Manson’s vocalised humming.

‘The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles; continues a similar vibe, though hang on for the chorus as this is where Manson rocks out, “I’m ready to meet my maker”. Rock theatre at its best. ‘Waking My wreck; enters trippy zone with Manson crooning and combined with his crackled vocals over the gentle tracking it’s one of these songs you’ll appreciate at 2am on a Sunday morning.

The bluesy vibe soaks into the album as it continues, the impenetrable ‘Birds of Hell Awaiting’ with Twiggy’s sizeable bass lines again taking centre stage as Bates seduces with psychedelic chords here and there. ‘Cupid Carries a Gun’ showcases more stellar song writing, a song that wouldn’t have looked out of place during Manson’s other employment in the last 12 months in the TV drama, Sons of Anarchy. You could argue its Manson’s most ‘90s song on the album, either way, it revels again in Manson’s tempered vocal with drummer Gil Sharone keeping a simple understated beat for the majority. Something that works well across The Pale Emperor.

Concluding ion ‘Odds of Even’, a slow burn of a track as Manson concentrating more on his delivery than at any other time in his career. Dirty, dulcet, bluesy intense. Find a dark corner of your mind, sit back and enjoy the return of the original Antichrist Superstar.

The Pale Emperor tracklisting:

1. Killing Strangers
2. Deep Six
3. Third Day of a Seven Day Binge
4. The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles
5. Warship My Wreck
6. Slave Only Dreams to be King
7. The Devil Beneath My Feet
8. Birds of Hell Awaiting
9. Cupid Carries a Gun
10. Odds of Even

Bonus Tracks (Deluxe Version)
11. Day 3
12. Fated, Fateful, Fatal
13. Fall of the House of Death

Rating 9/10


About Plugga73 (370 Articles)
Writing, reviewing, interviewing, exploring new and old heavy music. From punk to grunge to hardcore to death metal to thrash and everything in between. I've been writing in the music industry now for several years including the websites LOUD, SF Media, Tone Deaf, The Metal Review and AMNplify. I'll be the one talking about bands from the 90s all the time..... Hit me up on twitter @Plugga73