“I will cover the Earth in honey and everyone will eat themselves”
This is one of the first things you will hear when you press play on We Are Chaos, the eleventh studio album from Marilyn Manson, who these days seemingly has the cross-cultural appeal of Coca-Cola. Indeed, this album in many ways signifies the biggest curve-ball Manson has thrown at his fans in his entire career.
But hear me out.
Forget this man wrote Antichrist Superstar for just a second.
Now press play on this album and throw every 80s goth band into a blender, add a few parts of Elton John and maybe a dash of U2 and you have what is essentially We Are Chaos.
From the onset, this album sounds like it’s the long lost version of The Lost Boys soundtrack. Songs such as “Don’t Chase The Dead” only add to this assumption with their 80s synthwave goodness and the kind of chorus that evokes a night drive, on an abandoned road, at the eve of the apocalypse. Don’t worry though. These songs are balanced out by songs like “Red, Black & Blue” and “Infinite Darkness” which ramp up the heaviness and ooze the same vitriolic venom Manson has thrived off for his entire career.
The real standout here is Shooter Jennings, who collaborated with Manson on this album. It’s because of him that these songs really go beyond a simple 80s nostalgia trip. “Paint You With My Love” and “Solve Coagula” in particular would not work if it wasn’t for the wonderful instrumentation Jennings injects into these songs turning them into ballads aching with beauty and pain in equal measure. The album ends with “Broken Needle” which bounces with an almost blues-like stomp while Manson openly acknowledges his own shortcomings as a human being with the instrumentation soaking this song in darkness until the epic conclusion builds to breaking point.
There is a line in the song, “We Are Chaos” where Manson says “we are sick, fucked up and complicated” and in many ways, I think it’s a perfect summation of this album. Because this album is sick, fucked up and complicated, but it’s also glorious in the way it shows a glimpse into Marilyn Manson being a more complete version of himself than he has ever been in his entire career.
If all you’ve ever liked is Antichrist Superstar, then this album probably isn’t for you… But if you’re a long time fan of Manson, this album might just be the injection you need to ward off the evil that is the year 2020.
Marilyn Manson – WE ARE CHAOS tracklisting:
1. Red Black and Blue
2. We Are Chaos
3. Don’t Chase the Dead
4. Paint You With My Love
5. Half-way & One Step Forward
6. Infinite Darkness
8. Keep My Head Together
9. Solve Coagula
10. Broken Needle
We Are Chaos is out September 11, 2020. Purchase Here.
Reviewed by Kaydan Howison