Record Review: Marilyn Manson

Marilyn Manson
Born Villain
Los Angeles, CA

(Cooking Vinyl/Downtown)

“A vicious and vibrant absinthe-drenched tale”

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Freshly independent Marilyn Manson has been among the few artists who has always been capable of reaching someone in a place where others cannot.  If you can feel him deep within your core and are able to unabashedly identify with the honesty, intensity, and sexuality of his art, consider yourself one of the beautiful people.  Born Villain, Manson’s eighth studio release and self-proclaimed “comeback,” is a brutal yet sensual assault of epic proportions.  Equal parts resurrection and reinvention, the record brims with confidence, creative lust, and signifies the rocker’s triumphant return to the welcoming limelight.

Situated behind the Superstar podium for the album’s militaristic opener of “Hey, Cruel World…” Manson roars the ominous, declaratory chorus: “We don’t need your faith.  We’ve got f****** fate.”  Throbbing riffs penetrate throughout “No Reflection” and the masochistic, love-hate “Pistol Whipped” with Manson at his animalistic best, complete with mood-setting growls and heavy breathing, while “SLO-MO-TION” evokes the burlesque voyeurism explored throughout The Golden Age of Grotesque.  The Charles Baudelaire-inspired “The Flowers of Evil” begins as a poetic lament and swells into the record’s most danceable anthem: “I’ve been running from the bloodless for fear of exile for all my sorceries that shun the light” and the thunderous “Murderers Are Getting Prettier Every Day” is just the kind of grandiose barn burner we have come to expect from Manson.

The album concludes stunningly and in the spirit of Mechanical Animals’ “Coma White” with the revealing lullaby “Breaking the Same Old Ground”: “…then I found out how to be what you want when I was out looking for something new.”  Born Villain is a vicious and vibrant, absinthe-drenched tale “full of sound and fury,” in which Manson returns to his roots and presents himself once more as rock’s unapologetic antihero. Don’t pretend to be a victim.

Mixed by Sean Beavan for SOS Management

Mixed at the Blue Room

Engineered by M. Manson, Chris Vrenna & Mike Riley

Recorded at Zane-A-Due

Mastered by Tom Baker at Precision Mastering

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