“The Golden Age of Grotesque”

Nothing/ Interscope Records

Marilyn Manson, the same man who said those very nobel comments in Michael Moore’s, Bowling For Columbine, has come out with yet another controversial album. It’s not quite the same old Manson as previous albums, but it’s still the same smooth, hard, industrial rock and the same style of singing. What’s changed is that it’s louder and harder, while keeping an attitude of nonchalance. Another difference is what he’s singing about. There is also a new band member, Tim Skold, who is not only the bassist, but has helped in the production of the album.

If you look through the lyrics booklet, you’ll find it covered with pictures of Manson and his face with different styles of makeup on. Towards the back, there are two pages devoted to the rest of the band ( John 5, M.W. Gacy, Tim Skold, and Ginger Fish). All the band members have the same bleached hair, and are wearing the same militant outfits (all black with shoulder pads). What Manson seems like he’s doing is continuing his portrayal of the Hitler of his band, and the entire rock world and the band’s portrayal of Nazi soldiers make that complete. Having a father who was raised as a Jew, one would think I would be offended by that notion. I am not though. It doesn’t bother me for the sole fact that Marilyn Manson is an entertainer. His job is to entertain. His main goal, I think, is to shock an audience of all cultures and all ages. In this he succeeds, and I find it entertaining.

The whole album is a combination “Screw You” to all the women who used him. It’s a Nazi rebellion, a reminder to all his fans that he’s still around and running strong. It has clever word play, and a simple explanation that, “We don’t rebel, to sell, it just suits us well….” From the song “Bright Young Things,” he still has an air of his old self, which you can hear in the lyrics “Use Your Fists, Not Your Mouth.” Now he seems more resigned to the ways of the world, and is just making a disturbance in the normal ways of things. He says less about God hating, and more America hating, women hating, and pop hating. He already has a hit song fresh of the record called, “mOBSCENE.”

This new CD comes with a bonus DVD. It’s a movie made by Marilyn Manson called Doppleherz. It’s a very weird, very artsy film. It’s also brilliant. It’s supposed to be about “The Golden Age of Grotesque” and was made during the album’s creation. It is a rare look inside the mind of Marilyn Manson and is only made for those listening, especially I think, his cat.

The album as a whole is very “high-energy.” It gets your adrenaline pumping from the intro “Thaeter” to the outro “Obsquey (the death of art).” Manson uses a lot of wordplay during the record. Sometimes he sounds like a schoolyard rhyme, such as, “Doll-Dagga-Buzz-Buzz Zigety-Zag.” He’s concerned with faster, louder, and more elaborate lyrics. The CD explores the faster, high-paced, “This is the New Shit” and “Use Your Fists, Not Your Mouth” and the slow-paced, haunting, “Para-Noir” and “Thaeter.” The whole album is very provocative. Unfortunately, the songs tend to get repetitive. This is not only in what he’s saying, but the beat and the music seems continuous.Aside from that, it’s yet another work of art. The word play and unique spelling inside the weave of words he spits at you from your speakers is amazing

Though not as “in your face” as some of his albums, (Manson is possibly on the downswing of his career) he’s showing his calmer, but darker side. Although intense and loud, it is softer and more serious than say, when he first came out as Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids.

The woman hating aspect of the record is more like an angry, broken hearted Manson that has been kicked around by the women of the world. The sadder aspect is expressed in “Spade,” “You drained my heart and made a spade….” The angry part of him is expressed in “Slutgarden” when he says, “I never believed the devil was real, but god couldn’t make someone as filthy as you.” The bitterness finishes it up with “Para-Noir.” But, you’ll have to buy the album to know what that one’s about.

In my personal opinion, this CD is a brilliant piece of music through which Manson is showing a new side of himself to his audience. Some parts of this album shouldn’t be taken all too seriously, some should be. Manson has a lot of valid points and important information that he wants to share with us. If we listen, we too can be informed. But all in all, this new album will be a delight to Manson fans everywhere.

- Matt Brown