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Track By Track: Marilyn Manson – The Pale Emperor

The new Manson album gets a good going over

Marilyn Manson is releasing his ninth album The Pale Emperor on Monday 19th January and we're streaming for FREE for you all now. And because we bloody love it, we thought it right to go through each of the ten tracks in more detail.

You can listen to The Pale Emperor in full here.

Killing Strangers

A swinging and bluesy number that’s wrapped around a lush fuzz bass and a seductive and enrapturing Manson vocal. It’s sinister, sultry and sexy (and probably loads of other words that don’t start with S) and sets a tone for the album. With a legacy of opening albums in a more low key manner with moments like Great Big White World, Godeatgod and the criminally underrated If I Was Your Vampire, it won’t come as a shock to the system that you’re not blasted with molten metal straight off the bat. The “we got guns, motherfuckers better run” hook is huge, it’s trippy and seedy in equal measures and it is a stunning yet understated open to the record.

Deep Six

Having been used to open Manson’s trio of Californian shows at the tail end of last year, this is motored by a driving industrial beat and the first showing of how huge Manson’s band can be when firing on all cylinders. It’s a straight up rock and roller, soaked in whiskey and dripping with swag, and a track that won’t be dislodged from the setlist for years to come. Think I Want To Disappear with all of the '90s effects replaced by a confident, bold Manson playing ringleader to an altogether darker feel that’s all lust and sex. It’s hard not to get too fanboy about Manson’s vocal performance thus far because it’s so commandeering and reminiscent of the power he holds at his magnificent best. The recent Roxy show threatened a comeback and this feels like the real deal.

Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge

Grinding and filthy, that bluesy feel from Killing Strangers is back. Chosen as the track to first debut to the world, it’s a sterling choice for giving you an idea of where this album lives. Slow in pace and sinful as a whore wanking in church, the guitar work is subtle and has rung out chords that give the strip club sensuality a twist of desert cool. Again, the beat is important here. Rarely changing, it’s simplicity allows Manson’s character take the lead and bring it home. You’ll have noticed that there are a lot of sexual descriptions but that’s what the music warrants. Seriously. You’ll need a shower after this.

The Mephistopheles Of Los Angeles

Delicate notes and strums give way to a stomp similar to his take on Personal Jesus. Tyler Bates has also brought in a different style of guitar playing that we haven’t heard on Manson albums before. It’s rarely bombastic but always powerful and serving the track appropriately and there’s a hell of a lot of the blues in there. Manson’s lyrics here seem cathartic and carving himself in uncharacteristic fashion. Couplets like “I don’t know if I can open up/I’ve been opened enough” and “I’m ready to meet my maker” are not the kind of cut and dried and offering himself up for the world to see that we are used to with The God Fuck. For a song that offers “I’m the Mephistopheles of Los Angeles”, it’s done in a way that feels more introspective and self-loathing than the all conquering The Reflecting God.

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