As far back as I can think there have been few more iconic, provocative and outright controversial figures in modern music than the self-proclaimed ‘Antichrist Superstar’, Marilyn Manson. During my early exposure to rock and metal music, his dark and twisted gothic anthems would intrigue me and would ultimately influence a lot of what I listened to whilst I was growing up. Seeing his releases nowadays will always grab my attention, from the music itself, to the changing grotesque appearance of the man who makes it! With the recent release of Heaven Upside Down, I was keen to see what Manson would bring to the table this time around.
We begin with what you would say is closer to a classic Manson banger, in Tattooed in Reverse. The edgy and bone-rattling track rolls through its four-minute duration implementing cutting guitar with a heavy electronic sound, to create something that is unsurprisingly unsettling to the ears. Whilst not quite as punch packing as some of his previous efforts, it does still display a healthy progression from his traditional Goth-rock roots. However the next two tracks entitled We Know Where You F***ing Live, and SAY10, feel like deliberate nods to favourite Manson tracks such as The Beautiful People and Fight Song; of which I am a big fan I have to say.
Though the rest of the album doesn’t really suck you in on the first listen in my opinion, Heaven Upside Down in it’s entirety, undoubtedly shows enough development and variation to keep listeners interested, and screams in similar vulgarity the way that his earlier efforts did when we first heard them. Popular opinion may suggest that perhaps the hay-day of Marilyn Manson has been and gone, but this record does display what he is truly good at, and that he can definitely still deliver on that. Possibly an album that die-hard Manson fans will have been waiting some time for.