Brian E. Warner, otherwise known as the infamous Marilyn Manson has been shocking audiences since 1994, when his band’s first album, The Portrait of an American Family, was released. In the late 2000s he transformed into an eclectic glam rock performer, producing albums like Born Villain. Manson’s latest offering, The Pale Emperor, however, is a slight step back to the style and feel of his earlier albums in the sense that it has more of a raw, rock ‘n’ roll vibe.

Expect sleazy guitar lines, bleak tones, epic choruses and on top of that, Manson’s signature broken vocals that make the music just that more beautiful. The album features outstanding lyrical content that is poetic at times.

‘Killing Strangers’ is the perfect opening for Manson’s dark, ninth studio album. The song is sexy with elements of glam that are particularly apparent in the powerful chorus. The lyrics are in your face – “we’re killing strangers so we don’t kill the ones we love” – and are what make the song so impactful. Manson sings the lyrics so strongly every word is believable. ‘Deep Six’ has the typical aggressive chorus that fans have come to expect and love from Manson. While the single, ‘Third Day of a Seven Day Binge’ is a dirty, solid rock track with edgy guitar lines that give it a punk vibe, Manson manages to keep the same filthy sound through the rest of the record.

Songs like ‘Slave Only Dreams to be King,’ is all about explosive, brash chords. ‘Cupid Carries a Gun’, which comes towards the end of the album, has a bluesy tone to it that’s enhanced by the acoustic guitar and sorrowful bass lines.

Ultimately, Manson’s latest effort is solid, and there are absolutely no filler tracks. Every song is interesting with some sort of deep meaning and on top of that it has good production and awesome sound. The album will seriously appeal to old Manson fans who have missed his raw anger over dramatic performances.

Megan McMillan


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