MARILYN – 'The Pale Emperor' (2015)

14 January 2015
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I bet two quality pints of beer (dark ale, obviously) on the fact that pretty much every review of 'The Pale Emperor' would include the sentence “This is Manson's best album in 10 years”.

And this hits the spot. But still, it's not like shock rock icon's new tunes are necessarily as good as those in 'Mechanical Animals'. Not at all.

It comes, in fact as a reminder of just how horrible 'Eat Me, Drink Me', 'The High End of Low' and 'Born Villain' were. Not to mention the Avril Lavigne collaboration that made the "Antichrist superstar” look as ridiculous as Courtney Love compared to Allison Kraus.

'The Pale Emperor' is an album deserving a few listens and a few more if you're into Marilyn Manson. It offers nothing experimental, brave or outright brilliant – in fact, it works fine because Manson sticks close to his own formula. And doesn't really try to score a No. 1 Billboard single but prefers to lay back and slow things down, limiting every track to the darkly cliché we know and love. And no teeny nonsense this time – gone are titles like 'If I Was Your Vampire' or 'Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin-Geddon'.

Both the lyrics and the sound are tamed to the extent that every track sounds pretty much like the one before but the aftertaste of 'The Pale Emperor' is a pretty decent one.

No heavy guitars and pop choruses here, just a steady rhythm and Manson's croon, telling tales of alcohol, sex, Godlessness, Bohemian excess and self-destruction. Instead of pseudo-goth and intrusive shock rock, tracks here float on without much turbulence, being a very bluesy brand – especially album closer 'Odds of Even', which proves to be one of the better tracks on 'The Pale Emperor'.

Be sure to also check 'Cupid Carries a Gun' (you might have already heard it in which series 'Salem'), 'Third Day of a Seven Day Binge' и 'Salve Only dreams to Be King'.