In the spectrum of writing about music, stating that Marilyn Manson made a great album would seem like a tongue in cheek statement. After years of mediocre records though, his last full length Heaven Upside Down and its predecessor The Pale Emperor proved that Manson still knew how to delight fans. With his new album We Are Chaos however, Manson turns the tables and delivers yet another epic release. Full of that skull crushing industrial chaos that he built his name on, the album doesn’t disappoint while also forging new ground.
The harsh tones and mysterious vocal samples that make up the opening track “RED BLACK AND BLUE” sum up the album perfectly. Manson realizes what works and he goes there. That murky bass, those riffs that chug along and drums at the top of the mix-they’re all here. The frenzied tones work well together that you wonder why he’d stray from them. While “WE ARE CHAOS” starts like a soft balance, it still holds all of that cringe filled wheeze. The catchy beat with Manson singing from what sounds distanced creates a slow build that pays off. Manson steers you down another path as well on “PAINT YOU WITH MY LOVE.” It’s as if he’s toying with what he can and can’t get away with, though here it’s all working.
While the album contains curve balls, it’s all done in a way that may roll the dice yet it all works in this package. The frenzied tones of “HALF-WAY & ONE STEP FORWARD,” the absent electronica tones of “INFINITE DARKNESS” and the bombastic gurgle of “KEEP MY HEAD TOGETHER” all paint a picture of an artist comfortable in his own skin. Yet while all of this exemplifies a mix of past and future, Manson sounds best on the song “PERFUME.” Taking those swaying and distorted cuts of guitar, mixing in that up and head banging stride and adding those dual vocals all equal to a sound that isn’t far from familiar, but also isn’t boring. For a genre that has few new touches, Marilyn Manson finds a way to add new sounds while delivering his best written album in a while.
We Are Chaos is available physically directly from Loma Vista Recordings. It can also be streamed wherever you stream music or purchased in all digital music stores.
Image Credits: Photo by Perou.