It’s hard to be a shock-rocker when you’re over the hill, but Marilyn Manson seems to be plugging right along with his seventh studio album, The High End of Low.
Much like his last release, Eat Me Drink Me, this album has a first person perspective that his earlier albums lacked. While Eat Me Drink Me was the romantic, almost Shakespearean ideal of love and the heartbreak of the Manson/Dita Von Teese split, this album is…well, I think Manson explains it best with: “This record is more about: If you say you’ll be with me until I die, and then you change your mind, you should run very fast. Because I’ll kill you.” This album isn’t all doom and gloom though, you can still catch some glimpses of Manson’s personal life. During this time, Manson and Evan Rachel Wood were having their on again-off again romance, which is always fuel for a good album.
Manson’s original intentions after Eat Me Drink Me were to wash his hands entirely of the music industry in favor of painting and film making, a la Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll, due out next year. Sometimes I hate to admit what a talented painter Manson actually is. I’ve always been a shadow-fan of his music, but his watercolors are so much more impassioned and personal. I honestly can’t wait to see Phantasmagoria! I think few people could do Lewis Carroll better than Marilyn Manson…
…but I digress.
The High End of Low has Manson working once again with Twiggy Ramirez and now with Chris Vrenna, former Nine Inch Nails and Stabbing Westward member. Hell, Chris Vrenna has done just about everything, and has done it all well. Seems like Manson has quite the crew going on and I’m seriously considering attending the Mayhem Tour with Manson and Slayer this year for that fact. I’ve seen Manson before, it was good, but Chris Vrenna brings a whole new level of musical mastery to this set that I’d really like to see live.
All in all, this is a good album. It has it’s shock-rock titles like, “Pretty Like A Swastika”, and “Arma-Goddamn-Motherfucking-Geddon”, but also includes an almost blues-y vibe with, “Four Rusted Horses” and yes, he even goes acoustic on “Running To the Edge of the World”. Manson delves back into the glam rock tearing down of middle America with “We’re From America” and broods melancholy with “Unkillable Monster” and “Leave A Scar”.
It’s strange to finally see America’s favorite ghoul all grown up, but it’s okay, really. We all have to do it sometime. It’s no Antichrist Superstar or Golden Age of Grotesque, but a good, solid, album. B