Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Track by Track Album Review - The Pale Emperor by Marilyn Manson

The Pale Emperor (deluxe version)
Marilyn Manson

1. Killing Strangers -  Manson and crew borrow heavily from Nine Inch Nails own "The Mark Has Been Made" on this one. The main riff and tone of this song is basically the same. Manson adds his own brand of sleezed out lyrics to the track but I can't stop imagining scenes from Man on Fire which the NIN tune played over. It's gotta be much more than coincidence since Manson's own Antichrist Superstar was produced by NIN’s frontman Trent Reznor back in the day.

2. Deep Six - This guitar driven track is a nod to the Mechanical Animals era. It's good to hear Manson break out of the David Bowie-esque delivery at points. His screams are underrated and haven't been used to the best of his ability on the last few albums. This is a nice mix of hard rock and industrial elements.

3. Third Day of a Seven Day Binge - There is a guitar tone that ties a lot of what's going on here with the last album Born Villain which I really enjoyed. It's hard to describe the sound but it does have an REM type of alt country swagger. These tones really set the table for all the hyperbole and lyrical innuendo.

4. The Mephistopholes of Los Angeles - The fat bass, drum stomp and simplistic smattering of guitar work does a nice job of giving this tune a california drugstore cowboy feel.
The chorus is basic, sing song along and radio friendly enough to make it a winner.

5. Warship My Wreck - The isolated singing and lyrics at the intro remind me of my favorite Manson song off Antichrist Superstar, Tourniquet. I enjoy how Manson phrases "Warship My Wreck". Funny how close the words Worship and Warship sound to each other. Makes you think doesn't it?

6. Slave Only Dreams To Be King - Sounds like the intro to Beautiful People slowed way down. The tune makes you stomp your feet the whole way through. Manson's strained vocals are nicely placed up front on the mix for the most part.
The sleezy distortion sways you into a daze just in time for Manson to deliver the lyrics "Slave Only Dreams to Be King". Perfect timing.

7. The Devil Beneath My Feet - Mid Tempo rocker that has really interesting hooks and lyrics. The tone of the song is dancy and upbeat. Even the synths are airy. Manson flips the script on religion with his take on the devil being more supportive than the "motherfucker looking down on me".

8. Birds of Hell Waiting - Lots of desert swagger on this one. The tamborines sound like spurs. Manson pulls off a very Jim Morrison'esque performance. The lizard king would approve of the way his vocals trail off in a drunken haze. This is as slow as a crawling king snake.

9. Cupid Carries a Gun - With slow head bobbing rhythms, this has a bizarro world Rolling Stones feel to it.

10. Odds of Even - I guess you consider this the closing track since the next three I'll be reviewing are Bonus tracks. Good one to go out on. Sounds like the type of music you'd play at the end credits of a good old shoot'em up action movie set in the west. The bended saw guitar work is a good call back to the albums' first track. The transition from a really light song to a more a disturbing "Hammer Films" style exit is pretty genius.

11. Day 3 (Bonus Track) - I'm glad this is a bonus and not part of the proper album. This is stripped down and lacks elements that make the whole album a lot more fun. Manson's croonery delivery sounds more labored than the rest of his  takes on the album. Good extra for the rest of the fans but doesn't add anything.

12. Fated, Faithful, Fatal (Bonus Track) - An old western style cover of the The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles track. Stripping it way back.

13. Fall of The House of Death (Bonus Track) - An acoustic version of "Third Day of a Seven Day Binge". I enjoy this just as much as the original studio version.

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