The eighth offering from the shock rocker sees a return to form, albeit in a different guise, and a much more mature tone. Sure, there is nothing scary about Marilyn Manson anymore, he is in his forties and so long gone are the days of blood, feathers and mesh stockings. It seems even antichrists get old, but Born Villain might just be a new-fangled experience altogether. And it’s scary. Forget the logically irrefutable criticisms on religion, government and society Manson’s previous records presented. The new album is a chest-pounding, claustrophobic intake of breath, littered with literature for lyrics and bass runs so heavy they make Skrillex sound like a tinker xylophone.
Heaviness is often measured by the distorted “chugga chugga” riff quotient and double bass drum blast-beats so wild they induce heart palpitations, nausea and death. And there is some of that in Born Villain Tracks like opener “Hey, Cruel World” and the wonderfully titled “Murderers Are Getting Prettier Every Day,” or “Overneath The Path Of Misery” are just evil. But “Overneath” also offers the crucible to just how good this album is. Manson quotes Shakespeare and is followed by gnawing staccato guitars, trademark wailing vocals and harmonies, and menacing synths. There is even a cover of Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” featuring Johnny Depp. It’s an album oozing with production value. It’s clean, crisp and probably the first Marilyn Manson album since 1998’s Mechanical Animals that deserves outright respect from everyone. Possibly, villain reborn. (LV)
by Luka Vracar
Published in Playboy South Africa June 2012