Album: "Holy Wood" (2000)
Label: Nothing
Style: Industrial rock
Songs: 19


Reviewed by: Darklight

Marilyn Manson is back to true form on this CD going back to his roots of dark horror rock. On his previous CD "Mechanical Animals" he changed his style and image from dark and haunting to '70s space glam rock. While I did feel that it contained some good songs, the overall album just didn't come together well. Also, it wasn't long before I tired of the whole glam rock image. This CD entitled "Holy Wood" is the true follow-up to "Antichrist Superstar" in my opinion. The packaging is very dark and morbid with some really good artwork. The music is a blend of all previous Marilyn Manson styles leaning more toward the "Portrait Of An American Family" and "Antichrist Superstar" sounds. There are nineteen songs delivered here, and they're all good. While there are songs that stand out more than others, everything is still quality. There's a lot of variety ranging from dark haunting melodic acoustic compositions to extremely thrashy guitar rock. Some tracks are artistic and creative with a lot of interesting things happening in them, while others just rock hard straight forward. Electronic effects and keyboard melodies are included in all of the songs. Some more than others. They are a nice touch that give the music an edge. The bottom line is that this CD is a must for fans of dark heavy rock music that like a touch of industrial and goth for good measure.


Album: "The Last Tour on Earth" (2000)
Label: UNI/Interscope
Style: Electro-Metal
Songs: 14


Reviewed by: aiken

First, I've got a confession to make. I actually like Marilyn Manson. If you're dead set against anything Manson, this CD will do nothing to change your mind. It's people like me who enjoy Manson's music that may have a change of heart. It's not that it's bad per se, it's just... dull. Most of the songs are from Antichrist Superstar and Mechanical Animals, and the whole thing feels overproduced and lackluster.
      It's hard to imagine on a new live CD from a band of this magnitude, but it actually sounds poorly recorded. The drums lack punch, and the guitar work is often muddy beyond what I'd expect from a live CD. I can only assume it was this way live. Between the outright sound problems and a bored, half-hearted effort from the Manson and the band this CD really lacks the things that make Manson fun.
      The best songs on the CD are Sweet Dreams, Manson's cover of the Eurythmics, and Antichrist Superstar. Material from Mechanical Animals doesn't play very well, suffering from a serious lack of enthusiasm. The obligatory "get the crowd" going bits at the end of some songs also feel forced very much by rote. I would say that they made the mistake of recording on an off night, but the songs are from from many different shows. That's kind of amusing in itself -- The Dope Show begins with "live from the drug capital of the world, Hollywood Califormia" while other songs reference Cleveland and somewhere in the Midwest.

I wouldn't really recommend this CD to any but the most hardcore Manson fans; it's not terrible, but it's probably the worst effort from the group to date.

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Album: "Mechanical Animals" (1998)
Label: Nothing/Interscope
Style: Electro Rock
Songs: 14

Reviewed by: Darklight

Marilyn Manson returns with his follow up to "Antichrist Superstar". He has changed a lot over the past two years. He's done away with his dark gothic look as well as his aggressive guitar thrashing industrial rock music. Now he sports a 70's glam rock style and creates retro space rock music. While some of his newer fans that jumped on the "Antichrist Superstar" bandwagon might be disappointed with his new direction, I actually find it to be quite refreshing. He's basically been doing the same horror rock thing since "Portrait Of An American Family". It's good to see him try something new and different for a change. This album features some of the best Marilyn Manson material I have heard yet. This is mainly because there is quite a lot of variety here and the songs don't follow in any particular musical style. "Antichrist Superstar" delivered sixteen dark and aggressive guitar thrashing heavy industrial songs. Therefore, the songs didn't stand out from each other that much. However, each track given here does sound quite different including unique elements that really allow them to stand out from one another. The first track "Great Big White World" starts off with light techno music while MM sings darkly over it. The rhythms and beats are very catchy and draw you into the song instantly. The song rocks a little more with the chorus as guitar is added in. This is a very electronic song and is a great way to start this album off. It shows that the band is doing a lot more with melody. The second track "The Dope Show" is a little more bass heavy with a dreary structure to it. MM sings in his usual creepy style. The chorus rocks heavy with guitar. It's another catchy song with a lot more harmony than what would be expected from this band. Track three "Mechanical Animals" pulls you in right away with its emotional music that blends electronics with guitar. The song plays at a medium pace and features a lot of interesting elements in it. It's extrememly well done and shows a lot of maturity in the band's sound. Track four "Rock Is Dead" is a straight forward heavy rock song that is mainly made up of guitar, bass and drums. MM basically shouts his way through this song, but it has some slower space rock elements in it as well making it a little more interesting than your usual rock song. Track five "Disassociative" is a melodic passionate song that almost comes off romantic. It's a soothing song that mixes a lot of electronic music with some altered vocals while the chorus is kind of heavy. It's another song that really shows how much the band has matured and how well they can construct music with excellent harmony. Track six "The Speed Of Pain" begins with acoustic guitar and a whispered vocal delivery by MM. There are choir singers in the background and a retro space rock voice sample is mixed in as well. The song picks up its pace along the way getting a little faster. This track sounds like a Smashing Pumpkins song to me. Track seven "Posthuman" is an excellent heavy and aggressive industrial rock song that is very similar to older MM material, but with even more variety thrown into the mix. It's one of my favorite songs on the album. Track eight "I Want To Disappear" sounds like a retro 70's space rock song with some Kiss elements thrown in as well when the song rocks heavier. It's a good song, but does sound a bit dated in style due to its retro feel. Track nine "I Don't Like The Drugs (But The Drugs Like Me)" mixes 70's funk with a chorus that sounds exactly like an old Kiss song. This song is probably my least favorite here. It's just too funky and silly. It's even too obscure for MM. Track ten "New Model No. 15" is another song with a 70's space rock sound to it, but does feature catchy electronic rhythms and beats and a fast paced chorus. It's an upbeat rock song and I like it for the most part. Track eleven "User Friendly" is a funky electronic song with a heavy upbeat chorus. It's good, but does have some elements in it that make it sound a bit silly. Track twelve "Fundamentally Loathsome" is a slow paced piano lounge song that should have been placed as the last song on the album. It does not work where it is placed now. The song almost makes me laugh because I just can't picture MM doing lounge music. Maybe that's the whole point. Track thirteen "The Last Day On Earth" is a really cool song that sounds more current with a sci-fi vibe. The electronic rhythms and beats really grab you while MM sings along perfectly. It's a fairly fast paced song that has a lot of variety mixed into it. Track fourteen "Coma White" is an alternative rock song with great music and singing. It doesn't really sound like a song to end an album with, but it's still very good. This album proves that Marilyn Manson as a band is very talented and has the ability to make some extremely tight and polished music with a lot of great rhythms, beats, harmonies and melodies. This is not the dark and scary Marilyn Manson making angry aggressive industrial rock songs anymore. This is a very creative and talented band with an excellent singer with a lot of range and tone to his voice making some very well produced and quality songs. It's just too bad that Marilyn Manson's image and reputation will prevent a lot of people from actually enjoying this album.



Album: "Antichrist Superstar" (1996)
Label: Nothing/Interscope Records
Style: Cyber-Core
Songs: 16

Reviewed by: Darklight

This album is packed with sixteen incredible songs that just rock. There are no slow songs, instrumentals, remixes, or filler crap to be found here. The songs are full length dark, angry, aggressive, gothic, metal, and industrial music. The singer of the band has a great evil, eerie, twisted, psycho singing style that sings melodic, screams, babbles, moans, growls, talks, and shouts. The music combines heavy thrashy guitars and hard driving drum beats with electronics and haunting synth harmonies. Each song changes emotions constantly never allowing the listener to know what twists and turns the music is going to take next. The recording quality is top notch. This is a very well put together and produced album. It delivers sixteen original songs that are all equally impressive.



Album: "Portrait Of An American Family" (1994)
Label: Nothing/Interscope
Style: Electro metal
Songs: 13

Reviewed by: Darklight

The instant the first song "Cake And Sodomy" kicks in, you're hooked. This song just rages with aggressive thrashing that is extremely catchy. This entire album just flat out rocks. It's loud, fast, and hard-core. The guitars are heavy, drums slamming, and vocals yelling. But it's very clean. Everything is very crisp and polished sounding. Thrown into these haunting goth punk songs are samples, synths, and distortion. Although the songs are extremely fast and energy packed, they are very catchy as well with different changes that come and go in each of them. This is a hard rock album for the most part. The industrial influences are very subtle. But the singer is so crazy and psycho with a killer voice that this band definitely has a unique sound to it. This is horror metal with a scary vibe and wicked lyrics. There isn't a bad song to be found here. But my favorites are "Cake And Sodomy", "Lunchbox", "Dope Hat", "Dogma", "Sweet Tooth", and "Misery Machine". If you like thrashy metal or punk music with a dark edge and industrial influences, this album is a must for you.