Marilyn Manson is streaming his much anticipated new album The Pale Emperor eight days ahead of its release. This will be the artist's ninth studio record, following 2012's Born Villain.
The album opens with the slow grooving "Killing Strangers," and immediately listeners will notice a sound much different from his previous releases. The drums are minimal, but loud and booming. The guitars are only slightly overdriven for a more rock and roll vibe, and Manson's vocals sound coarse and raw. This is in stark contrast to the industrial sounds of his more recent works. Marilyn Manson still offers his more familiar style of dark and danceable in tracks like "Deep Six" and "Slave Only Dreams To Be King."
The self-proclaimed "Antichrist Superstar" has made everything from heavy metal to industrial to dance music. The Pale Emperor introduces a new influence: the blues. In an interview with The Fader, Manson stated: "What I hadn't ever found, till now, is the blues. The blues changed the way that I sang. And the music has a melody and a language in and of itself."
Now, this doesn't mean this is an album full of blues clichés and songs about being left by his woman. Rather, Manson weaves a bluesy style into his music in a much more subtle way. Many of the tracks here have the familiar cadence and overall feel of a blues / rock song, but are still unmistakably Marilyn Manson. The song "Birds Of Hell Awaiting" has that classic 6/8 blues shuffle that brings to mind George Thorogood's "I Drink Alone." The two songs even begin in the same key.
This is a whole new Marilyn Manson, one who is more evolved, both musically and personally. With the once most controversial figure in pop culture recently turning 46, his focus has turned towards self-improvement. But his stance on being the villain hasn't changed. He said to Rolling Stone: "My point on Earth is chaos. I'm the third act of every movie you'e ever seen. I'm the part where it rains and the part where the person you don't want to die dies."
The Pale Emperor marks a new chapter in the Marilyn Manson epic, and will likely be one of the best in his career. The shock rocker has the ability to reinvent himself while still retaining his identity by not indulging in the latest musical trends. Marilyn Manson is one of the last true rock stars and he has shown no sign of giving it up.
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Source: Loma Vista Recordings SoundCloud