Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Review: Marilyn Manson - The High End Of Low

Has Manson reached the high end of low of his career? Could this be the agonizing downfall of one of the most iconic names in the alternative music scene? Only time knows, but Marilyn Manson is slowly and surely changing uncertain directions, favoring a rather more rock-based style than his well-known industrial metal sound. If you didn't like "Eat Me, Drink Me" "The High End Of Low" is going to be a new disappointment to you. Despite the new release being compared to the ground-breaking "Antichrist Superstar" it lacks the power and genuine electro-industrial rhythm passed throughout the whole album.

After a series of personal lows and the rather negative way his last work was received by both fans and critics, Manson decided to go back to his roots, teaming up once again with Twiggy Ramirez, after parting company with Tim Skold, who decided to concentrate more on his work with KMFDM. However, no major differences are noticeable, especially if you manage to reach to the very end of the album.

I have never been very much into exceedingly long album and and the new release makes no exception. The impressive 72-minute length of "The High End Of Low" is no actual compensation for the rather mediocre quality of the whole product. More likely to be left with the impression that Manson decided to include absolutely everything recorded during the session period, probably as a generous gesture to the fans. Thanks, Marilyn, but it would have made a great gift for us if the album was worth listening from start to end. Don't get me wrong, Manson is a talented musician, but he has spent too much time self-pitying and whining about unsuccessful relationships, crying out ponds of black tears, while struggling to get out of his lovey-dovey depression and get back to the Valley of death.

Once holding the title of the Prince of shock, now Marilyn Manson could only shock you with the enormous amounts of sick depression he generates on an album-base. Although a few of the songs deal with his favourite political issues and the Antichrist crusade to the downfall of organized religion, they stand quite odd and alone in the whole tracklist and lyrics lack any distinguishable originality. Throughout the whole album Manson is trying to convince us and himself as well that he has come up with a brand new record, filled with anger, despair and black lust, but it turns out to be his career slowly town apart by the canny tricks of love.

Despite "The High End Of Low" being at least an idea ahead of "Eat Me, Drink Me" it is more of a desperate attempt to stay above the surface. In my opinion this is probably his most commercial release up to date striving to be radio-friendly and less based on actual shock values. Probably the 00s is just not Manson's decade...or just his high end of low.

Songs to hear: "We're from America", "Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin-Geddon", "Leave a Scar", "Running to the Edge of the World" and "Four Rusted Horseman"

Personal rating: 6 out of 10