Album Reviews

2017 Recap: Marilyn Manson – Heaven Upside Down

220px-Marilyn_Manson_-_Heaven_Upside_DownMarilyn Manson – Heaven Upside Down

Release Date: 6th October 2017

Record Label: Interscope

After starting out as Marilyn Manson And The Spooky Kids back in 1989 with Brian ‘Marilyn Manson’ HughWarner, Scott‘Daisy Berkowitz’ Petesky and Jeordie ‘Twiggy Ramirez’ White, this album may represent a seminal moment in the history of Marilyn Manson. Since its release on October 6th, Daisy Berkowitz unfortunately passed away on October 22nd and just two days Marilyn Manson parted ways with Twiggy Ramirez following rape allegations.

1994 – Smells Like Children Far Left – Daisy Berkowitz, Left- Marilyn Manson, Middle – Madonna Wayne Gacy, Right – Twiggy Ramirez and Far Right – Sara Lee Lucas

Having initially hit the music industry by storm; shocking people worldwide by their onstage acts and lyrical content, the band continued a ‘satanic’ theme throughout which has now become more common. This hasn’t gone unnoticed and some of this albums tracks, namely JE$U$ CRI$I$, definitely seem to be aimed in his imitators/followers direction (I’m looking at you Salem). Having released over 15 albums and sold in excess of 50 million records worldwide, fans have had to wait for this latest album since its rumoured release in February but I’m glad to say that it has been worth the wait.

The track list of the album is Revelation #12, Tattooed In Reverse, WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE, SAY10, KILL4ME, Saturnalia, JE$I$ CRI$I$, Blood Honey, Heaven Upside Down and Threats Of Romance. The album starts out with Revelation #12, a track that really pulls you in starting with some white noise and chanting in the background before you start to hear guitar, bass and drums followed by Manson’s iconic voice. The beat throughout is outstanding making it really easy to get into whether its just tapping your foot or head banging to the song. It is at this moment you feel reassured that Marilyn Manson has not lost any of his qualities, only gained new examples which demonstrate his art. All the songs have the typical ‘Manson touch’ to them and this really brings the album together with the common eerie start, making you question what may follow, but before long you know EXACTLY what’s going on.

Marilyn Manson during a live performance in the Antichrist Superstar era

Of course, being know as the ‘Antichrist Superstar‘, we don’t have to wait long for some trademark, but questionable, lyrics in this day and age, lyrics. Some of my favourites I’ve pulled out include ‘we’ll paint the town red, with the blood of the tourists’ (Revelation #12), ‘They won’t even recognise your corpse.’ (WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE) and ‘Sideways for attention, longways for results’ (KILL4ME). So whilst Manson continues to create great music he also manages to antagonise mass groups of people whilst doing so. This is part of his charm and what drives many to follow him, and I for one love the edginess of his tracks.

It is hard to see whether or not this is one of Marilyn Manson’s best albums, however it has moved on since the bass-heavy The Pale Emporer, and instead this album is going back to the heartland of the late 90’s tracks with more a rough overtone. There are tracks which step away from the theme, such as Blood Honey, which stuck out massively for me due the piano-like backing. Its core remained very Marilyn Manson, but was just different enough to make you sit up and listen due to its focus on vocals whilst deriving a feeling of tension which is unlike any other song on the album. Personally, I loved it.

Another song of note is the almost 8 minutes long Saturnalia, which surprisingly manages to keep fast paced and interesting throughout, which for me was surprising as we have become increasingly attuned to shorter length tracks.

The Smashing Pumpkins And Marilyn Manson In Concert

Overall, if you are a Manson fan this album will sit neatly amongst your collection and if you have an affinity to his earlier work then it becomes an almost ‘must’ purchase. Since the albums release Marilyn Manson has continued touring and at the moment he has just finished doing his UK leg. The band headlined the O2 Arena in London on Saturday and the inclusion of these tracks will only make his live appearances even more special.

Rating: 10/10

Favourite Tracks: Blood Honey, JE$U$ CRI$I$ and WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE