Manson finally delivers another high point
After Marilyn Manson’s last outing, 2007’s Eat Me, Drink Me, you could almost question if this rocker had has his time. It was a painful exercise to digest as a listener as Manson poured his black heart out over his broken marriage to Dita Von Teese. It lacked the punch, the shock, the aggression that the likes of Antichrist Superstar or Mechanical Animals delivered. Hell even Holy Wood had some kind of bite to it. Thankfully, it seems that Manson and Co. have got the bit between their collective teeth once again and their newie, The High End Of Low, is quite possibly the best thing they’ve done in quite some time.
Whilst Devour might have a sombre beginning and quite a long build up, but it does kick into life with the power that you’d expect from Manson. But the group really take full flight with the ugly sounding Pretty As A Swastika and the catchy as hell Leave A Scar and at this point, it’s pretty much a case of “Welcome back, Mr. Manson.” Four Rusted Horses may be pretty much an acoustic number but there’s still something about Manson’s individual performance that makes it stand out here and that’s considering the fact that it is immediately before the first single, the anti-radio titled Arma-goddamn-motherfuckin’-geddon, which truly rocks with the gusto of The Beautiful People (from 1996’s Antichrist Superstar) or The Dope Show (from 1998’s Mechanical Animals). But if there was ever a sign of Manson reinvigorated fire, then Blank And White is probably it as he screams, ‘I want to celebrate, I want to sell your hate’.
Although there’s plenty of anger on The High End Of Low, along come tracks like Running To The Edge Of The World and the latter track Into The Fire. Both are slower, melodic, and almost ballad-like. Is this a more human side of Manson that has emerged after Eat Me, Drink Me? One that will provide quite the contrast to his typically pissed off approach to music? It may sound like it’s all roses at this point, but the nine minute mini epic I Want To Kill You Like They Do In The Movies is more filler than killer. It has its moments but equally feels like its overstaying its welcome too, and WOW could just be left out completely. It’s business as usual as Manson ploughs through Wight Spider, Unkillable Monster and We’re From America before the slower I Have To Look Up Just To See Hell changes tack once again. Then something like 15 comes along and all the good work is once again undone. We’re treated to a bonus remix of Arma-goddamn-motherfuckin’-geddon which is nice but at this point, redundant.
The High End Of Low isn’t without it’s problems. There’s some clear filler material on here, and at 16 tracks clocking in over 79 minutes, it feels and is too damn long. Having said that, it’s light years ahead of Eat Me, Drink Me and easily the best thing the band have released since Mechanical Animals.
(Interscope Records/Universal Music Australia)