Marilyn Manson – ‘Heaven Upside Down’ (Album Review)
Marilyn Manson is nonconformity personified. Against a consistently stagnating musical landscape, 2015’s The Pale Emperor (reviewed here) stood out a good mile or two. That album also heralded Marilyn Manson’s return to form – but as I mentioned in the aforementioned review, it also felt restrained.
Heaven Upside Down is not that.
Advance singles KILL4ME and WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE made that much clear by their capitalised titles alone. Heaven Upside Down is a raw, ultra-tight mix of hyperdistorted rock and industrialised synthpop. Revelation #12 and Tattooed In Reverse present both forms in scintillating style before WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE kicks things back into industrial territory, grooving as hard as any of Manson’s past classics.
From there, the anthems keep on coming. Say10 and JE$U$ CRI$I$ were my personal favourites, while Blood Honey proved the only good-but-not-great track. Title cut Heaven Upside Down is masterfully arranged, dirty electric and gritty acoustic guitars mingling in the intro while Manson waxes poetic and we’re off again – and Threats Of Romance is a sure-fire live set closer, stomping and strutting with plenty of classic rock theatricality.
Searing string bends, elegant piano, one sky-searching solo and a lighter-waving-into-headbanging outro later, Heaven Upside Down is done. Marilyn Manson is definitely not. Hallelujah.
LTK RATING: 95% (Essential Listening!)
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