Marilyn Manson, Antichrist Superstar

Andrew Parks

By Andrew Parks

on 09.05.12 in Reviews

Antichrist Superstar

Marilyn Manson

A song cycle that’s “Satanic” in the Anton LaVey sense of the word — an egocentric celebration of the self rather than a rally against an absent, unseen god — Marilyn Manson’s second album single-handedly tore the country’s moral fabric in half when it went platinum more than 15 years ago. Back then, Brian “I Swear I’m Not That Kid From Wonder Years” Warner transformed himself from a scrawny, pasty Floridian to hell’s leading boogeyman by transcending the shock-rock tactics of the band’s Bible Belt-baiting debut (1994′s Portrait of An American Family, their first collaboration with Trent Reznor) right before our eyes.

Transcending the shock-rock tactics of their debut

Having Reznor in one corner and Skinny Puppy’s Dave Ogilvie in the other certainly didn’t hurt Antichrist Superstar in the production department either, as Warner dug his meaty hooks into a massive mix of skittish drums, sinewy samples and locust-like loops. The three-part storyline — a blow-by-blow Metamorphosis of Giger-like proportions — may sound like a laughable midnight movie in retrospect, but there’s no denying the blind ambition of an album that offset a few obvious singles (“The Beautiful People,” “Tourniquet”) with chain-gun choruses (“The Reflecting God”), fluttering falsettos (“Wormboy”), lyrics that’d make Ozzy and Alice blush, and the nagging sense that it’ll all be over soon and we’ll be all the better for it.