is on a hot streak. After starring on the wildly popular final season of Sons of Anarchy
as an incarcerated member of the Aryan Brotherhood, Manson delivers his widely anticipated follow up to 2012's Born Villain
. It seems time with the SAMCRO biker gang may have affected Manson; as the typical metal riffs the band is also largely infused with blues influences. However, don't expect his new found sound interest to change Manson's persona. Sticking to what he knows best, Manson continues to sing about gruesome events with a tendency for shock value.
Album opener "Killing Strangers" follows the familiar Manson trope of violent lyrics with a chorus that plainly states, "we're killing strangers so we don't kill the ones that we love". Simple enough, but Manson proves that, unfortunately, he has not advanced as a lyricist. One doesn't have to look past song titles such as "Cupid Carries A Gun" and "Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge" to realize Manson's fascination with the morbid is still intact. Lyrics such as "Don't bring your black cloud to bed/When I wake up you best be gone or you better be dead" from "The Devil Beneath My Feet" demonstrate more of the same.
Manson has taken a musical step forward. On "Warship My Wreck," Manson's use of quiet to loud dynamics is a nice switch from the constant assault on the ears his music has been known for. The bluesy guitar riff throughout the song shows more aggression and heartache than the cliche woe is me
lyrics Manson is known for.
He is most interesting here on the album closer "Odds Of Even". The longest song on the album, the outro creepily crawls along showcasing all sides of Manson: moody, heavy, and occult. He shows a maturing musicality. Instead of forcing his emotion through the music onto his listener in an aggressive manner, the drum work slows up, the blues guitar influences appear, and a clear focus on an easy listening melody breaks through the doom.
Manson's new album won't win him any new fans, or lose him any old ones. By making minor additions to his formula, Manson has shown he knows how to stay interesting without changing what he's best at: scaring the hell out of people.
Watch the video for "Deep Six" off The Pale EMperor