Marilyn Manson - Mechanical Animals
Nothing/Interscope Records
Modern Alternative Metal
14 songs (62:38)
Release year: 1998
Marilyn Manson
Reviewed by Khelek
Archive review

Marilyn Manson is one of those rare artists that draw the fire of both the conservatives who want to quell any type of violence or sex in music, and the more extreme music listeners who see the vocalist as a poser who writes and plays only for money and shock value. After giving this album a serious listen, however, I have to say that he is neither the talentless hack nor the destroyer of society. I find in this album a lot of music that is just plain good. Yes it may sound different from many "accepted" forms of metal, but I feel like it's a direction that is necessary and, most of all, has the potential for something great. This album is something great.

Right from the opening sounds of a lonely electric guitar and then the faster drums on Great Big White World, you know this is going to be a serious album. Everything sounds serious. Vocalist Marilyn Manson's voice soon comes in, sounding like a cross between grunge and something else that is difficult to place, but it sounds depressive and angry. The song gets really heavy with the guitar driven chorus, the riffs and overall tone of the music sounding like a cross between industrial and grunge. The disharmonious guitar in the background also helps with the melancholy yet very heavy atmosphere of the song. The next song that really catches my attention is the title track. It starts out with such a great hard rock feeling, going into a sort of depressive atmosphere in the verse. The chorus picks the tempo up a bit but keeps with the same feeling throughout the song. I really enjoy the fuzzy, distorted guitar in this song as it really brings out that solid rock sound. Many of the songs blend elements from hard rock, industrial, grunge, and of course heavy metal. Most of the songs are driven either by the fuzzy, down tuned guitar or a softer, sort of clean electric. Disassociative starts out with some clean electric and some tortured vocals from Manson that actually sound like someone at the end of the road with life in one direction and hope in another. Speed Of Pain puts out a similar vibe. The blend of the different elements in this album is probably the most impressive part for me. Skinny Puppy may have done some similar things earlier than this, but this is the first album that really brings it all together cohesively for me. This is also an album that paints an emotional picture. It may not be a picture you want to see, but you can't deny that all parties involved are still quite skillful in making it. The final track on the album, Coma White, is perhaps my favorite from the album and has continued to be a favorite song of mine especially when I'm feeling down for some strange reason. It starts out softly much like Speed Of Pain but the chorus really makes the song shine with the weird electronics in the background and the down-tuned guitars blasting out the monstrous riffs of a chorus that is very memorable both sonically and lyrically.

To me this is really an album about depression and living in the human condition under bad circumstances. I wouldn't say it's necessarily a window into the lifestyle of sex, drugs, and rock n roll, but it sounds pretty close. The album is over an hour long, so for some it might be a bit much to take in all at once, I know it still is for me. However the songs do flow together nicely and I have to say that I never really hear anything out of place. I suppose a few songs could have been cut, such as Posthuman and New Model No. 15. These are a couple of the more industrial type songs on the album and I'm much more a fan of the old school hard rock and metal sound. But that's just me personally; others may find them to be more enjoyable than the heavier guitar driven elements. Ultimately if you want something that sounds modern, unique, melancholy, and still metal, check this out.

Killing Songs :
All of them, personal favorites are Mechanical Animals, Disassociative, Coma White
Khelek quoted 89 / 100
Other albums by Marilyn Manson that we have reviewed:
Marilyn Manson - Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) reviewed by Khelek and quoted 79 / 100
Marilyn Manson - The High End Of Low reviewed by Khelek and quoted 63 / 100
Marilyn Manson - The Golden Age of Grotesque reviewed by Jay and quoted 57 / 100
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