...This is one for understanding fans rather than new converts.
Harry Holgate 2007
Disaffected youth of the world, rejoice! After four years the self-proclaimed 'God of F***' is back to tap into your tortured psyches again and in many ways it’s like he’s never been away.
This is the sixth studio effort from Marilyn and on the surface it seems to be very much business as usual; restless undead and self-mutilation? Check. Internal demons wrestling with grinding guitars? Check. Beanpole white-skinned sexual deviant with his lipstick and ripping tent-canvas voice? Check, check, check and check.
It seems strange to be blasé about Manson and his songs, dealing as they do with murder, mutilation and all shades of “blimey, that’s a bit of a wrong ‘un” sexual practice but in the decade and more he’s been singing them for a deeply divided public it does feel there can’t be many more places to go in terms of subject matter.
But wait! The Antichrist Superstar has had the crushing personal blow of his marriage to Dita von Teese coming to an end, bringing understandable pain and heartbreak but perfect material for this record. Ladies and gentlegoths, I present to you Eat Me, Drink Me: Marilyn Manson’s break-up album.
Opening the batting for the blood-soaked misery eleven, ''If I Was Your Vampire'' is slow and cavernous and doesn’t immediately grab but gives a tone of what’s to come, a circular tale of love won and lost filtered through Manson undeath cultishness. Still, he gave a Christmas setting, so that’s nice.
The tone never really gets out of the processed grind gutter but that’s no great loss as there are some pleasures down there. ''Just A Car Crash Away'' and ''Evidence'' both show why a tortured artist is a good artist, as well as the musical intelligence Manson brings to his self-conscious darkness. The first single, ''Heart Shaped Glasses'', proves itself too with an undeniable hook and drive which sets it apart from the rest of the album.
Recorded in the studio attached to his home, EMDM is a stripped-down affair with far less of the near-operatic gothstrionics which have charicterised earlier efforts. The choruses aren’t as howling and the Alice in Wonderland imagery doesn’t always chime but it’s an effective album and reminds you why the man has done so well by ploughing his own fairly unique furrow. That said, this is one for understanding fans rather than new converts.