Marilyn Manson — WE ARE CHAOS — Album Review

Industrial Rock | Industrial Metal

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

WE ARE CHAOS is the eleventh studio album from the industrial shock-rock icon that is Marilyn Manson. And while I am no stranger to Manson’s classics, you may be surprised that his later material had also had some attention from me as well. While I revere his 2015 album The Pale Emperor as a very solid experience, I was also close to reviewing his previous album release, 2017’s Heaven Upside Down, but ultimately didn’t feel enough of the icon’s dark, moody, and hellish prowess to go any further than an initial listen.

But in the here and now, is WE ARE CHAOS, and I would be going into this album as a completely fresh listen. Admittedly, after the lacklustre feeling I got from Heaven Upside Down, I wasn’t too attentive towards the two teasers that were this album’s title track, and “DON’T CHASE THE DEAD”. But nevertheless, I felt that the absence of any other album with a sense of familiarity or instant appeal to be discovered by myself, it would only be fair if I ventured into this new album, with a hope that I would once again be faced with Marilyn Manson’s dark and controversial presence.

And things definitely came across as promising, in regards to the opening track “RED BLACK AND BLUE”. On top of having an intro that builds the album up incredibly well, it also succeeded greatly in capturing that industrial heaviness; the kind that I would expect the likes of Rammstein to jump on to.

As for everything that follows this…well…lets just say that it felt like a bittersweet experience. While it had definitely proved itself to be more engaging than its predecessor at its finer moments, this was counterbalanced by the tracks that had a much softer and more melodic tone than what I was hoping to hear from Manson. And at the very worst, these kinds of tracks come off as incredibly mundane and lacking in immersion. The biggest offender for me, ironically enough, is the title track. When comparing this track with the likes of, lets say, “The Fight Song”, in the sense that they both feel like rallying anthems, “WE ARE CHAOS” just feels considerably weaker in its musical dynamic and sense of engagement.

So all in all, if I had to say that WE ARE CHAOS as an album has re-ignited my love towards this artist, I would argue that it is only by the tiniest amount. And of course, I can appreciate that Manson wanted to try out a coming-of-age style mellowing, rather than just rinse and repeat the same atmosphere, I feel that he perhaps should’ve tried a different method for revampint his style.

In the past decade especially, there have been so many innovative and exciting artists, that may or may not have been inspired heavily by Marilyn Manson and his sense of going against the norm, which is sad to say when feeling so strongly like he has blended into that norm with his newest record.


Least Favourite Track: WE ARE CHAOS

Marilyn Manson | Loma Vista Recordings | Concord




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Joe Boothby

Joe Boothby

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.