Music Review: Marilyn Manson – Born Villian

It appears the angry, in your face gothic hard rock master has returned. Yes, none other than our dearly beloved Marilyn Manson. I say that because his last couple of releases were easily forgettable and void of the kind of material that drew me to his music in the first place. The new album is called “Born Villain” and it’s been long overdue.

Born Villain” takes the odd road with some of the inventive sounds we’ve come to know thru the Manson music. Of course there is the driving industrial-edge keeping it all together that keeps the beat moving. “Born Villain” in that a respect is a tribute to Manson by Manson himself taking us back to some of his earlier sounds.

The release has been described by Manson as “suicide death metal”. Though not being a fan of death metal, I can say that this release delivers a much better sound than the undistinguishable sounds death metal bands tend to throw upon us. So for the sake of keeping the release “out” of that arena….I say let’s not lump it into “that” category.

Can I recommend my favorite tracks yet? Not exactly, as a whole it’s a great overall production. At times “Born Villain” seems to weave in and out of all of their earlier albums. I did hear a bit of the “Type O Negative” influence in there and maybe even a tip of the hat to “Pantera”. While it was clear in the past which tracks we designated “the singles” of the release…I believe this release will serve a different purpose as a more “complete” experience..incorporating many pieces into more cohesive whole.

The first single “No Reflection” is definitely a powerful track for the release but is not isolated as each of the tracks seem to offer a bit of the crunch rock bang that Manson is known for. Probably a little bit held back this release was the over-industrialism direction that “The Golden Age of Grotesque” took. I can’t exactly call that a bad or good thing as I really enjoyed “The Golden Age of Grotesque”, though “Born Villain” clearly has a tip of the hat to a Alice Cooper direction this round and his hard rock roots

You might also notice the inclusion of “You’re so Vain”, the Carly Simon song. Very cool indeed and a great choice for a remake. Manson is course also known for his haunting remake of “Sweet Dreams”.

Each release by the group seems to carry over a little bit of history from band members joining, leaving, returning, and keeping us generally confused. There is a pretty good wikipedia timeline to reference this but in essence we see the return of Twiggy Ramirez this round (and the exit of Tim Skold) Both are great components to some of Manson’s best work, though its nice to see Ramirez back on board like the old days.

“Born Villain” features 15 rock-centered tracks that simply ignite the memory of Marilyn Manson back into the frontline. Good to see you in 2012….we’ve been bored and need our MM fix.

Music Review: Marilyn Manson – Born Villian

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11 Responses to Music Review: Marilyn Manson – Born Villian

  1. dave p says:

    Wow – this was bad on first listen. A lot of very boring riffs that I, as a guitar player, could have played along with immediately. Manson on guitar=rudimentary songs. A few gems in the bunch, but not nearly the creativity found on “High End”. Where’s John 5???

    • dom says:

      i can completely agree with you. i have been a die hard fan of manson since 96. i have never been dissapointed with any of his album. so when i first listened to born villain last night i was dissapointed for the first time. i am a guitar player as well and i picked up on the songs immediately. i like twiggy but do not like him on guitars. i can honestly say that the album would have been much better if john 5 or skold had an input on born villain. twiggy needs to get back on bass. if you listen to any of the recent live footage of there current tour twiggy sounds like crap. a good example is sweet dreams. he ruins the guitar solo at the end. that guitar solo is iconic and for him to completely go away from the original sound ruins the song. that is just one example. listen to a few others and u will see what i am talkin about. you can also tell the album suffers musically cause all the old band members are gone. they all had influence on past records. so far my fav song is “your so vain” the vocals, guitars, bass, ect sound great and reminds me of mansons previous work

  2. dave p says:

    BTW – yes, I know John 5 was not on the last album – but they need him back bad!

  3. Alex P. says:

    If someone who is a “guitar player” solely judges this album just on the “boring” riffs of this album, you do not deserve to listen to this album nor do you get what the overall message underlying the album is. I thought it was a nice change of pace from EMDM and THEOL, reminiscent of Holy Wood and some Mechanical and Antichrist. One should already recognize Manson as an everchanging palette, a canvas that is dynamic with each album. This album displays confidence which was quite lacking in his 2 earlier releases. I like this aggressive sound Manson had displayed. There are some definite favorites, but it is to early to pick out since the album does indeed build up on the other songs on the album. I would hate to live in a world where one decides whether music is good or bad simply by listening to te guitar riffs.

    • dave says:

      I’m commenting on the guitar because all of the songs start off as guitar riffs! Therefore, I can conclude that, in my opinion anyways, they are rudimentary and not very creative. If a better player were on board (John 5) or the songs were electronic or keyboard-based (Mechanical Animals) then I wouldn’t be discussing the guitar. But there it is – Marilyn (and Twiggy) playing guitar-based songs that need a better master of the instrument to make it more interesting. He keeps letting the best talent around him go because he thinks he’s the s**t!

  4. Reznortrent says:

    Great guitar does help an album towards a level of higher quality, and this is definately an area where it could be better. The whole thing seems to be on youtube – Lay Down Your Goddamn Arms, and Murderers Are Getting Prettier Every Day, great tracks. Pistol Whipped isnt too bad either, but some great guitar would have added to it instead of some NIN esque experimental noise. Some of the rest however is pretty boring or almost unlistenable, either with vocals that could have sounded better in my opinion, or songs having no great hook or chorus. The last two albums were ‘less rock’, but being more laid back and downbeat has nothing to do with confidence or creativity. This is Manson, his ego is among the biggest of all the big time rockers. Arguably this album is more experimental than the last two, and some might argue thats where the problem lies too-he may think he sounds better than he really does. I personally found the last two more interesting with far more memorable tracks, but each to their own ;)

    • dom says:

      i totally agree with everything you said, previous albums had far more memerable tracks. and yes some of the songs are unlistenable. if you look back at some of the classics like great big white world the guitars bring you in. idk i am dissapointed with this album. this is the first time i have ever said this about manson

  5. Manson Guru says:

    I don’t know what album u guys are listening to but Born Villain is f*cking awesome. Tracks not rememberable? You are kidding me, this album has some of his most distinct and creative tracks since GAOTG and maybe all the way back to Holywood.

    Give this one another listen, it’s highly creative with feirce vocals, good lyrics, and awesome rock structure

  6. rmj9 says:

    On the plus side I think the production is the best on any MM album. Song wise the album reminds me of TGAOG – all quite similar (mid paced/heavy) with little variety & lyrically not that interesting – a few good puns here & there. Stand out to me would be “The Gardener” – lyrically interesting & musically different. Overall I much prefer EMDM & THEOL.

    I agree with the comments regarding Twiggy live. I think in the studio his playing is fine but live he seems to struggle. I do wonder if that is why the set lists are quite static & feature predominantly punky songs & few of the bands more intricate compositions. Can you imagine him attempting “Astonishing Panorama…” or “Putting Holes In Happiness” ?

  7. dave says:

    Furthermore……this doesn’t compare to HOLYWOOD at all because John 5 wrote or co-wrote nearly every song on that album – there was also a lot of writing input from Gacy. Manson should stick to lyrics, because he and Twiggy are not nearly the composition powerhouse that Twiggy and 5 were.

  8. I dont think the intention here was to measure this as a guitar album, as much as a rock album (with alternative directives). Riffs used are often more for ambience and tonality. The MM collective does vary from release to release due to the everchanging lineup, however its nice to see him getting away from the sound of the last 2 releases and back to a more raw sound with less sappy lyrics. I think the direction here is perfect for a next step. His metaphoric titles were starting to become too predictable, and his songwriting was becoming too influenced by personal relationships. “Born Villian” is a nice return

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