Album – Antichrist Superstar
Artist – Marilyn Manson
Key Players – Ginger Fish – drums,
programming. Madonna Wayne Gacy – keyboards/loops. Twiggy Ramirez
– guitars, bass. Daisy Berkowitz – guitars. Marilyn Manson –
lead vocals, guitar, pan flute
Produced By – Trent Reznor
Release Date – October 8, 1996
Overview – This is the second studio
album from Marilyn Manson. This record is the one that made them a
household name and with it the trappings of stardom. The album title
is loosely based off “Jesus Christ Superstar” and is a rock
opera, even part of a three album trilogy. The wild videos and the
press always on Manson himself it was difficult to not be aware of
them. This album would do well on the US Charts, going as high as #3
and would sell over 7 Million copies worldwide.
FDF Comments (aka the songs)
are 16 songs listed (17 if you include the old “hidden track”)
clocking in at 77 minutes. “Irresponsible Hate Anthem” opens the
albums with audience cheers, giving it a feeling of a live album.
There are chants and about 30 seconds in it gets loud and heavy.
Fish gets it rolling and Ramirez finds the chugging bass line. Manson
has a loud howl to his voice and its offset with heavy screams and
the band comes in all around him. The track actually has some tempo
changes keeping it interesting, rather than going quiet to loud it
does have some off tempo breakdowns. Its not as cookie cutter as one
might think. The swirl of "The Beautiful People"
swells and its
the drum roll from Fish and the chugging guitars from Berkowitz that
are most well known. Even casual fans of the band know this song,
not a lot to talk about. You've made up your mind a while ago on
this one, but the guitars are pretty awesome. “Dried Up, Tied and
Dead To the World” is much calmer that the prior track with a bit
more focus on the keyboard line put down by Gacy. Its has the
industrial, robotic feel to it, but continues with the buzzy guitars.
Ramierez opens the bass up as "Tourniquet"
begins. The dual
guitars ring well with the bass and Fish is heavy on the crash
cymbals. Manson sings about as hushed as he'd ever sing, but as the
chorus approaches he rinses with whiskey and razorblades and lets it
fly. The drum bass and guitar play mid track keep with that heavy
and thunderous rumble that push the track onwards. Fish gets on the
ride cymbal and slows it, but crashes it soon after and we get a
final run at the chorus. “Little Horn” is part of cycle B on the
record (there are 3). The guitars lock on a single riff as Manson
sings, he pushes beyond that opening verse and the full band comes
in. You can hear the touch from Reznor here, very industrial feeling
with hints of the edge of Ministry. Fish and Gacy start off
“Cryptorchid” and Manson starts the vocals pretty early on. He
speaks the lines more than he sings at the outset,but there are some
background high harmonies and later on when its just Gacy on
keyboards under some heavily distorted “quiet” vocals. The
effect will remind you of a Clockwork Orange soundtrack with the
indecipherable lyrics, but you know there are words there and it
fades right to “Deformography”. Another slower to build type
track but with no heavier a back layer of bass/guitar/drums. The
robotic drumming just has all the more accent on the strikes before
guitars take over the layers and Manson grows increasingly angry
sounding. It calms, then does the sort of “rinse-lather-repeat”
thing. “Worm Boy” has a bit more of that classic Manson feel.
The off tempo buzzy guitars and drums with Manson taking the lead in
pushing everyone. Fish is particularly interesting rotating from
computer drums to standard acoustic drums. The slow burn of the
guitars builds as
“Mister Superstar” gets underway
and by the first verse it locks in to a cool riff. Ramierez has a
cool bass line that has some nice melodic runs as Berkowitz then
hammers down and the band explodes. This is the Marilyn Manson your
mom knows about. “Angel With The Scabbed Wings” blends right in
to the prior track with the same rumble of bass and guitar. This
track has a solid back beat and, although I've used it a lot, the
“chugging” is sort of cool. The band gets after it and not
instrument is not beat on heavily! “Kinderfeld” is the last song
of the section “b” segment. Again Ramierez finds a cool bass
line to lock on and Gacy throws in the keyboard flourishes. Fish is
slow to get the drums moving along but Berkowitz is idle for the
first verse. Gacy throws in some chops, and by the chorus the guitar
is light and largely an accompaniment before offering up some
harmonic layers. The bass is the driving force on the track. "Anti Christ Superstar"
is the first track of “Cycle III –
Disintigration Rising” segment of the record. Another sonic
assault. The guitars are at the front of “1996” and Manson and
company go right after it on this. A frenzy of bass and drums
pushing the eardrums of those daring to stay locked in. The drum
machine tempo and simple bass open “Minute of Decay” with the
guitar shimmering in the background before it switches on the
distortion, albeit it still “in the background” as the bass
remains steady. Manson again is very hushed but he grows with an
angry howl even as the band doesn't get too wild along side him.
Manson is the first thing you hear as“The Reflecting God” gets underway.
The industrial feel is back and this is the Manson that fans are
looking for, that angst and dark stuff with huge down beats. As far
as the official track listing the album concludes with “Man That
You Fear”. Starting off much slower it has a quiet piano but
moments of aggression at times. As an album closer it works with
everyone almost “tired” Once that is done, go to track 99 to
hear the hidden track “Empty Sounds of Hate”. This is a loop
track in that if you play the start of track 1 its a continuation.
Its fuzzy spoken word, not a song,but the idea is to have the album
“loop” as a continual story.
Where are they now? - Berkowitz left
the band left the band soon after the album was completed. He continues to work in music but was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer in 2013. Ramirez also works in the business playing with A Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails and doing production work. Fish works with Rob Zombie. Manson himself is working on a new
record that may see release in late 2014.
FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting
Off? - There is no way around this, Manson is a polarizing artist.
At the time this was pretty heavy and he kept it interesting both
with his music and in the public eye. Every interview I ever have
seen or read with him he always comes across as a very well educated
guy that believes in what he is doing. I think his calm demeanor in
the face of everyone what wants to protest him makes him all the more
interesting. This is a great snap shot of the time, and musically
its very strong. His popularity may have waned some, but its worth
putting your toes back in this pool at the very least.
Disclaimer – I am just a music fan.
Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly
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