Marilyn Manson / Antichrist Superstar

Antichrist Superstar

Antichrist Superstar (sometimes stylized as Antichrist Superstar as an allusion to Latin typography) is Marilyn Manson’s second full-length studio album and was released on October 8, 1996, by Interscope Records.

The record is a concept album, and the first of a trilogy along with Mechanical Animals and Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death). It spawned three singles (The Beautiful People, Tourniquet and Man That You Fear).

It also raised public awareness of the band, turning them into a household name, and led to numerous protests due to the band’s anti-Christian stance. It was produced by the band’s frontman and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. As of 2004 the album has sold over 7.5 million copies worldwide.

The Analysis:

Irresponsible Hate Anthem—-Giving the listener little time for anticipation or preparation, the audience noise at the onset of the song is as little warning as you get before the aggressive Metal riffs whip your head around. Manson delivers a vocal that is bot accessible and at times so abrasive you fear you may go mad. This release is Manson’s crowning achievement..the music and vehement lyric/vocal speaks for itself. This is fantastic!

The Beautiful People—-Almost like a television that switches channels all on its own, this song is in complete and utter contrast with the previous. This has a nice drum track..a massive bass guitar line and some vocals that at times are scary while at other times is damn accessible. This is a favorite of mine and Manson still pulls this out during his live performances.

Dried Up, Tied Up & Dead To The World—-Another really stellar track and favorite song of mine from the entire Manson catalog, For me, this has a much more traditional Industrial sound to it than much of the record. This has all of those little magic sounds that runs through it and just gives me this huge energy pump. I love this…Manson delivers a sincere and demonic vocal…the melody is incredible and the words have a way of laying in your brain forever…just waiting to be brought back to life.

Tourniquet—-Another of those stellar songs that really forms most of the release, there is a nice Trilogy of songs that have been the centerpiece of this record for me since its release. This is much more dedicated to the Rock sound, the Industrial sounds almost removed from the song. Manson delivers a classic vocal..the type that really would define his future output. Whether you recognize the fact or not, this has a damn contagious melody and one of the most accessible vocals Manson has ever delivered. This is classic and timeless.

Little Horn—-Beginning rather quiet for Manson, the heavy guitar that runs through the back of this song is superb. the song opens up by the second bar with a much more Industrial sound and a vocal that seems to be delivered from hell. This is driving, authentic and full of an aggression that gets in your bones and makes you want to act a bit crazy. Fantastic!

Cryptorchild—-Layered with sounds that any Manson fan is familiar with, this song begins a bit sedate…but you know that the mayhem is sure soon to follow. The vocal is pretty damn pleasant! The lyrics are though provoking and causes you to listen closely to catch every word. this is another outstanding track that is somehow relevant to this crazy story…I just think it is great music. Of course the chanted chorus is something that is history making and a shining example of the genius that lies underneath the oddity. This is stellar.

Deformography—-Laden heavy with Reznor contributed sounds, the footprint on the music is unmistakable. This is fantastic…Manson delivers a lazy and ghoulish vocal that allows you to easily sink into the depravity. This is classic stuff…the chorus is a huge affair…another of those little dittys that lies dormant until you awake it and then refuses to leave your brain…welcome home!

Wormboy—-Returning to a much clearer sound and a more focused Industrial sound, this is another of those tracks that I believe Trent had his hands all over. Manson delivers perhaps the most accessible vocals of his career…the vision and the delivery is more driven and clear as anything he has ever released. This is fantastic..the mismatched drums and the odd synth sounds create a nice noise that is like a warm blanket.

Mister Superstar—-This is a classic example of 90’s styled Industrial Music…the whispered vocals, the rapid drums and the annoying little synth sounds all combine to create this huge masterpiece of a song that plays very well, even today. The societal distrust and vehemence is everywhere…the driving and escalating sounds are fantastic…this is fantastic…why have I not listened to this in such a long time?

Angel With The Scabbed Wings—-Returning to more full on Metal sounds, the guitars come at you in short blasts that let you know you are in for a raucous time. The drums hit heavy and the bass delivery is the backbone of the song. There are some nice leads on this track…accompanied by the manic and frightening vocal form Manson all come together in a perfect storm of classic Industrial Mayhem. Another of my really favorite tracks from this release.

Kinderfeld—-Manson continues to deliver vocals that are a mix of demonic whispers and manic drug use on this track…set to a ghostly musical soundtrack that still gives me a slight chill when I listen back to it after all of this time. This ties all of the past few songs together…creating a conceptual sound even if you don’t buy into the whole ‘story’. This is a masterful release!

Antichrist Superstar—-Yet another pivotal and shining moment from this release, this cornerstone song seems to pull everything together for me. The music is of course laden with many classic 90’s Industrial style sounds…the backdrop of the song making me think of a huge Nazi gathering. This has so much energy and vehemence, you will have problems sitting still through this entire song…this is stellar shit…classic Manson and one of the most important releases of the 90’s…this is why!!!

1996—-Returning with full throttle Metal and a vocal that is steeped into too much Crowley reading, this is a fantastic example of how great Manson can be…here and there. This is driving…and reminds me a lot of Get Your Gunn….the drums are incredible on this track…as are the the vocals which switch between manipulated and full throttle at the drop of a hat….this is stellar!!!

Minute Of Decay—-What a great bass line that starts off this track…set to the cymbal touches from the drums, you are good to go from the very beginning of the song. The vocal enters at an almost whisper…typical Manson style!!! This is rather sedate at the onset…Manson delivers line after line that allows the listener to really worry about the singers sanity…than you realize this is a normal day for Brian!!! This is perfect!!!

The Reflecting God—-Just classic stuff….Manson enters right at the beginning reminding us that our world is just an ashtray…my sentiment exactly. This is intense stuff, even though the music is rather genial and full of accessibility. Only the vocal and the lyrical content causes you to take pause and question every word that you are hearing…wondering if you fall into the world which he refers to. When Manson really lets loose with his vocal, you are overcome by a huge emotional surge…this is fantastic stuff!!! Yeah, this is Columbine style shit!!!

Man That You Fear—-Ending the proper release in a moody and somber nature, Manson enters sounding even more morose and manic that you though possible. This helps to really tie the entire release together. Giving us a unique insight to the mind of Manson, you are allowed to really understand some of what he is all about…maybe…perhaps it is all a big trick! This is layered and morose music…allowing a perfect pedestal for Manson to preach his own religion to the masses of people who choose to listen. There is a nice Crazy/Genius mix with Manson…you decide which you prefer.

Untitled—-Continuing for a brief time the song which ended the release, this is just a macabre mish-mash of almost undecipherable words that are robotic and sinister…perfect!

****1-2 out of 5


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