Literally the Pale Emperor
It was in the late 80's that Brian Hugh Warner adopted the Marilyn Manson pseudonym and entered to the music universe, it took a long time before he reached the success in 1996 with Antichrist Superstar. Success greatly due to the push of a close friend at the time, Trent Reznor, the mastermind behind Nine Inch Nails.
With the hit "The Beautiful People" it was not long Manson broke into MTV. His name began airing throughout the american media and automatically became the enemy number one of all US law-abiding citizens. Making your children, mostly excluded and troubled boys, the first fans of a recent idol. Another factor that helped in the projection of Manson was his success coming during the construction of the New Metal. Bands like Korn, Deftones, Limp Bizkit and Slipknot began to emerge throughout North America, attracting a generation of youth who identified with his pessimistic lyrics full of anguish. Although Marilyn Manson not be exactly a New Metal band, the similarities between them were undeniable.
The androgynous and flamboyant appearance and the constant anti-Christian statements and pro-Satanism (though always in a tone of irony and mockery) caused great shock in much of the world in the 90s, as well bands like Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper did in the 70s, the singer repeated the dose. In a globalized world, Marilyn Manson became one of the most extreme and controversial figures of the decade. But this was gradually changing. With the status of rockstar already consolidated in the 2000s, the musician was seen more and more involved in Hollywood, associated with beautiful women, participating in several movies and TV shows and going from extreme rock figure to just an eccentric character of the show business. Their lyrics and aesthetic also slowly been changing, losing the anti-christian theme and embarking on paths as lust, sex, drugs and violence. Manson became a 'Bon Vivant'.
Coincidentally or not, it was in the 2000s that Manson's music began to lose relevance. His lyrics have become too obvious, their references to drugs and violence were soundly beaten and their sound more distant from the industrial metal from the beginning. With less distortion and few electronic beats that have always characterized the genre, The Pale Emperor is practically a hard rock/blues rock album. It's probably his best work in recent times, after The Golden Age of Grotesque, which marked a shift to a more accessible persona, although still much distant of the troubled artist who surprised and shocked the world in the 90s. We have some good creativity vents on the disc, as in The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles: "Lazarus has got the dirt on me, And I'll rise every danger, I'm the mephistopheles of los angeles". But Manson could have tried harder. The drive is long and becomes too repetitive during the execution, something that ends up covering up the good tracks on the album, it would be better if it were leaner.
Alluding to the own title of the album, The Pale Emperor may sound a work almost pale and lifeless. But not enough to sound uncomfortable in any time. Carefully we can find good sighs of creativity in its course, but increasingly distance of his most extreme times that will never return. But okay, this actual Manson from show business, actor of great series like Sons of Anarchy remains a really cool character to have around.