[Album Review] Marilyn Manson – Heaven Upside Down

The long awaited follow up to 2015’s The Pale Emperor. Heaven Upside Down is the 9th studio album by God Of Fuck Marilyn Manson.

Last year was the 20th anniversary of Manson’s legendary and controversial sophomore album Antichrist Superstar, and while we were busy being nostalgic Manson had his sights set firmly on the future. Heaven Upside Down was produced by Tyler Bates who had previously worked with Manson on the opening theme for Salem. The album was initially set for release on the 14th of February and the delay heightened expectations and frustrated fans, so was it worth the wait?

The album is the natural progression from The Pale Emperor and continues in Manson’s new mature style. Although Heaven Upside Down is on the whole forward looking, it does hold some reflections of Manson’s glory days with more of the industrial touches that fans have missed, specifically on the track Say 10.

First single We Know Where You Fucking Live with its NSFW video is classic Manson with its pounding drums and over the top religion offending lyrics. No doubt it’s step in the right direction, but the wordplay feels self-indulgent “What’s a nice place like this doing round people like us” doesn’t impress me particularly, we’ve heard better from Manson. The same goes for the extended horse metaphor in Tattooed In Reverse, “I’m unstabled, I’m not a show horse” seriously?!?

Kill4Me is a Gothic stomp with enough electronica and twisted romance to get black clad bodies writhing in alternative clubs across the world. It’s simplicity is the beauty of this song which is likely to become a fan favorite.

The Marilyn Manson fan in me loves Je$u$ Cri$i$ but the music critic in me just cringes. No matter how many Byronic personas Marilyn Manson makes for himself and as his recent onstage injury has made evident, he is in fact a mortal middle aged man. And there does come a time when saying “If you wanna fuck- then I’ll fuck you- if you wanna fight- then I’ll fight you” is no longer appropriate. Far from their threatening intention these lyrics are just laughable, that being said I’m certain this violent chant will go down riotously live.

The last three tracks Blood Honey, Heaven Upside Down and Threats Of Romance have a lot in common with Manson’s “breakup” albums and it’s become increasingly evident that Marilyn is metals own Taylor Swift. Sung in his trademark whining drawl no one can do dark tales of failed and twisted love like him.

Altogether Heaven Upside Down holds a lot of listening enjoyment for those devoted to the church of the Antichrist and for rock fans in general. Although not musically groundbreaking or as lyrically contentious as Manson’s infamous albums first four albums, Heaven Upside Down strongly establishes a stirring new musical era for Marilyn Manson and the future is looking gloriously black.

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