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Marilyn Manson - Eat Me, Drink Me

Marilyn Manson, Eat Me, Drink Me

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

THE weird, dark, twisted world of Marilyn Manson is exposed as never before on new album Eat Me, Drink Me, his most commercial and [arguably] exhilarating release to date.

Written in a studio in the Hollywood hills last Halloween with the help of Tim Skold (Manson’s bassist since 2002), the album charts typically dark territory but somehow remains one of the most absorbing and genre-defying creations of Manson’s career.

Question marks remain over the artist’s singing credentials, given that he sounds tortured and in pain throughout, but then listeners would be naive to expect breezy melodies and sing-along choruses even though his music is more tailored towards attracting radio play on a couple of occasions.

Rather, the lyrics are as tormented, complex and despondent as the vocals themselves – fully doing justice to song titles such as If I Was Your Vampire, Putting Holes in Happiness, Mutilation Is The Most Sincere Form of Flattery and Just A Car Crash Away.

Manson says of the long-player himself: “This is not a record about me crying, or a song about my woes. I think this record will probably speak to more people in different ways because of it’s total human element.”

Pop fans may take some persuading of this, but for anyone who digs terrific guitar work, or likes their music to be disaffected, then Eat Me, Drink Me could well become an album worth feasting upon.

Its name alone is influenced by both the story of Armin Meiwes – the German man sentenced to life after killing and eating a man he’d met on the internet in 2001 – as well as Alice in Wonderland.

But its themes are all about death, despondency, longing, identity and loss. As depressing as this sounds, it’s often quite exhilarating – and surprisingly so.

Six minute opening salvo If I Was Your Vampire is destined to become classic Manson. A slow-builder that unfolds into an immense tale of dark love, it’s packed with the Gothic imagery we’ve come to expect (and love) from Manson, complete with lyrics that marry beauty with terror; tenderness with savagery (such as “so soft and so tragic, as a slaughterhouse you press the knife against your heart and say, ‘I love you, so much you must kill me now”). Skold’s guitar work is immense, perfectly imbuing the song with the darkness and foreboding it requires.

Heavy rock and electronica combines to equally thrilling effect on Putting Holes in Happiness, another firm favourite that shouldn’t deceive with its keen sense of melody. The opening lyrics talk of taking a child out back and shooting it. But the guitars are quite magnificent and the overall vibe is something that clearly has the potential to crossover into the mainstream (possibly more so that with Heart Shaped Glasses).

Other tracks to look out for include They Said That Hell’s Not Hot, a crunching rock number that once again trades Skold’s meaty guitar riffs with Manson’s pained vocals, and the slower, more brooding Just A Car Crash Away, which once again contains some startling and bleak imagery.

The album gets into its darkest territory during heavier tracks such as Mutilation Is The Most Sincere Form of Flattery (with its “fuck you, fuck you” chorus) and You And Me And The Devil Makes 3, which are certain to appeal to the most diehard and underground of Manson’s fans.

But even then, there’s a strangely addictive allure about them – much like another highlight, Evidence, with its fine guitar solo and compelling central riff.

It’s dark, yes, fucked up, for sure, but this journey to the dark side is utterly invigorating listening and you’ll probably surprise yourself with how much you like. As for empathising, well that may require therapy if you do…

Download picks: If I Was Your Vampire, Putting Holes in Happiness, Just A Car Crash Away, Heart-Shaped Glasses, Evidence, Mutilation Is The Most Sincere Form of Flattery

Track listing:

  1. If I Was Your Vampire
  2. Putting Holes In Happiness
  3. The Red Carpet Grave
  4. They Said That Hell’s Not Hot
  5. Just A Car Crash Away
  6. Heart-Shaped Glasses (When The Heart Guides The Hand)
  7. Evidence
  8. Are You The Rabbit?
  9. Mutilation Is The Most Sincere Form Of Flattery
  10. You And Me And The Devil Makes 3
  11. Eat Me, Drink Me