Marilyn Manson may strike you as the antithesis of superstar, but, perhaps ironically, has become one. He's the man who put true, unfiltered anger in a very raw form into an evolving version of rock: industrial. Marilyn Manson created real horror in Antichrist Superstar, his 1996 effort that started (and ended) a trilogy and showed the dark sides of fame.
Fame looks glamorous on the surface, but we all know that for some it can truly be hell. The soundscape of Antichrist Superstar really captures the worst of the latter, building the worst of fame with angered, at times even disgusting emotions. The album opens angrily to a crowd as the big riffs of 'Irresponsible Hate Anthem' take the album off fittingly. The fast, jagged song supports Manson's paranoid, if not chastising, and at times enraged delivery that goes into the iconic 'The Beautiful People.' This song captures the price of fame clearly, Manson lashing out against the beauty expectations of the famous that everyone else is meant to abide by.
The sound of Antichrist Superstar perhaps hits harsher than the lyricism. The album title already provides the context - it's the songs like 'Angel With The Scabbed Wings' with its brooding aggression and the giant, evil 'The Reflecting God' that truly hit you. The music perfectly captures that sense of disgusted hatred, allowing you to feel the same way upon hearing it, even if you're not entirely sure what you're meant to be angry about. Even the more accessible songs, like the grungey 'Tourniquet,' allow for that feeling to pass through. Sometimes things do feel a bit unsettling, like the very dirty imagery of 'Deformography' and the gross delivery of 'Kinderfeld,' but everything serves to match the album's theme.
Marilyn Manson created real horror in Antichrist Superstar, capturing the very essence of disgust aimed towards fame and society. Everything in the album functions to capture the meaning, even from the lower moments. It's chaotic, angry, and still relevant today, perhaps even moreso than ever before.
Favorite Track: The Beautiful People
Least Favorite Tracks: Kinderfeld, Mister Superstar
Rating: 70 / 100
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