Thrash Hits

May 8th, 2009

Album: Marilyn Manson – The High End Of Low

Marilyn Manson 2009 promo photo Thrash Hits

Marilyn Manson
The High End of Low
Polydor Records
25 May 2009

by Hugh Platt

A decade ago, Marilyn Manson was at the peak of his satanic powers – a Public enemy number 1 with an album at Billboard no.1 album. Rewind just two years, and he’s a creepy old goth making pseudo-sex tape promo videos, more concerned with his miserable watercolour paintings and his vanity-brewed absinthe than being a musician.

The schlock no longer shocked, and the rock no longer rocked. So Manson disappeared from public view. He claims to have put his head down, filled up on hate, and made his nastiest record since Antichrist Superstar. Has he actually been able to pull it off?

Marilyn Manson The High End of Low packshot cover Thrash Hits

Partly ‘yes’…but also significantly ‘no’. The welcome return of Manson’s writing-partner-in-crime, Twiggy Ramirez, returning to the band after a seven-year absence, gives the album some much-needed muscle. ‘Arma-Goddamn-Motherfucking-Geddon’ rides Ramirez’s rubbery honk of a bassline into a fist-pumping, glam-stomp of a chorus. The potentially brainless chant of “Fuck! Eat! Kill!” is transformed by the sly addition of a bellowed “Et Cetera!”, thrown in almost like an afterthought. It adds just the right amount of glee to provide a sneering denouement to an America desensitised to the point of apathy.

Manson’s stationary cupboard full of lyrical poison pens, which were never satiated by those flaccid cover songs or the mawkish introspection of Eat Me, Drink Me, are finally getting the airing that fans have been craving. ‘I Want To Kill You Like they Do In the Movies’, its 9 minute run time living up to its mouthful of a title, throbs malevolently like an engorged vein on a serial killer’s forehead. With Manson hissing, “cut…cut…cut…CUT” over and over, it’s humid, ghoulish in its oppressiveness, and will make you shudder like a murderous fever dream. It’s magnificent.

The new Marilyn Manson track - a return to form?

  • It's no 'Beautiful People', but I still think it kicks ass (28%, 323 Votes)
  • Bow down before the All-American AntiChrist! (25%, 282 Votes)
  • A step in the right direction - but I'll wait for the album... (19%, 218 Votes)
  • He is, was, and always will be rubbish. (14%, 162 Votes)
  • I gave it a chance, but he he's blown it. (13%, 151 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,136

Loading ... Loading ...

But the album falls far short of the high watermark of Manson’s best. The High End of Low never quite manifests a full personality of its own, favouring imitation of Manson albums past, as opposed to forging a new identity of its own. Solid tracks they may be, but ‘Running to the Edge of the World’ is more than just a spiritual cousin to the ‘The Speed of Pain’, and the Stooges-rattle of ‘Pretty as a Swastika’ beats its chest in a manner all too close to the controlled-chaos thrusts of Antichrist Superstar.

In the moments the album does dare dream of a theme, it’s of a commentary on American hypocrisy in the face of its own self-made myth. America’s failure to live up to the lofty self-image it sets itself has forever been Manson’s greatest muse – manifesting itself here in bazooka blasts of vitriol like ‘We’re From America’, or the God-Botherer baiting of ‘Blank and White’. He’s spitting more hate than he’s been able to muster since Holy Wood, snarling out challenges to “Shoot up the mall, a school, or the president of whatever…or whoever wants to fight”. That there’s fighting talk.

Watch Marilyn Manson perform ‘The Beautiful People’ at Reading Festival 2005

But for every killer track there’s one like ‘WOW’, a gutful of sickly electro honky-tonk with Manson at his lyrically most self-absorbed. And after an record featuring some of his best material for nearly a decade, closing the album with the hands-off minimalism of album ‘15’ is akin to ending on a petulant sigh, rather than the defiant final middle-finger salute The High End of Low surely deserves.

The High End of Low might not pull Marilyn Manson entirely out of the existential loose end he found himself with Eat Me, Drink Me, but it marks a move to escape it. His venomous edge might not drip with the same caustic scorn of old, but it sees him re-sharpened. True, at times it seems Manson is still treading water in a pool of self-pity, but at its best The High End of Low is a goose-stepping, arse-slapping hunk of slutty death-disco. We’ve missed you, Mr Warner; we’re glad to have you back.

Sounds like: Marilyn Manson remembering what made us like him to begin with
Top tracks: Pretty As A Swastika, Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin-Geddon, Blank and White

4/6

Marilyn Manson – The High End of Low tracklisting
Devour
Pretty As A Swastika
Leave A Scar
Four Rusted Horses
Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin-Geddon
Blank and White
Running to the Edge of the World
I Want To Kill You Like They Do In The Movies
WOW
Wight Spider
Unkillable Monster
We’re From America
I Have to Look Up Just to See Hell
Into the Fire
15




Comments

  • Rusted Nial

    Okay I really want to hear this now to see if this review is full of shit or not.

  • Rusted Nial

    Okay I really want to hear this now to see if this review is full of shit or not.

  • Michelle Stone

    Do you guys respond to comments? The album’s just over 70 minutes, it really started to drag for me when WOW came on, coming after two really long but good songs. Plus they could shave a minute of that Edge Of The World thing, give it to Swastika.

  • Michelle Stone

    Do you guys respond to comments? The album’s just over 70 minutes, it really started to drag for me when WOW came on, coming after two really long but good songs. Plus they could shave a minute of that Edge Of The World thing, give it to Swastika.

  • http://www.thrashhits.com/ Hugh Platt

    I didn’t find the run-time an issue, to be honest. I quite like the fact that ‘Pretty as a Swastika’ is short and to the point – like The Fight Song, I think it works best short and sharp.

  • http://www.thrashhits.com Hugh Platt

    I didn’t find the run-time an issue, to be honest. I quite like the fact that ‘Pretty as a Swastika’ is short and to the point – like The Fight Song, I think it works best short and sharp.

  • http://www.segadriven.com/ Hairyman

    Despite what I think of this album when I finally here it, it’s nice to see that the CKY review was a blip on the Thrash Hits radar that has been successfully ignored. Very detailed and well thought out review. It certainly makes me want to hear the tracks you’ve praised and see whether Manson has brought back the fire and dropped the ‘watch me Mommy!’ attitude. He certainly pissed me off when he kept playing for the video cameras at Download 07.

  • http://www.segadriven.com Hairyman

    Despite what I think of this album when I finally here it, it’s nice to see that the CKY review was a blip on the Thrash Hits radar that has been successfully ignored. Very detailed and well thought out review. It certainly makes me want to hear the tracks you’ve praised and see whether Manson has brought back the fire and dropped the ‘watch me Mommy!’ attitude. He certainly pissed me off when he kept playing for the video cameras at Download 07.

  • http://www.thrashhits.com/ Raz

    Yeah, nice review, Hugh.

    It’s nice that the most part of the general public always thought Brian’s shit, though.

  • http://www.thrashhits.com Raz

    Yeah, nice review, Hugh.

    It’s nice that the most part of the general public always thought Brian’s shit, though.

  • Eddy

    Ainda não acredito que será uma obra-prima, mas acredito que Marilyn Manson começará a encontrar seu caminho certo ao lado de Ramirez!

    UP THE MANSON!

  • Eddy

    Ainda não acredito que será uma obra-prima, mas acredito que Marilyn Manson começará a encontrar seu caminho certo ao lado de Ramirez!

    UP THE MANSON!

  • Cygan

    i tak powieeem , że tych wszystkich recenzentów bym wyjeebał w piździeeeec.

  • Cygan

    i tak powieeem , że tych wszystkich recenzentów bym wyjeebał w piździeeeec.

  • Ricardo

    I didn’t hear the full album yet obviously, just the clips from iTunes and i must say i found myself thinking the album will be great. Mechanical Animals meets Holy Wood meets Goon Moon.
    The man is now 40 years old, and still kicking it.
    Manson is the king.

  • Ricardo

    I didn’t hear the full album yet obviously, just the clips from iTunes and i must say i found myself thinking the album will be great. Mechanical Animals meets Holy Wood meets Goon Moon.
    The man is now 40 years old, and still kicking it.
    Manson is the king.

  • a…

    I’ve heard a 2 minute clip of the track “Running to the edge of the world”
    its one of his/their best songs

  • a…

    I’ve heard a 2 minute clip of the track “Running to the edge of the world”
    its one of his/their best songs

  • Jason

    I wish you’d put the video to that Sweet Dreams song. That girl in the hot tub is super sexy

  • Jason

    I wish you’d put the video to that Sweet Dreams song. That girl in the hot tub is super sexy

  • anthony

    Where did you guys hear the whole album? I would like to check it out.

  • anthony

    Where did you guys hear the whole album? I would like to check it out.

  • http://www.thrashhits.com/ Hugh Platt

    Perk of the job, anthony!

  • http://www.thrashhits.com Hugh Platt

    Perk of the job, anthony!

  • anthony

    God, I work in a record store and because of pirating we haven’t recieved a promo yet. I always used to get to hear stuff early. That was a perk of the job!

  • anthony

    God, I work in a record store and because of pirating we haven’t recieved a promo yet. I always used to get to hear stuff early. That was a perk of the job!

  • Michelle Stone

    I can sort of rescind some of my length comment, having read a pretty in-depth interview about the album, it makes more sense now…sort of.

  • Michelle Stone

    I can sort of rescind some of my length comment, having read a pretty in-depth interview about the album, it makes more sense now…sort of.

  • Its Tiffany, bitch

    Haha you, dear Hugh, are just a fucker with a big mouth. ‘Running to the edge of the world’ is an amazing song and nooo it’s not too long, guess why? cuz its great and plesant to listen to.
    this album is MM’s best so far.

    • http://www.thrashhits.com/ Raz

      Tiffany, that’s a great use of punctuation in your name. Congratulations.

  • http://hahaha Its Tiffany, bitch

    Haha you, dear Hugh, are just a fucker with a big mouth. ‘Running to the edge of the world’ is an amazing song and nooo it’s not too long, guess why? cuz its great and plesant to listen to.
    this album is MM’s best so far.

    • http://www.thrashhits.com Raz

      Tiffany, that’s a great use of punctuation in your name. Congratulations.

  • Michelle Stone

    I like the album but anyone with half a brain (see what I did there) will tell you that RTTEOTW is pretty bad, drawn out straying into Bon Jovi or Warrant territory. It’s the type of song a jock might play his girlfriend to show how he feels about her. However, you’re last comment sort of proves my point. You think it’s his best so far becase it’s all new to you, but familarity breeds contempt. You can’t objectively judge it against MM’s previous albums until you’ve heard it a lot more, and I would say it’s his/their 3rd or 4th best album, best since Holy Wood though, i’m not disappinted.

  • Michelle Stone

    I like the album but anyone with half a brain (see what I did there) will tell you that RTTEOTW is pretty bad, drawn out straying into Bon Jovi or Warrant territory. It’s the type of song a jock might play his girlfriend to show how he feels about her. However, you’re last comment sort of proves my point. You think it’s his best so far becase it’s all new to you, but familarity breeds contempt. You can’t objectively judge it against MM’s previous albums until you’ve heard it a lot more, and I would say it’s his/their 3rd or 4th best album, best since Holy Wood though, i’m not disappinted.

  • http://www.thrashhits.com/ Hugh Platt

    HI TIFFANY.

    Can you point out where I’ve said ‘Running to The Edge of the World’ is too long? Because

    a) I don’t mention it’s length at all in the review

    and

    b) in the comments I’ve said that I didn’t have a problem with it’s run time at all.

    DO YOU SEE?

    Best album by Manson? Naaaaaaah. Let’s not be silly now.

  • http://www.thrashhits.com Hugh Platt

    HI TIFFANY.

    Can you point out where I’ve said ‘Running to The Edge of the World’ is too long? Because

    a) I don’t mention it’s length at all in the review

    and

    b) in the comments I’ve said that I didn’t have a problem with it’s run time at all.

    DO YOU SEE?

    Best album by Manson? Naaaaaaah. Let’s not be silly now.

  • Randy

    ive listened to the cd and i really dont like it at all. i liked EMDM. golden age had to grow on me but i still hate mobscene. every song on this cd sounds the same. i mean if you just crammed it all into one 5 min song, i would like it but overall, im dissapointed. all the guitars suck ass i liked 4 rusted horses, 15, white spider. thats it. the rest are just lame poppy songs. im a dedicated MM fan so ill see if it will grow on my but i doubt it. fuck the guirats. stop making music manson or you will end up like every good band…

  • Randy

    ive listened to the cd and i really dont like it at all. i liked EMDM. golden age had to grow on me but i still hate mobscene. every song on this cd sounds the same. i mean if you just crammed it all into one 5 min song, i would like it but overall, im dissapointed. all the guitars suck ass i liked 4 rusted horses, 15, white spider. thats it. the rest are just lame poppy songs. im a dedicated MM fan so ill see if it will grow on my but i doubt it. fuck the guirats. stop making music manson or you will end up like every good band…

  • Marilyn Manson

    LISSEN BITCHES, DONT EVEN START WITH ME WITH MY ALBUM IS NOT GOOD!!! NOW LISSEN HERE IF YOU DONT THINK MY ALBUMS ARE GOOD THEN WHY MOTHERFUCKING SEARCH ME UP!! WHY SAY THAT YOU DONT LIKE IT KEEP YOUR MOTHERFUCKING MOUTH SHUT BECAUSE I DONT WANNA HEAR IT AND I’M SURE THE MOTHERFUCKING FANS THAT DO LIKE THE ALBUM DONT WANNA HEAR IT EAITHER!!

  • Marilyn Manson

    LISSEN BITCHES, DONT EVEN START WITH ME WITH MY ALBUM IS NOT GOOD!!! NOW LISSEN HERE IF YOU DONT THINK MY ALBUMS ARE GOOD THEN WHY MOTHERFUCKING SEARCH ME UP!! WHY SAY THAT YOU DONT LIKE IT KEEP YOUR MOTHERFUCKING MOUTH SHUT BECAUSE I DONT WANNA HEAR IT AND I’M SURE THE MOTHERFUCKING FANS THAT DO LIKE THE ALBUM DONT WANNA HEAR IT EAITHER!!

  • Jason

    Marilyn, you’re shit at spelling.

  • Jason

    Marilyn, you’re shit at spelling.

  • Marilyn Manson

    Jason, What the fuck do you mean?

  • Marilyn Manson

    Jason, What the fuck do you mean?

  • http://www.thrashhits.com/ Raz

    Probably something about ‘lissen’ and ‘eaither’. Did someone sneeze?

  • http://www.thrashhits.com Raz

    Probably something about ‘lissen’ and ‘eaither’. Did someone sneeze?

  • Marilyn Manson

    Well Raz I sometimes type to fast then I fucking mess up.

  • Marilyn Manson

    Well Raz I sometimes type to fast then I fucking mess up.

  • Marilyn Manson

    I’m clearly just a retard.

  • http://MarilynManson Marilyn Manson

    I’m clearly just a retard.

  • Striker

    LOL

  • Striker

    LOL

  • http://WWW.MarilynManson.Com/ Marilyn Manson

    HAHAHA DISREGARD THAT, I SUCK COCKS

  • http://WWW.MarilynManson.Com/ Marilyn Manson

    NO, RLY

  • http://WWW.MarilynManson.Com Marilyn Manson

    HAHAHA DISREGARD THAT, I SUCK COCKS

  • http://WWW.MarilynManson.Com Marilyn Manson

    NO, RLY

  • Jack

    Amazing

  • Jack

    Amazing

  • Jester

    how can anyone like this album? it starts, you get bored in 3 seconds and then it drags on. i’ve never managed to actually listen all the way through as it’s just terrible. awful dull production, worse song writing. he can’t sing but he tries (which is just painful). there’s nothing good at all. i’ve seen a lot of people rate this album highly – what album are you listening to? i can’t hear any fire or passion at all. it’s just a whiny waste of time. sadly, i’ve wasted some of my life which i will never get back on this “music”, maybe i’ll write an album about that and make manson listen to it so he knows what he’s done to us.

  • Jester

    how can anyone like this album? it starts, you get bored in 3 seconds and then it drags on. i’ve never managed to actually listen all the way through as it’s just terrible. awful dull production, worse song writing. he can’t sing but he tries (which is just painful). there’s nothing good at all. i’ve seen a lot of people rate this album highly – what album are you listening to? i can’t hear any fire or passion at all. it’s just a whiny waste of time. sadly, i’ve wasted some of my life which i will never get back on this “music”, maybe i’ll write an album about that and make manson listen to it so he knows what he’s done to us.

  • http://www.fysh.tcc.edu.tw/php/moodle/user/view.php?id=2621 interactions
  • http://www.fysh.tcc.edu.tw/php/moodle/user/view.php?id=2621 interactions
  • http://www.thrashhits.com/ Raz

    are these drugs manson endorsed? do they make you fat and crappy? who knows. i’ll take 4!

  • http://www.thrashhits.com Raz

    are these drugs manson endorsed? do they make you fat and crappy? who knows. i’ll take 4!

  • Marilyn Manson

    i still have it

  • Marilyn Manson

    i still have it

  • Twiggy Ramirez

    Im a cocaine dealer

  • Twiggy Ramirez

    Im a cocaine dealer

  • Ginger Fish

    of course you are

  • Ginger Fish

    of course you are

  • Chris Vrenna

    high

  • Andy Gerold

    Whats up

  • Chris Vrenna

    high

  • Andy Gerold

    Whats up

  • Marilyn

    This album shows how much he has matured while still keeping the creepiness! awesome album – minus a few tracks.

  • Marilyn

    This album shows how much he has matured while still keeping the creepiness! awesome album – minus a few tracks.

  • Nick

    This album was amazing. With the incredible Metal/dance anthem “We’re from America” to the audible sufferings of “Devour” and “Running to the Edge of the World,” this album is a huge leap in the right direction for Manson. Although for me personally, it took some time to get used to, this is now one of my favorite albums ever written. My Favorite Tracks:We’re From America, Pretty as a Swastika, Arma-goddamn-mother-fuckin-geddon, Devour, I Wanna Kill You Like They Do In The Movies, Four Rusted Horses.

  • Nick

    This album was amazing. With the incredible Metal/dance anthem “We’re from America” to the audible sufferings of “Devour” and “Running to the Edge of the World,” this album is a huge leap in the right direction for Manson. Although for me personally, it took some time to get used to, this is now one of my favorite albums ever written. My Favorite Tracks:We’re From America, Pretty as a Swastika, Arma-goddamn-mother-fuckin-geddon, Devour, I Wanna Kill You Like They Do In The Movies, Four Rusted Horses.

Keep up with Thrash Hits. Click like and follow.
X