After a lengthy delay, Marilyn Manson returns with his tenth studio album Heaven Upside Down. Initially the project was slated to be released on Valentine’s day, but dissatisfaction led Manson to reconsider the creative direction. The setback disrupts the cohesion of the album, creating a fragmented energy that over the course of ten songs is hard to reconcile. It leads to a disjointed sound and reflects a level of inconsistency that is foreign to the Manson brand.

The premise of the album is well-timed, a project that examines the pandemic effect of backwards hypocrisy; what once was holy is now tainted and obscure. The execution, however, is off and the main idea fizzles before it has a chance to reach its apex. The current climate should have Manson salivating, but he weaves in personal matters that break the continuity. What started as fresh and enlightening, ends in disappointment and predictability.

Revelation #12

A screeching buzzsaw slicing through dusty, age-old ideologies. The guitar licks seethe in anger, and the countdown to Revelation begins. All the patriots who have masked themselves as heroes are being exposed for the hypocrites that they are. The accusations are well-timed, but the lack of context distorts the direction; too vague to hit its mark and a statement he’s made many times over: [LISTEN]

Tattooed in Reverse

Unfurling his frustrations and peeling back scabs in reverse order. His grievances have boiled over, and he’s showing status quo what happens when fallacies go unchecked. The sound is highly polished, which adds an unsightly sheen that ends up softening the message. What is supposed to be a show of strength and power, ends up being an overgeneralized lament that does little to rile the troops: [LISTEN]

We Know Where You Fucking Live

Forever at war with the establishment and unrelenting in his pursuit of vengeance. Unfortunately he’s using dated artillery, adhering to lyrical cliches that show how little progress he’s made. It’s a modern world and he’s using lyrical sticks and stones to fight back. Without a proper plan of attack the troops have little to work with; a standard backdrop with no fire to fuel the flame: [LISTEN]


Dark syncopated drums, police sirens and wailing piano licks mark his descent into madness. Instead of praying to god above he’s calling upon Satan to cleanse the human race of its inequity. Money is the subject of his ire and his belief is that it’s a characteristic of the weak. He begins by whispering his rage and then finally explodes like a time bomb. Fiery and poignant: [LISTEN]


Your standard love song drenched in blood and guts. The rhythmic pulsing has him reeling and the sweet nothings come rolling out like clockwork. He’s asking that his love kill for him, and the macabre tones are as predictable as the weak game he’s spitting. He’s looking for his queen, and searching in the seediest of motels for her. A gory courtship that is as boring as a Hollywood horror flick: [LISTEN]


A long journey that has him examining the travesties of civilized society, including the cult of celebrity. He was asked to cross a threshold by those who claimed to be allies, but he saw through them, knowing that they’re intentions were to soil him with perverse views. Being skeptical of status quo has kept him sharp, and he’s admonishing their futile efforts with fire and brimstone: [LISTEN]

Je$u$ Cri$i$

Stock riffing that has Marilyn Manson stumbling across the finish line. He’s laboring for content, relying on standards to make up for his lack of creativity. He’s picking a fight with Jesus, but not saying what it is exactly that’s bothering him. Shock value is his only weapon and in a world where crazy content is the norm, he hardly makes a dent in the armor. A dull effort with no edge: [LISTEN]

Blood Honey

Fragmented views has him spinning in circles. His relationships have taken the brunt of the impact and he’s unsure what is worth fighting for. The blood from his wounds and the honey from his labors have mixed, and the taste is churning his stomach. Instead of remedying his ailments he’s learning to appreciate the dichotomy. Self-inflicted wounds that he can’t help but revisit over and over again: [LISTEN]

Heaven Upside Down

Organic instrumentation has him delving deeper into the heart of the album. The world is spinning backwards; up is down, left is right and what was perceived as heaven is actually hell. The American Dream has been twisted and turned inside out, hole-punched to such a degree that it is unrecognizable. He’s holding up a mirror, revealing to the world the twisted image being reflected back: [LISTEN]

Threats of Romance

Dialing it back to a slow crawl, and taking a close look at the courtship of rivals. Woman, according to Manson is man’s ultimately weakness. He’s obviously suffering from a broken heart, and his way of coping involves lashing out like a child; licking his wounds and weeping every step of the way. The lamenting doesn’t bind the overall message, leaving him confused and disorientated: [LISTEN]