Marilyn Manson's We Are Chaos: What You Need To Know
It may have been only three years since the release of Heaven Upside Down, the 10th album by Marilyn Manson but in that time there have been plenty of changes for one of America’s most enduring rock bands, with no fewer than three line-up changes and a change in producer for their new album.
First announced back in March, We Are Chaos is their eleventh studio album in all and makes its arrival in our stores this week. Here’s everything you need to know…
A little background…
The first big change came barely a week after the release of Heaven Upside Down with the shock announcement that Twiggy Ramirez, the band’s on-off bassist since 1993, had been dramatically fired following allegations of rape made against him by Jack Off Jill vocalist Jessicka Addams.
Former Mars Volta bassist Juan Alderate was enlisted as a replacement, but there would be more changes to come; in 2019, drummer Gil Sharone announced his departure from the band to pursue other projects, with Black Flag’s Brandon Pertzborn taking his seat on the drum stool.
Manson then revealed that Tyler Bates – who had produced the band’s previous two albums – had also departed, with country musician Shooter Jennings brought in to work on the band’s next album. Later that year, Manson described their upcoming record as “a masterpiece”, with its title and release date subsequently confirmed in March this year.
Who’s producing it?
Shooter Jennings and Manson himself have taken over production duties for the new LP, with Jennings also credited as co-writer on all of the new album’s 10 tracks.
Any special guests?
Not in terms of guest performers, no, but there are contributions from long-time Jennings collaborators Jamie Douglass and Ted Russell Kamp.
What does it sound like?
With all the line-up changes and a change in producer, the new album was always going to feel a little different to its predecessors, and so it proves to be.
The shift isn’t hugely dramatic, but the stuttering, grinding sound Heaven Upside Down is subtly replaced for something with a little more polish and sheen.
The title track is one of the more ballad-type moments with an electric, swelling chorus, but if the album has a keystone its perhaps the second single Don’t Chase The Dead’ that best sums up the sound of the new album as a whole, with shades of 80s goth and echoes of bands like Psychedelic Furs lending a distinctly retro feel to the new LP.
Does it deliver?
Had Marilyn Manson spent the last decade trotting out more the outrageous ‘shock rock’ that characterised their early years, the at might have gotten a little tired by now, but the steadily evolving nature of the band’s line up has seen them shape-shift enough to keep their music evolving – which is probably the key to the band’s longevity.
That continues on We Are Chaos, with their frontman and namesake ever more the lynchpin, and his partnership with Shooter Jennings looks as though it will be a fruitful one on this evidence.