It's a different world than when Manson made his debut over two decades ago and scared the shit out of everyone. He scared us because things felt relatively safe and calm. He was like a monster scaring a child out of the peaceful tranquility of their bed. Now that things are fucking bananas and chaos reigns and we know exactly where the monsters hide, there's something decidedly less scary about a guy that shaves his eyebrows.
See, Marilyn Manson is like Lady Gaga.
The point being, when you strip away all the lunacy and the shtick, there's real talent underneath. Talent that can sometimes get lost in all the meat dresses and Satanic pulpits.
Heaven Upside Down is Manson's tenth album and I don't think anyone, including him thought that he would still be around over 2 decades later. What's the secret to his longevity? "Everyone loves a villain" is too easy an answer. And it's also not that simple. Marilyn Manson is still around because he's talented. And Heaven Upside Down is proof positive that he can still deliver the goods.
Coming off the acclaimed Pale Emperor album, Heaven Upside Down is a bit of a throwback to earlier Manson. Perhaps even as far back as Portrait of An American Family. There's a more caustic, less polished vibe to this album that gives a tune like "We Know Where You Fucking Live" an extra dose of venom and malevolence that's been missing from the band on the last couple albums and the seven-minute epic "Saturnalia" is a reminder that the man can still give us the heebie-jeebies when he wants to.