“We Are Chaos”
Track Listing: Red Black & Blue, We Are Chaos, Don’t Chase The Dead, Paint You With My Love, Half-Way & One Step Forward, Infinite Darkness, Perfume, Keep My Head Together, Solve Coagula, Broken Needle
“We Are Chaos” is Marilyn Manson’s Eleventh studio record and will be released on September 11, 2020. That particular date is an infamous day in American history and it’s no surprise that the Prince of Shock Rock chose it.
Shooter Jennings co-wrote and produced the record and his influence on the production is obvious. Jennings is a long time Manson fan and on July 14, 2009 at the Vans Warped Tour in Columbia, Maryland during our interview with Jennings he told us about his love for Manson’s music:
"I wish he would have stayed out of the celebrity circuit, like, when I heard "Antichrist Superstar", that was a really influential album, dude, I listened to it all day long, I thought it was brilliant, he was scary, then when he went glam, I loved "Mechanical Animals", that was great shit, but then it was like, when (Trent) Reznor was gone, it felt like he lost his center.”
“I am a very big fan of Marilyn Manson & I can never forget the effect, even "Portrait of an American Family", all of his records had on me, it was very big!”
Here’s a track by track review of the new record "We Are Chaos":
“Red, Black, and Blue” - Manson says, “I can stick a needle in the horror and Fix your blindness…..” and this creepy opening goes on for a minute before the actual song starts. The song is bass driven and the guitar does not kick in until the 2 minute mark. The songs chorus sees Manson screaming, “Am i garbage or God? Church or a trashcan?, Either way you're a waste of my time.” There’s a moment where the song starts to slightly sound like Orgy’s cover of “Blue Monday” as well but it’s subtle. The chorus is big with layered vocals and sounds like something from “Antichrist Superstar” while the last minute of the song slows down with a melodic breakdown that ends with the Manson singing acapela.
“We Are Chaos” is the lead single and needs no introduction. The song is melancholy, brave, and shows a grown up side to Manson.
“Don’t Chase The Dead” is synth heavy and reminiscent of Sisters of Mercy. The chorus is catchy with pop accents and Manson screams, “If tonight lasts forever. It won't matter if there's no tomorrow”. This song reminds me ever so slightly of the “Eat Met Drink Me” era.
“Paint You With My Love” is a tender ballad and sounds like a watered down “Unkillable Monster” off the “High End of Low”record. This track has elements of the “Mechanical Animals” era as it soars to epic heights during the breakdown.
“Half-Way & One Step Forward” is piano driven and the opening lyrics are “The Smell of Your Blood Is Like a Carnival or a State Fair.” This track is stripped down and would also sound quite exquisite unplugged with an acoustic guitar. The interesting thing with most of this record is that every song has organic sounding roots; you can tell that many of them began on an acoustic guitar before they were fully realized in the studio.
“Infinite Darkness” - The guitar track on this song feels very punk-ish and there’s a clever high/low dynamic which leads this song perfectly. “You’re Dead Longer Than You’re Alive” is screamed four times in a row during the chorus and this song has an interesting vibe which makes it a stand out track.
“Perfume” opens with Manson saying, “Get Behind me, Get Behind Me, Get Behind Me Satan.” This industrial styled rocker has an anthemic chorus and the layered vocals that add creepiness to what could almost be a pop song at times. This song could have been on the “Mechanical Animals” record with it’s glam-shock-rock approach.
“Keep My Head Together” - This track has a lo-fi feel and reminds me of “The Witch” by The Cult ever so slightly. This track is bass driven and that seems to be a theme on this record; the guitars are not overpowering and the thickness of the drums and bass are what shape a large portion of this record - less is definitely more. The guitar solo is the only thing I would have changed on this song; The solo could have been stronger and a player like Billy Duffy from The Cult could have pushed this song over the top.
“Solve Coagula” - This song starts with a backwards message and this song is an ode to what Marilyn Manson is all about; when he sings “No One Else I Wanna Be Like So I Stay The Same Like Nobody Else” those lyrics say it all. Musically this one is mellow and very Bowie-ish.
“Broken Needle” is an acoustic driven track and closes this record on a somber note. When we interviewed Jennings he stated that he loved “Four Rusted Horses” and this track is a mellower version of it. The bluesy swagger is stripped away and this one is an interesting mix of “Mechanical Animals” meets “High End of Low” in terms of it’s overall sound and style.
What did I think of this record after my first listen? It wasn’t what I was hoping for but it sounds great and it’s well written. Every fan of Marilyn Manson has a particular era of the band that they adore and for me it’s the “Antichrist Superstar” era. This era of Marilyn Manson is older, wiser, and jaded from years of celebrity abuse. Jennings did a great job bringing out the best in Manson and creating a new “era” in his career. Tyler Bates previously brought heaviness back to Marilyn Manson via tracks like “Deep Six” on “Pale Emporer” and “We Know Where You F**king Live” off the “Heaven Upside Down” release. On this new record Jennings brought out an artsy, melodic side to Manson and songs like “Don’t Chase The Dead” and “We Are Chaos” show a fragile side to Manson. This record requires a few listens before you can truly realize and understand it.
There are several different configurations of this record available; Target is offering an exclusive version of the CD with 2 bonus tracks (We Are Chaos & Broken Needle - Unplugged)