Throughout his career, the self-proclaimed “God of Fuck,” Marilyn Manson has always done things his way. From the shock rock of his early days through the industrial-drenched Antichrist Superstar, through to the glammed-up Mechanical Animals, Manson has constantly reinvented himself with each release and, while he isn’t the headline-grabbing figure he once was, each of his releases is still met with equal parts uproar and adulation.
However, there are some who think that now, eleven albums into his career, the rock icon’s creativity has run dry. So, is We Are Chaos the sound of an artist past his sell-by-date or has the iconic Manson been reborn again? One thing is for sure, with country star Shooter Jennings twiddling the knobs, you know you’re going to be in for an interesting ride.
Starting with the pulsing “Red Black And Blue,” the title track, a stomping rock ‘n roll swinger, follows and, while some might feel we’ve seen the last of the dangerous Manson, at this stage in his career, this all feels like a very natural shift in direction. Open, honest, and raw, Manson lets it all pour out through moody offerings like “Paint You With My Love” or the almost Bowie-esque “Half-Way and One Step Forward” while “Infinite Darkness” takes the listener back to the brutal side of Manson’s persona.
“Keep My Head Together” is the sound of Manson flexing his creative muscles while still keeping the big, anthemic rock sound that has been a staple of his music for most of his career. However, We Are Chaos sees Manson keep the best until the end as “Broken Needle” brings the album to a close with one of the most heartfelt songs you’re likely to ever hear from the shock rocker. Pouring his heart out over the gentle strum of an acoustic guitar, the song builds up to a gigantic midsection before fading away with Manson leaving a trail of carnage in his wake.
Whereas some of Manson’s recent output has been forgettable at best, We Are Chaos sees him take a firm hold of his sound to create an album that has taken all the best elements of his career rolling them into one big ball of passion and emotion. Dark, dramatic, and at times, in the case of “Broken Needle,” utterly epic, We Are Chaos is a welcome return from Manson who proves again that you’d be a fool to write him off.
We Are Chaos Track Listing:
1. Red Black And Blue
2. We Are Chaos
3. Don’t Chase the Dead
4. Paint You With My Love
5. Half-way & One Step Forward
6. Infinite Darkness
8. Keep My Head Together
9. Solve Coagula
10. Broken Needle
Run Time: 42:28
Release Date: September 11, 2020
Record Label: Loma Vista Recordings