'The Pale Emperor
' is the tenth studio album by industrial metal artist Marilyn Manson
released on original Playstation discs. I have to say, I'm not a big fan of Marilyn Manson
. I do like songs from his 'Antichrist Superstar
' album, but I've just never really been fond of his overplayed shock rock approach. I don't really care if a band wants to visually shock it's listeners, but sometimes it can get overused and just become an annoyance. 'The Pale Emperor
', however, shows Manson really move away from his previous style.
By move away from his previous style, I mean adding a strong blues element to a Nine Inch Nails
-esque industrial metal style. This is emphasized in the opening track 'Killing Strangers', which begins with an industrial stomping beat mixed with some bluesy guitar. Manson's voice here sounds kind of like a bluesy Jonathan Davis of Korn
, and it really fits with the industrial/blues combination. The guitar soon gets both heavier and more melodic, and Manson's vocals of 'Hello?' are really powerful and fit well with the sound of the section. Towards the end, the guitar reminds me a little bit of Crossfade
. The next song, 'Deep Six
', is probably my favorite from the album. It begins with a menacing bass-line before the crushing guitar comes in. There's not much else I can say about this song, just a really kick-ass industrial metal song.
Besides industrial and blues, there are other styles mixed in as heard in the Deadmau5-esque ambient beginning of 'Warship
My Wreck'. The entrance of the heavy guitar is conducted perfectly, mixing with the atmospheric electronics beautifully. This song just perfectly combines heavy and soft, probably my second favorite song on the album. 'Slave Only Dreams to be King
' is a more grooving song, with an electronic stomp to the guitars and drums. Another really good bluesy song on the album is 'Birds of Hell
Awaiting'. While Manson's vocals reminds me a lot of Jonathan Davis, his vocals actually fit extremely well with the blues-twinged sound. I said with this album, Manson was moving away from his previous shock-rock approach, and that shows in the lyrics too. The lyrics feel much more genuine and emotional then his previous lyrical themes to me.
Overall, this is what I call a pleasant surprise. While there are a couple filler tracks, I suspect I will be listening to this album quite a bit. My love of both industrial metal and blues rock probably helps my enjoyment of this, but I'd highly recommend it to anyone who's looking for some industrial and some blues and think both would sound well together.