Label: Loma Vista
Date: September 11th, 2020
It can’t be a coincidence this came out on 9/11, can it? I don’t think Mr. Warner can be oblivious of the fact. Though the record itself has little to do with the date of biggest tragedy on US soil since Pearl Harbor, Marilyn Manson has even been critical of his home country, the state of its society and particularly of the ruling powers out there. Even if the man has gone on to deeper topics than simple bashing of the system, I can’t see him missing an opportunity to point out just how criminally dangerous can a clash between a money-oriented system and blind belief really be.
What “We Are Chaos” actually is, is another one in line of Manson’s overly atmospheric records, as the last few really are. Almost to a point where he has gone full on goth, leaving behind all the industrial and electronics. Like Sisters of Mercy goth. All the teenage wrath has been expulsed, as the 51 year old Manson goes for a more serious approach. It’s not like his music wasn’t twisted and psychedelic before, but these were mostly left behind the perverse and hateful walls of sound. This time, exploring deeper into the psyche of degenerate humanity, music itself has gone downright acoustic. A whole lot of piano, acoustic guitars and bluesy undertones paint the album throughout. Still, “We Are Chaos” is far from a soft album. And not only because of Manson’s ever sharp tongue, cutting deep into the mental (in)stabilities. Musically speaking, he still holds a menacing line, as a human mind ever so often does.
The album keeps the power through enough of those recognizable distorted moments. Though they are much more articulated than on the early albums. The raw energy that used to characterize Marilyn Manson, especially in the live setting has matured. “We Are Chaos”, like its latest predecessors, feels more like a capacitor, holding high-voltage lightning strikes, only to strike precisely at a target without wasting too much of it around.
Having in mind Manson’s fans have also grown up and matured and not quite needing or having interest in another “Fight Song”, the new record remains a necessity. Marilyn Manson is still very much subversive, open-eyed and hurtfully expressive. Somehow, without sticking a finger in your eye, he manages to leave a sore spot. As artists must. And I’m going to go on a limb here and claim he is one of the last grand artists. When it comes to music, at least.