I remember buying ‘Antichrist Superstar’ like it was yesterday: I was in Tokyo with my dad and I needed something to fill the silence during the long drives to the various tourist spots. Being that I was middle school at the time and I was a rebellious little scoundrel, the thought of getting away with buying a Marilyn Manson album was just too cool to not follow through on. My dad only realized what I’d bought when it was too late: I was hooked. This was an album that was metal, industrial, dirty, grimy, violent, sexual, full of horror and perfect for my testosterone-ridden, hyper-sexualized teenage angst.
To quote Corinthians (which is strange enough seeing as I’m Jewish AND an atheist), “When I was a child I spoke as a child I understood as a child I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things.” There came a time when I had to rein in my hormones and grow out of my rebelliousness, if for no other reason than it just became boring and stale. So, the question then arises, how does ‘Antichrist Superstar’ hold up considering this situation?
Let’s get the production out of the way before I chat about the album and it’s impact, shall we? ‘Antichrist Superstar’ has that unmistakable raw mid-90’s sound. However, it’s only listening to it now that I fully appreciate just how much is actually going on in each track. There is an ungodly amount that will take who knows how many listens to fully appreciate. The album goes from furious raging industrial metal to mellow, haunting ambient soundscapes with great ease, all while sounding fantastic.
Okay, so it sounds great. Does it still rock? Fuck yeah it rocks! I can’t explain it, but listening to this album pumped me up as though I was that anger-fueled teenager again. I found myself reveling in the chaos, head banging until I was dizzy. There is something about this album that is undeniably infectious and powerful. This was definitely Manson at the top of his game.
Songs like ‘Little Horn‘ and ‘The Beautiful People‘ are prime examples of the angry side of the album while ‘Cryptorchid‘, ‘Tourniquet‘, and ‘Minute Of Decay‘ show the more haunting aspects.
The Final Word: It’s been 15 years since ‘Antichrist Superstar’ hit shelves and the album is still as intense as when I first heard it. Manson, if you read this, please find that energy and ferocity again. Meanwhile, I’ll be blasting this until the day I die.