Marilyn Manson "Born Villain" Review — 5 out of 5 stars
by Rick Florino

"Resurrection needs your death," proclaims Marilyn Manson on "Children of Cain" a slithering standout from his brand new album, Born Villain.

Manson's no stranger to resurrection or reinvention. Every successive album has seen hard rock's smartest and savviest villain reborn in some manner. He went from the apocalyptic industrial metal of 1996's now classic Antichrist Superstar to the theatrical glam dream of Mechanical Animals. He came off the Holy Wood cross and became brutally burlesque for The Golden Age of Grotesque and then he ventured inside himself for Eat Me, Drink Me and The High End of Low.

Now, he's arrived at the aptly titled Born Villain.

From top to bottom, it's Manson's most vicious and vibrant effort since Antichrist Superstar. Make no mistake about it; this is Manson at his best. Elegantly, he slices throats and puts up a middle finger to everyone once more. "Hey, Cruel World" starts with an ominous croon announcing, "We don't need your faith". Then a crushing heavy guitar snaps loud on the declaratory chorus. It's a classic bitch slap to every organization imaginable. "No Reflection" maintains that energy, while "Pistol Whipped" is a masochistic mood-setter complete with heavy breathing that could work in any bedroom—in David Lynch's mind.

"Overneath the Path of Misery" whispers dystopian poetry over warbling ruddy soundscapes. "The Gardener" and "The Flowers of Evil" head back to deadly danceable territory that'll get asses moving in goth clubs everywhere. Oozing physical sex and fetishistic violence, "Disengaged" swarms with tribal drums and eerie flourishes.

A wah-ed out guitar kicks off "Lay Down Your Goddamn Arms", while a hulking beat entwines with Manson's fiery croon. "Wanna fight? Wanna fuck? Wanna try your Goddamn luck?" he asks. The answer from the hardcore faithful is going to mostly likely be "d"—All of the above. "Murderers Are Getting Prettier Every Day" is just the kind of bombastic barn-burner that we love from Manson, and "Breaking the Same Old Ground" stands out with its lullaby keys and revealing lyrics. Then there's the incredible cover of "You're So Vain" featuring none other than the world's best screen presence Mr. Johnny Depp.

Music needed a Villain; instead we're getting so much more. We're getting Marilyn fucking Manson at his most unapologetic. Welcome back. Resurrection has never felt so sweet.