mansonFor this week’s album of the week, it simply took me to listen to a mix CD I had made of Marilyn Manson to inspire me to choose one of his albums. The question was obviously which one would I choose from the legendary shock rocker. So for this week’s album of the week, I chose Marilyn Manson’s fourth studio album Holy Wood (In The Shadow Of The Valley Of Death). The album was the third and final chapter of a trilogy that included 1996’s Antichrist Superstar and 1998’s Mechanical Animals although this one is considered the first chapter. The album once again featured Marilyn Manson (Vocals), John 5 (Guitar), Twiggy Ramirez (Bass), Madonna Wayne Gacy (Samples/Keys), and Ginger Fish (Drums). The album is essentially a concept album about a man from Death Valley named Adam Kadmon (meaning Primal Man) who travels to a place called Holy Wood where death is king and makes you famous. Marilyn commented saying, “Holy Wood”—which isn’t even that great of a hyperbole of America—is a place where an obituary is just another headline. Where if you die and enough people are watching, then you’re famous.” The album definitely came with some controversy as it was released a year after the Columbine shootings for which the media and political heads tried to crucify Marilyn. Like Antichrist Superstar and such, he divides the album into parts A: In the Shadow, D: The Androgyne, A: Of Red Earth and M: The Fallen which help tell Adam’s story. The album had some success as it peaked at number 13 on The Billboard Top 200 charts and it went Gold in the US.

manson 21. GodEatGod– The opening track of the album and it’s very eerie with it’s heavy bass driven flow and the lyrics is apparently about Adam meditating in the desert. 4/5

2. The Love Song– I love the bass riff during the verses of this track before it gets heavy with the guitars in the chorus. The track’s lyrics deal with Holy Wood’s religion Celebritarianism. Manson described the lyrics and his metaphor for guns saying, “I was suggesting with the lyrics that the father is the hand, the mother is the gun, and the children are the bullets. Where you shoot them is your responsibility as parents.” 5/5

3. The Fight Song– This track which is one of my favorites on the album is an all out heavy punk anthem. The track is about Adam’s desire to be a part of Holy Wood and Manson elaborated saying the track is about, “a person who’s grown up all his life thinking that the grass is greener on the other side, but when he finally [gets there], he realises that it’s worse than where he came from and that it’s truly exploitative.” 5/5

4. Disposable Teens– A Manson rock song all the way through and you can hear Gary Glitter’s Rock And Roll Pt. 2 influence on the track. The track’s lyrics deal with the disenfranchised youth of America who have been treated like mistakes. 5/5

5. Target Audience (Narcissus Narcosis)– This has been said that it is Marilyn’s favorite track on the record that best describes everyone’s dying desire for Self-actualization. 5/5

Manson Tarot6. President Dead– If you didn’t notice, the track is only 3:13 minutes long which is a nod to a frame of film from Zapruder film which is essentially the fatal head shot suffered by John F. Kenendy. According to reports, the band borrowed the riff from Radiohead. 4/5

7.  In The Shadow Of The Valley Of Death– According to Wikipedia the track, “is an introspective song with Adam at his most emotionally vulnerable, nearly despairing.” The track is very dark with it’s acoustic riffs mixed with some creepy elements before the band kicks in. 4.5/5

8. Cruci-Fiction in Space– A very cool track with it’s drum machine combined with a machine like riff that continues to explore the death of John F. Kennedy almost comparing him to Christ like he’s a martyr. 4/5

9. A Place in the Dirt– Another personal track on the album for Manson which looks at where Adam feels he is at Holy Wood. The song starts off very slow and eerie during the verses, but the tempo turns up during the choruses. 4/5

10. The Nobodies– This is one of my favorite tracks on the album with the synth intro that kind of looks at the Columbine shootings, but it doesn’t glorify it. It instead looks at a society that is drenched in the blood of it’s children. 5/5

manson 311. The Death Song– This is the turning point in the album where Adam no longer cares. According to a report, Manson described the track as sarcastic and nihilistic saying, “it’s like ‘We have no future and we don’t give a fuck.” It’s an amazing song that has a cool groove to it with the bass before it gets heavy as hell. 5/5

12. Lamb Of God-The tempo is slowed down for this track that uses the ways John F. Kennedy, John Lennon, and Jesus Christ died to throw in his accusers faces. He kind of says that by it being seen on TV, you are instantly made a saint and a martyr by the media and public. 4/5

13. Born Again– An Industrial heavy rock track that sort of brings us back to the old days in track where Manson is sort of mocking false rebels of the world. 4/5

14. Burning Flag– The music reminds me a lot of Minstry in it’s style in a track that is sort of mocking our society and how the law just doesn’t work anymore. 4/5

15. Coma Black– Is this the sequel or prequel to Coma White? A slow tempo track that looks at the loss of love and what is important in a world that sucks. 4/5

holywood cd16. Valentine’s Day– Another one of my favorite tracks on the album that has a cool bass line during the verses. The song’s lyrics could describe a number of things depending on how you look at it. 5/5

17. The Fall Of Adam– A quick two minute track that could be describing the fall of our main character Adam. An acoustic track showing the band’s versatility. 4/5

18. King Kill 33º– An interesting track that serves as our main character lashing back at the people who denied him, ridiculed him for others mistakes. I love the riff to this song which is almost machine like. 4/5/5

19. Count To Six And Die (The Vaccuum Of Infinite Space Encompassing)– The track is the last song on the album and it could signify the end of Adam as he feels there is no other way out. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– This is definitely not my top Marilyn Manson record, but this was sort of the last really good album he made before the recent two he just dropped. This was also sort of his comeback to the forefront after the media, politicians, and religious nuts tried to bury him for Columbine. This album was a battle cry for artists to not be scapegoats anymore because of their art. I am giving the album four stars out of five for a final grade.


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