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Marilyn Manson - Holy Wood (In The Valley of The Shadow of Death)
Label: Interscope Records
Release: 2000

Tracklisting:
GodeatGod
The Love Song
The Fight Song
Disposable Teens
Target Audience (Narcisuss Narcosis)
President Dead
In The Valley of The Shadow of Death
Cruci-fiction In Space
The Nobodies
The Death Song
Lamb of God
Born Again
Burning Flag
Coma Black: Eden Eye The Apple of Discord
Valentine's Day
The Fall of Adam
King Kill
Count To Six And Die
Holy Wood (In The Valley of The Shadow of Death) - Marilyn Manson
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Average Blamo User Rating: (26 votes)

     You can only hold composure for so long. Marilyn Manson has been under fire throughout their entire career, but singer Brian Warner and the rest of the collective have disregarded this for far enough. When the Columbine murders in Colorado occurred, people wanted an answer, a scapegoat. The answer middle class America handed to the public was in the form of music. Marilyn Manson was sighted as an influence to the Columbine murders. You can’t buy publicity like that.

     While many expected Warner to shrug it off and continue making the same music he has made for the past few years, Brian was very saddened that he was blamed for these horrible atrocities and decided to vent his aggression the only way he knew how; through music.

     Holy Wood (In The Valley of The Shadow of Death) is the final chapter of the trilogy that includes Antichrist Superstar and Mechanical Animals. It embodies the sound of the past albums, and brings forth a new wave of lyricism that Manson hasn’t been too comfortable with expressing in the past; his faults. He has dwindled around the subject in the past but this is the album where it comes clear, this is clearly a Brian Warner album, not a showcase of the rest of the band. His soul is on the line.

     Therein lies the prospect of being sloppy and run down, at 19 songs one would think this album would’ve been a lot better if it was compacted to a smaller size. Virtually every song has its “partner” which goes along the same formula. “The Fight Song” and “Disposable Teens” stand back to back and both mirror each other in terms of subject. It also doesn’t help that these two songs are among Manson’s weaker offerings.

     The album finally lands on its feet on the fifth song, Target Audience (Narcissus Narcosis). While other songs such as “The Nobodies” and “Disposable Teens” have received wide attention for being Manson’s retaliation to the Columbine massacres, this song serves as an all points bulletin of Manson’s thoughts of continuously being a scapegoat. Along a perfectly fitting guitar riff and rhythmic drums Manson claims, “You are just a copy of an imitation” and goes on to bash the overzealous religious community for labeling him a bad influence. Against all of these odds, one would think of Manson as some type of a metaphorical martyr. Instead of a graceful bow out, he throws salt on America’s already open wound and stakes his claim.

     “A Place In The Dirt” ranks among the most emotionally touching songs he has ever written. With a chilling chorus and the-end-is-near type lyrical professionalism he rides over a wonderful musical backdrop which do more than cater to his emotion drenched vocal talents. However, “Lamb of God” is Manson’s best offering on the album. Building up to around half way around the song he finally lets out a scream over highly distorted guitars with “Nothings going to change the world.” At times like these it seems as if Manson, strong as composure as he used to be, is realizing the futile methods of his work. People would rather scream and jump to his music then pay attention to what he is saying.

     Rather than taking this into consideration and becoming a bleak pop star Manson delivers a great effort, but it still falls below Mechanical Animals and Antichrist Superstar. Perhaps his next offering will showcase some musical evolution, but Manson’s’ key has always been songwriting. Lets hope he can keep this to the maximum.


Reviewer Rating of CD :

Alright, one of the most controversial artists in the world (along with Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Cannibal Corpse, etc.) releases this album in 2001 to a whole new generation of fans. Was it worth it? You bet your %$^&ing a$$.

The album starts off with a very interesting album opener, 'GodEatGod', a very good track but very... different shall we say? It's very traditional Manson, of course, but it's just interesting to see how that song evolves the whole album. 'The Love Song' is a very intense rock song that shows Manson's whole vocal range. 'The Fight Song' is probably the most known song on this album, and one of the most controversial tracks he's ever put out. The album just continually evolves with amazing lyrics (especially in 'Target Audience', 'you're just a copy of an imitation', amazing) and a very hard musical approach.

The album finally starts slowing down at 'In The Valley of the Shadow of Death,' one of the most outstanding tracks on this album. The album picks up again with 'President Dead', one of his weirdest songs, featuring women chanting and 'ooing' throughout the song. The second acoustic song, 'Lamb of God', follows after a few more tracks. To analyze each song on this album individually would be rather time consuming, so lets just say that Manson really evolved his sound. It was pathetic that he was blamed for the Columbine killings, which was a total load of crap, but it really allowed him to put out an amazing album. I remember Columbine, I actually live about 200 miles from the school and have been there (I do live in Colorado). It's stupid that he was blamed for that but whatever.

This is my favorite Manson album by far. Mechanical Animals is good ('Coma White' is just amazing) and TGAOG is good, the other albums are good, but this one... this one is just plain amazing.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

Marilyn Manson seemed to be running out of the luster that kept him going when this album came out. He went from Antichrist Superstar, to a complete U-Turn into the Mechanical Animals phase. The music was different, the subject matter was different, and the image was different. Mechanical Animals was, in my opinion, the best he accomplished through his career. HolyWood, on the other hand, seemed like a step backwards and not forwards. The album seems to have regurgitated guitar riffs overcastting a Marilyn Manson complaining about the Kennedy assassinations and the Columbine shootings, the latter of which he was accused by mainstream America of having a hand in. Nonetheless, the album has its good features, but by Manson's standards, it's been done before. The mood is almost the same as Antichrist Superstar and so are some of the sounds. Although he could have done worse, because the music isn't that bad after all, my whole point is that it's been done before.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

 


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