Monarch Music Minute: Marilyn Manson, New Politics, August Burns Red
Adam Flores | Senior Writer
Marilyn Manson – ‘Heaven Upside Down’ 💿💿💿
Nearly two years in the making, Marilyn Manson, Tyler Bates, Twiggy and Gil Sharone have unleashed “Heaven Upside Down,” the group’s tenth studio album. Lead single “WE KNOW WHERE YOU F—ING LIVE” and follow-up single “Kill4Me” foreshadowed the new album’s heavier tone compared to their last effort, 2015’s seemingly cinematic “The Pale Emperor.”
Lead track “Revelation #12” dives directly into the industrial metal fold as Manson delivers incendiary, over-compressed vocals in an unrelenting state declaring, “And you will burn in a town with no firemen / Just playing with matches and praying to ashes / Too stupid to call themselves evil / So they call themselves heroes.”
The 10-track collective sees Manson returning to embrace the tropes that saw him rise to rock star eminence as gothic rock’s menace early on in his formidable music career.
“Revelation #12,” “Saturnalia” and the title track Manson explains “are three of the most key songs that really tell the story. Those three songs take place in the three places where if it were a film, it’s the opening, it’s the middle and it’s the ending.”
“Heaven Upside Down’s” unabashed lyrical delivery falls short while borrowing heavily on industrial metal’s current sound set.
New Politics – ‘Lost in Translation’ 💿💿💿💿
New Politics, with their eclectic mix of alternative, pop and dance rock meanderings with a splash of pop punk, present their latest, “Lost in Translation.” The Copenhagen, Denmark, trio offer a high-energy, 10-track set reflecting many musical sounds and ideas of past decades.
Lead track “CIA” conflates reggaeton notions with upbeat chorus sections reflecting the quirky, upbeat ‘80’s vibe. “One of Us” follows with its Queen-esque “Bohemian Rhapsody” drama as frontman David Boyd takes on the Freddie Mercury persona complete with backing harmonies and razor edge Brian May rock guitar tone bundled into a concise, theatrical showcase.
“Madeleine” reflects the Dexys Midnight Runners’ “Come On Eileen” feel expertly shifting tempos and crafting lyrics that infectiously get you singing along, regardless of your mood as Boyd belts out in its thematic chorus, “Madeleine, let me hold you / Before the bar is closing down / Before you’re leaving town for good / Let me sing you one last song.”
New Politics’ “Lost in Translation” takes the analog sound of the ‘80’s and digitizes its aesthetic conflating arrangements found within the era’s most prominent trendsetters with their updated musical approach, yet begs for a warmer production delivery compared to its ‘80’s counterparts.
August Burns Red – ‘Phantom Anthem’ 💿💿💿💿💿
August Burns Red’s bone-crunching epic, “Phantom Anthem,” is the new 11-track compilation by the Lancaster, Pennsylvania veteran metalcore conglomerate. Singles “Invisible Enemy” and “The Frost” preceded the new record inciting systematic chaos lyrically and musically.
ABR continues to display intricate riffs and motifs with an unmatched intensity only they can emanate. Melodic guitar work, odd time signatures and their overall musical prowess derive from their influence of Meshuggah, Symphony in Peril, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Between the Buried and Me.
Lead track “King of Sorrow” sets the relentless pace carefully choreographing frontman Jake Lurs’ lyrical onslaught to a cinematically orchestrated musical accompaniment. Lurs intercedes, “I’m the angel of the dead / Take a good look at me / Grief is my guilty pleasure / I’m taking comfort in your pain.”
“Hero of the Half Truth,” with its apocalyptic dystopian narrative, takes the Underoath frenzy to new sonic places mixing anarchistic rhythms with glimpses of hard driving, tension easing chorus sections.
Tracks such as “Quake” and “Generations” inflict a unilateral assault on the senses upon listeners. Moreover, August Burns Red masterfully uses various elements in their progressive metal toolkit to build surprising and beautiful themes encompassed throughout “Phantom Anthem.”
💿 – Face palm.
💿💿 – Eh…
💿💿💿 – We’re getting there.
💿💿💿💿 – I’ll listen to it twice, even.
💿💿💿💿💿 – Hell yes!