Marilyn Manson

Review: Marilyn Manson – The Pale Emperor

With the title referencing a David Foster Wallace book about boredom (The Pale King) and David Bowie’s ill-advised 1976 persona and character known as the Thin White Duke, we know Marilyn Manson isn’t fucking around on his ninth studio album. Thankfully The Pale Emperor sees Manson concentrating on the music first and foremost (alas, no more Shia LeBeouf), and thus producing a confident, mature rock record.

After a five-album string of duds following 1998’s Mechanical Animals, it’s also one of his better records, largely because he’s back to channeling Bowie. On opening track “Killing Strangers” he does so over an industrial stomp, though it would have twice the impact at half its length. Lead single “Deep Six” opens with some beautiful electronic noise before settling into industrial-metal, but it’s on ”The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles” that the influence of one David Robert Jones is turned up the highest, resulting in an album highlight. Manson has always been about playing games and wearing masks, and his best moments come when he’s wearing Bowie (a.k.a. Jones) like a second skin.

This won’t be Manson’s second chance at commercial success or a bold move into new territory. This isn’t his Kid A (Radiohead’s fourth studio album from 2000) or Low (David Bowie, circa 1977). For fans and the man himself it is a turning point where things start getting better.

Detached Objectives

Calgary post-punk duo Detached Objectives gears up for the ‘Shuttle Launch’

CALGARY — After punk, there was post-punk. Maybe. Post seems to be a prefix used when things are happening that are so eclectic that it’s easier to describe them by what they’re not (see Postmodernism if you want to give yourself a nosebleed.)

Colin Christopher and Slava Nartakhov are Detached Objectives, a name Christopher chose to indicate the pair’s no-nonsense approach, as this project was a departure from both players’ current bands. Long-time fixtures on the Calgary scene (Nartakhov play(ed/s) in the Reckless Heroes, Tekhnotron and others; Christopher runs Dreaming of the Past records, has played in numerous metal bands and regularly plays live with local artists), their origins are more prosaic than their dark, pummeling music would suggest.
“I had a couple of electronic, industrial music projects running but at the time I had started having more interest in this indie-influence, darker post-punk scene and I was just looking for somebody to start a side-project with. Colin and I met up, chatted about music and it turned out that we had a lot in common,” says Nartakhov.

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