The Golden Age Of Grotesque Review

artist: Marilyn Manson date: 10/28/2003 category: compact discs
Marilyn Manson: The Golden Age Of Grotesque
Released: May 13, 2003
Genre: Rock
Tones: Nocturnal, Theatrical, Aggressive, Acerbic, Malevolent, Menacing, Snide, Indulgent, Dramatic
Styles: Alternative Metal, Industrial Metal
Number Of Tracks: 15
 Sound: 6.3
 Lyrics: 5.8
 Overall Impression: 6
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) 11 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
The Golden Age Of Grotesque Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 28, 2003
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: This album is amazing, the recent addition of Tim Skold has boosted the band's skill level a huge amount. This CD is more industrial than their past CD's, each song has more to it than some past songs. It's definitely original, I don't know of anything exactly like this. // 10

Lyrics: Manson is Manson, his voice and lyrics haven't really changed since they started. The lyrics fit very, very well with the music. I believe he has matured and grown as a musician, but there isn't a huge improvement over the other records(he didn't need to change anything anyways). // 10

Overall Impression: I've listen to this cd everyday since it came out. Every song is amazing, they could all be singles. Hearing them live made me feel like I was going to have a stroke. If it was ever stolen I would go buy it again within the hour. Besides the music, I enjoyed the bonus DVD that came in limited edition. The movie on the DVD (Doppelherz, a film made by Manson) was...uhh...interesting, a bit strange but worth a look. I love this CD, it's one of my favorite of all time. I honestly can't think of one bad thing I can say about it, the best I can come up with is I wish there were more songs. // 10

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overall: 3.3
The Golden Age Of Grotesque Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 20, 2006
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound on this album is not the greatest, due to the addition of Tim Skold to the group. He helps proivde a much more industrial sound to the album, however, the album contained no guitar parts or melodies that particularly stuck in my head. All in all, the album contains many forgetable and boring riffs. // 4

Lyrics: The lyrics on this album are shoddy to say the least. I followed Manson since I heard the masterpiece that is, 'Antichrist Superstar', and revelled in the emotion and imagery contained in his fantastic lyrics. But this seems to have gone out the window on this album, each song contains sub-standard lyrics, using childish puns and wordplay to get along. For me, the biggest disappointment with this album was that Manson sounded like he couldn't be bothered, his singing was boring and didnt contain the fire and hatred which fueled his previous album. // 2

Overall Impression: Overall, I must say this album was a severe disappointment to me. It is not in the same league as any of Marilyn Manson's previous releases, and couldnt compare to any of the work by Ministry or Nine Inch Nails. The only songs I could bare myself to listen to more than once were 'Doll-Dagga Buzz-Buzz Ziggety-Zag', and 'Spade'. To be completely honest, there wasn't much I loved about this album. It isn't the worst record I have ever had the misfortune to listen to, but when I hear it, theres just this nagging feeling that Manson couldn't be bothered at all, and this is reflected in the shallow and sloppy lyrics. If this album was stolen, there'd be no chance in hell I'd buy this mess again. // 4

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overall: 4.7
The Golden Age Of Grotesque Reviewed by: Emenius Sleepus, on february 21, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: It still remains a debate of whether the addition of Tim Skold to the infamous fold of MM was a good idea or the knell for the band. The album is much more influenced by industrial and electronic music than even Antichrist Superstar was. Skold, of KMDFM and MDFMK fame, first appeared on the horizon as a producer on Holy Wood, and as most of us know by now, replaced Twiggy after he left (or was fired). Skold's influence is easily spotted. While some songs are reminiscent of Holy Wood (thanks to John 5, Pogo and Ginger the track Mobscene is very Manson) there is much more emphasis on loops, easy riffs, and one could say even a bit of nu in there. Rhythmically it has a much more machine-like militant feel, although Doll-Digga-Buzz-Buzz-Ziggety-Zagg, besides its strange name also has a very rock'n'roll beat to it. Overall, the sound has been somewhat of a disappointment, in that the album seemed to be much more production and image-inspired, rather than the sonic and emotional finesse that Manson has become known for. The album comes off blatant, pretentious and dead, and while some tracks (notably, Para-Noir) are quite interesting, the album is consistent in the low points rather than highs. It's consistent, but not the consistency that you'd want as a fan. Skold being the producer, the production of the album is excellent. You have to give credit where it's due, and the cd is crisp-clear. Skold knows exactly, it seems, what the big picture is, and is pretty good at convincing Manson that it's good sound. All the same, it misses the spark of spontaneity and sounds a bit dated. Of course, the album is theatrical and a dark-sounding one, there's no denying that. There is also no denying that the general inspiration of the album of the 1930's Berlin, as well as children and their uninhibited imagination and creativity, have shaped the album, and that the music was probably a less of a focus, with Marilyn preferring to capture the atmosphere and the feel of a particular time, but the sound has suffered significantly. // 4

Lyrics: As I've mentioned before, the main inspiration for The Golden Age Of Grotesque was predominantly pre-war cabaret and impressionist Berlin. This alone will provide some of the most significant clues as to the album's lyrics and presentation, especially if you are willing to do some serious research on that era - the culture, artists, film directors etc. This is an important point, because initially the album's lyrics will come off pretentious and weak, I was bitterly disappointed initially with the fact that the person I admired for his craft to speak out and cause so much controversy through intelligent and well-researched lyrics has managed to let this album down. But in reality, the album is just as well researched and full of hidden and cryptic messages as ever before. On the outside, it's a rather childish self-indulgent opus. It's not Manson's greatest by all means, but at the same time it's not as terrible as most people will say it is. Childish-sounding rhymes are also a component, which will make sense if you consider that children were another inspiration. Children tend to make up words or phrases, and some certainly sound like that, yet there is a deeper meaning behind all those phrases. Even Doll Digga Buzz Buzz Ziggety Zagg is more than just a bunch of words, but is in fact a subtle drug reference. Manson's voice has never really changed, or has never been that versatile. That said, it complies perfectly with his music, as it always have. The often-mentioned grazingness of his voice (I know that's not really a word, but still) adds the sonic element that makes the rest of the music work quite well. But at the same time I don't see Manson singing opera any time soon. // 6

Overall Impression: This time around, the focus of the album seemed much more visual, and for the general presentation and theatre-like feel it's quite amazing. The album seems to transport you directly into the era that Manson was inspired by, and is soaked through with cabaret, impressionism and live-for-the-moment atmosphere. At the same time, musically it has been a disappointment. It's a solid album, but quite honestly I find most of the music somewhat boring. In anticipation to the new album in 2006, hopefully it's merely a stepping stone, but while production is excellent, the album is definitely missing some spark that made every other album work. There are a lot of fist-pumping anthems, but they seem to come off very self-indulgent and pompous rather than genuine. That said, the videos that have been released are amazing, which highlights yet again that this album has been primarily visual, and approached as a work of art as opposed to a collection of music. // 4

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overall: 6
The Golden Age Of Grotesque Reviewed by: TheSounder19200, on february 06, 2007
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: If there was one Marilyn Manson album that comes pretty close to beating Smells Like Children in terms of boringness, Golden Age of Grotesque would be that album. Manson's sound has shape shifted into a more carnival-esque feel that was supposed to make fans feel greasy and used after listening to it. The only emotion I feel is regret in that I may have wasted 18 dollars to purchase this album, but not due to the album's sound. Golden Age of Grotesque definitely presents a new sound that is harsh and strained, using many guitar and keyboard effects, but retaining the same Manson sound. // 7

Lyrics: The lyrics are certainly what this album lacks. Starting with This is the New Shit and traveling all the way to Use Your Fist Not Your Mouth, Manson's lyrics severely lack the power that his previous albums possessed. I honestly laughed out loud when I heard Doll-Dagga Buzz-Buzz Ziggety-Zag for the first time because to me, the song is a complete joke with it's nonsensical phrases. In addition, the use of clich's and stereotypes creates a boring slur of words that do not represent Manson's ability as a lyricist (Use Your Fist Not Your Mouth for example). However, Ka-Boom Ka-Boom and Spade did prove to be very powerful songs with creative entrancing lyrics that need to be recognized as the two gems in this audio bore-fest. // 5

Overall Impression: To sum this album up, I was not impressed. I seriously can contend Golden Age of Grotesque album with Smells Like Children as being Manson's worst album, because at least Sweet Dreams and I Put A Spell On You made me not regret buying the album. However, in Manson's defense I must say that everyone runs out of material or has a low spot at some point or another and I hope that this album is that low point. I recommend that serious Manson fans buy this album (as I have) and add it to your collection. For the not so serious, pick up Holy Wood or Antichrist Superstar. If this album were to get lost or stolen, or were to break I would purchase another copy, but merely for collection and novelty purposes. // 6

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