Sound — 9
Marilyn Manson's album number 9 and in the same time his second album without the Nine Inch Nails' frontman-mastermind Trent Reznor's production. By the way it's Manson's second album released on his own label Hell, etc. after his 2012 work "Born Villain." But from this, for me rather undefined, sound he moved really far away. It mostly sounds like blues rock from the '80s which he never sounded like before. The second point is the length of the songs: the majority of them is 5+ minutes long and some are even 6 minutes long! And this is not because this record is repetitive. It's exactly the opposite: most of the songs contain a guitar solo which isn't usual for a typical Manson album (except songs written by Daisy Berkowitz for "Portrait of an American Family" from 1994 or 13 years later Tim Skold's shredding skills on "Eat Me, Drink Me"). From the other side there are a lot of breaks built in. For an example there are songs like "The Reflecting God" from "Antichrist Superstar" or "Wrapped in Plastic" from his 1994 debut which contain some breaks which is very odd from the classic "intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus" structure.
The instruments are minimalistic as always mostly 2 or in very few cases 3 different guitar tracks, bass and drums and sometimes a keyboard to overdub the sound. The vocals are very big surprise because when you listen to his last albums you will notice that he sounds really weak and tired. This album doesn't like a "rebirth" of his voice but his has discovered it from a new side. Mostly using clear vocals to make it fit to the instrumental part and the atmosphere he makes something different in comparison to his older records where he used to sing with scream vocals or sometimes even to rap like "Lunchbox" or "Cake and Sodomy."
Lyrics — 7
As always the lyrics were the most important part of Manson's works which gives him his individuality and his expression also on stage. As the most people who listen to his music know the themes of his lyrics this album will be a little bit strange for you. No anti-religious paroles, no drugs (ok there are some but not that much as before), no identity crisis and also the masturbating grandpa Jack, the dead monkey and Manson's lunchbox collection were left back in Fort Lauderdale. You also won't see Manson's loving side like "Heart-Shaped Glasses," "Coma White" or "Into the Fire." On this record the lyrics sound very dominant and powerful without trying to shock anyone but to build the emperor-like atmosphere which he wangles perfectly. But the lyrics don't have a wide spectrum on this album and there are a lot of repetitions so I think that there is something missing but still better than average.
Overall Impression — 8
This record sounds as a mixture of 1998 released "Mechanical Animals" and "Eat Me, Drink Me" from 2007. All the three records have this blues feeling and a lot of guitar work comaped to other albums. But the thing that reminds me the most on "Eat Me, Drink Me" is the dirty but not aggressive stoner rock style which makes the whole thing more special. But when you compare this with other artists you can think first of all about Metallica's "Load" or "ReLoad" but in the good sence-the melodies and the more steady riffs without the Metallica-usual pressure like "Master of Puppets" or "Creeping Death." There you can find more things like "The Memory Remains," "King Nothing" or "2x4." The stoner rock touch can be compared with Arctic Monkeys' "Suck It and See" dessert-style album with this massive reverb effect and a great live feeling but with a big minus. In a typical Manson song like "Tourniquet," "Minute of Decay" (best example for it :D), "Sweet Tooth" or his probably most famous Eurythmics cover classic "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" has a very big dynamical difference between song part, like a silent verse then rising tension and then an aggressive, screaming chorus. This album is very even but it isn't just a hazard it just belongs to the stoner rock style you just have to adjust to it - he wanted to try out something new.
"Deep Six," "Mephistopheles of Los Angeles," "Odds and Even," "Third Day of a Seven Day Binge," "Cupid Carries a Gun," "Killing Strangers."
"Birds of Hell Awaiting," "The Devil Beneath My Feet."
"Slave Only Dreams to be King," "Warship My Wreck" (very bad song, I just don't get it how it could be placed on this album).
This album is more than average, not as good as "Antichrist" or "Portrait" but nobody would wait for this level. Anyway, it was way better than his last two albums which were relatively uninspired and weak.