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Devil's Blood
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Marilyn Manson - Portrait Of An American Family

Goddam this takes me back. I was high school aged when this dropped so am extremely familiar with it and was excited to see it as this week's pick as I haven't revisited in quite some time. Many parties and wild nights with this as the backdrop, bunch of fucked up kids up to no fucking good. This shit spoke to us and scared the shit out of the normies.
Glad the pick was pre-antichrist/pre-blowup Manson. It's my favorite era of his material,a little more rough around the edges, but I like all his stuff up to his newest releases, even if a lot of the shine has waned, he's still great. The wife and I are probably going to see him and Rob Zombie this August.

The man can write a great goddam song, but props to the band on this album as they were still very much a band at this point as opposed to the solo act Manson would turn into. Was always drawn to the groovy baselines on this record, to the point where I actually know how to play several of them, we played them in the garage back at that time. It's very much that type of album as a new act just coming under the tutelage of Trent Reznor whose fingerprints are all over this record as well. It's basic hard rock bordering on Punk and Metal, simple and crunchy with a nice menagerie of cute bells and whistle layered on top to create the proper vibe with the characters as they were during this period. Which is where this album really shines, like smoking a hookah on top of a magic mushroom with a preying mantis in lieu of the caterpillar. Manson was playing on stranger danger fears interspersed with elements of the real troubles facing 'America's' youth,...making it all the more frightening to those pretending not to understand. We loved it, felt like a giant middle finger to the establishment. It was a little more grounded in the spooky kids concept compared to the later stuff which leaned more towards disturbing gore or blasphemy, which is cool too, like I said, I like Manson.

Strong 8/10

Favorites: Cake And Sodomy, Get Your Gunn, Dogma, Snake Eyes And Sissies
As much as I love Antichrist Superstar and Mechanical Animals I must say Portrait Of An American Family is my favorite album. It's disturbing in a juvenile way with exceptional hypocritical "righteous" folk commentary. The band was also the most bizarre and authentic looking here to me. The makeup and goth vibe was nigh but not to the extent later albums would show.



I seen Manson last August and it was a good time.

I'm looking forward to this one a lot. I've never really listened to Manson much, but I am a massive fan of Trent Reznor and NIN respectively, so for him to be an executive producer has me interested.

Should be listening to it some time tomorrow :)
You'll love it! Thanks to T-Rez for Manson even being found for the mainstream. I have no doubt Manson would've reached mainstream music but not to this caliber. I have the pre-Reznor version of this album and it is more raw and radical sounding. Trent really did a number to it and made it as great as it has been remembered as.
 

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Anti-Hero
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As much as I love Antichrist Superstar and Mechanical Animals I must say Portrait Of An American Family is my favorite album. It's disturbing in a juvenile way with exceptional hypocritical "righteous" folk commentary. The band was also the most bizarre and authentic looking here to me. The makeup and goth vibe was nigh but not to the extent later albums would show.



I seen Manson last August and it was a good time.
Smells Like Children is my personal favorite but that has a lot to do with the fact that it was the one I personally owned at the time. Iirc, this one I had to borrow from my sister.
 

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Devil's Blood
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3,365 Posts
Marilyn Manson
Portrait Of An American Family (1994)


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Marilyn Manson was the big bad boogie man of the 1990's music scene. However he had to start somewhere right?

By the tide of the early 90's, the music scenes in both mainstream and the underground began to branch out with sub genres and in darker tone than ever before. No band cavorted as gleefully into the dark abyss of hypocritical christian America and depravity ramping up in the nation as much as a south Florida band named Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids did. However, after finding steam in the goth, industrial and alt rock scene the band ditched the Spooky Kids moniker from their name and embarked to record their debut full length album. Around the time of Marilyn Manson's dawning to that achievement, Manson worked as a music journalist in local papers. He interviewed Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, which were passing by at the time for a concert. The two bonded and before you knew it Manson was being used a support act for NIN's magnum opus tour for The Downward Spiral a year later after Reznor produced, mixed and had creative input on their debut album.

Enough of the history lesson!

In a nutshell this is the album you'd be putting on if you dropped acid, watched children's cartoons with the wrong mindset, noticed the stranglehold of American talk shows and christian programming for "moral values" and analyzed the dark dichotomy of America's fear and fascination with famous starlets and serial killers (where the band members' names come from). From the very moment you put on the album and hear the twisted narration of Willy Wonka's infamous boat ride monologue segue right into the drum beats of "Cake and Sodomy" you know you're going on a BAAAAAADDD trip.

In a tight 13 track tour of Marilyn Manson's mindset of 1990's America you will discover: a distaste for metal lunchboxes as weapons ("Lunchbox"), depraved monkeys and organ grinders ("Organ Grinder" and "My Monkey"), fictional monsters ("Cyclops"), fake family facades for visiting company along with religious hypocrisy ("Wrapped In Plastic"), religious bullshit and hatred for witchcraft in the form of candy comparisons ("Dogma"), domestic abuse and disgust for abortion clinics and the real life murder of pro-lifers on a doctor ("Get Your Gunn"), an awful drug trip in which you lose all self control ("Dope Hat"), more candy and domestic violence ("Sweet Tooth") being a warped, homicidal family man ("Snake Eyes and Sissies") and a dubious song about murder (?) and metaphorical heroin usage ("Misery Machine"). I barely scratched the surface. As a Manson superfan I can say I've thoroughly combed every album and song for their meanings, samples, inspirations and lyrical content. This was the best I can do for an attention grabbing description.

Open your mind to the darkness around you. This album requires it. 2019 is just a stone throw's away from 1994 and a lot plaguing life then still exists in various forms. Also that bass line in "Wrapped In Plastic" is fat as fuckkkkkkk.

Favorite track: "Cake and Sodomy", "Organ Grinder", "Dope Hat" and "Wrapped In Plastic"



9 Alexas out of 10!
 

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Premium Member
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Marilyn Manson - Portrait of an American Family

I love this album! This really takes me back. I remember how taboo Marilyn Manson was in my family. My parents and teachers absolutely loathed him. I'm a sucker for anything Trent Reznor is involved with. For me, Portrait of an American Family doesn't have the same cohesiveness & focus that Mechanical Animals & Antichrist Superstar (my fave Manson albums) have. The album still holds up pretty well, though it's possible that's just fueled by my nostalgia. Lunchbox is so angsty. That, Cake and Sodomy, Dope Hat & Wrapped in Plastic are my fave songs on the album.

8/10
 

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Baby It's Violence
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Marilyn Manson - Portrait Of An American Family

I don't know much about Manson really, but I do know that he's a pretty intelligent guy. His debut album did show glimpses of this, with a lot of the shocking content in his lyrics actually painting an interesting portrait of the stereotypical american family during the 90s. This was the case in some tracks like Cake and Sodomy, which was about just how jarring the availability of programming on TV was, where you could flip from hardcore porn to somebody making a cake. You also have other tracks like Organ Grinder purely written as shock value as a response to people who were targeting Manson and his band for their song content.

The music was pretty groovy throughout, and felt industrial rock and hard rock in nature, but with a darker, grudgier, and an almost sludge like element to it at points. It really was enjoyable in the songs which had more dynamics to them, such as Wrapped in Plastic, the driving nature of Misery Machine which breaks to quieter sections at points, or the swinging beat of Dope Hat. However, while I did enjoy that sound, it felt like most of the album stayed rather close to this sound for the most part, with the only real different experimental feature being the Brass on the unique sounding My Monkey.

Overall, pretty enjoyable for the most part, although for some reason I felt like I would come out of this liking it more overall.

6/10

Recommended Tracks

Misery Machine
Sweet Tooth
Dope Hat
Wrapped in Plastic

Also, @Ace ; @Doctor Phantom ; @Pizzamorg ; You got all day tomorrow dudes!
 

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SLAVE.
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Sorry I thought I posted here already!

Marilyn Manson's Portrait Of An American Family.

I feel like a bit of an odd one out here given the amount of really high scores being dished out for this one. I didn't really enjoy the album as much as I enjoyed cringing at my Marilyn Manson phase. This album really teleported me back to the halcyon days where I lived a life of so little worry I'd fill my life with the most artificial of dramas and gravitating towards a bunch of goth kids filled my quota of both drama and the true underlining need to be accepted and liked. I can certainly see why an early to mid teenage me would have been drawn to an album like this but sadly almost fifteen years later that appeal has dwindled and instead the enjoyment comes from the nostalgia.

I am giving it a six points of nostalgia out of ten.
 

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Manic Pixie Dream Girl
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3,600 Posts
Oh, Marilyn Manson... how feared and reviled you were! Like Screamin' Jay Hawkins and Alice Cooper before him, Marilyn Manson was pop culture's maestro of madness; a Phantom of the Opera haunting the scene with his own brand of musical morbidity. I remember how many folks were legitimately disturbed by his antics. To some, his was the very voice of evil!

From an opening borrowed from Willy Wonka to John Waters samples, this album is certainly a lot goofier than I remembered it being. However, I still dig it like a grave! There's an old-fashioned hard rock/metal quality to the album that I find irresistible, and the general ghoulishness of the album is enjoyably strange. This one's pretty boss.

Favorite Songs:

Dope Hat
Wrapped in Plastic
Lunchbox

8 Horrible Hotheads out of 10


 

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Baby It's Violence
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As I wait for Donnie's review :armfold , we shall move on! It's kinda hilarious how we somehow moved to a Tuesday to Tuesday schedule now, simply because some of us are a bit lazy about it :lol

Anywho, everybody here but two have done two albums, so we'll make sure everybody has picked twice before letting people pick three times. That being said, @777 ; your turn buddy.

(FYI I still have a couple Zeal and Ardor tracks on rotation. Glad you recommended that! :becky2)
 

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Anti-Hero
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Astronoid

I haven't listened to this record yet and am using this as an excuse to get to it so we'll all be approaching this one from ground zero.
 

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THE EXTREME HORSEMEN
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5,978 Posts
:lmao Holy fuck I spaced again

SORRY.

Never been a huge Mason fan for his music, more for the man behind the mask. He's a great dude. Like all self-respecting wrestling fans I first heard of him signing the Raw theme. That and Sweet Dreams were the two songs I always loved from him, but nothing else really stood out. And This album further cemented that. It was a good listen, but nothing jumped out and grabbed me.

5/10 :rusevyes
 

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Devil's Blood
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3,365 Posts
Astronoid
Astronoid (2018)


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Layered atmospheres of the ferocity of metal and pop stylings make for an interesting listen.

Upon first putting on this album I wasn't surprised by what I was hearing. Being an eclectic music listener myself I wasn't shocked to read the self labeled genre of "dream thrash" and would know it'd mesh well together, or at least adequately.

The overall sounds compliments each other well and both sides of the music stylings benefit from cool downs and warm ups in aggression. The thrash-like riffs hang in the background amongst a menagerie of smooth vocals and rushing drum beats. The album gives an urgency of speed and travel from track to track with its music cues but does it so seamlessly I'm actually in awe of how well put together these mixes are. It feels like one gigantic song and one of the craft and atmosphere I can definitely get behind. Great choice this week!

Favorite track: "I Dream In Lines" and "Fault"



8 Alexas out of 10!
 

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Baby It's Violence
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Astronoid - Astronoid

Gotta say, this might be the most relaxing and sonically pleasing metal album I've ever heard. At times it really didn't even feel like something I'd call metal, maybe something more along the lines of a heavier, atmospheric post rock, but it was interesting to say the least. If anything, this actually turned into some really nice background music for me to work though and helped me stay engaged, so it might be something I drop on a study playlist eventually.

However, one of my major qualms is how similar sounding all the tracks ended up being. It was difficult for me to separate some of them at times, although that might be me just not being a huge fan of this genre. There were a few standouts for me, like the opener A New Color, which had some nice atmospheric lyrics backed by some soaring guitar leads (including a killer solo), and I Wish I Was There While the Sun Set; which echoed those same notions, while also having a great thrash tempo near the end.

Overall, pleasant and somewhat enjoyable, but not my favorite

5/10

Favorite Tracks

A New Color
I Wish I Was There While the Sun Set
Lost
 

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Anti-Hero
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Astronoid

So this album was brand new for me as well. I like the 'dream thrash' description, even if it doesn't feel accurate a great deal of the time. I gotta say, in hindsight, I wish I'd picked something else. That's not to say that I didn't like this at all, there were some things I liked a lot, but from the opening vocals I kinda knew this wasn't going to be up my alley. That style of high pitched crooning I'm not fond of generally, with a few exceptions, and I initially hoped they might balance that out with something a little rougher to juxtapose against, but alas. I actually wanted to turn it off halfway through the first run, but pushed through, spun it three times in total and was halfway won over on the second run. Especially like the drumming here, best thing happening by far. Found myself humming along by round three, so the melodies certainly have an earworm quality. Good call on background music, it really works as such. A little too sugary for my tastes and I likely won't revisit, but I can see why someone else might really enjoy this.

5/10
 

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SLAVE.
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Sorry for the delay, was struggling to find something to say to be honest. I dont know much about music from a technical point of view so I have just been trying to contextualise what the albums have meant to me so far. This one I was going in completely blind though which has made that impossible. I loved the music didn't much care for the vocals and probably wouldn't listen again. I guess five out of ten?
 

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Premium Member
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9,290 Posts
Sorry about the delay. I'll have my review up in the morning!
 
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