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Marilyn Manson Valley













Mazza Talks Us Through Track By Track.

Marilyn Manson this week invited Kerrang to enjoy a world exclusive playback of his new album 'Holy Wood (In The Shadow Of The Valley Of Death)' on the day of it's completion.

The 'Holy Wood...' album completes the conceptual trilogy which started with 1996's 'Anti-Christ Superstar'. While it sees the band delivering some of their angriest songs to date and is certainly more aggressive than 1998's 'Mechanical Animals', it also features dark atmospherics which recall both Nine Inch Nails' recent work and musical maverick Tricky. Manson is lyrically at his most scathing, a fact he says is a direct result of incidents such as the aftermath of last year's Columbine High School Shootings, which saw him blamed for the massacre by certain areas of the press.

Rather than attacking his critics, Manson asserts, the album looks at how America raises its children and the reasons why incidents like Columbine happen. Here's a blow-by-blow account of the new album tracks we heard...

-'God Eat God'
A short, slow atmospheric throb that serves as the album's intro. Says Manson: "It's the beginning of the story. The character is contemplating things from Death Valley, which is a metaphor for the outcast and the imperfect of the world".

-'The Love Song'
An industrial onslaught. Features the Lyrics: 'Got a crush on a pretty pistol / Shall I tell her that i feel this way? / Got love songs in my head / Killing us away'. The chorus is based around the mantra 'Do you love your guns, God and government?', a slogan taken from a popular US truckers' bumper sticker. The lyrics see Manson at his anti-establishment best. 'The Love Song' became the first 'Holy Wood...' song to receive public airing. A 30-second excerpt was posted on his www.marilynmanson.net website on August 9, the 31st anniversary of the Charles Manson murders.

-'The Fight Song'
Heavily reminiscent of Sex Pistols' 'wall of noise' style production, 'The Fight Song' sounds exactly how you want it to sound. Simultaneously brutal, anthemic and melodic, it's pencilled in as a possible single from the album. Manson tells us: "It's about someone who always thinks the grass is greener on the other side, but when he is finally a part of this perfect world he realises that it's worse than where he came from. It's about creating a revolution with music".

-Disposable Teens'
An angry, full-on-track which the singer himself describes as "a signature Manson song". It could be perceived as a response to the criticism at the band following the Columbine High School shootings. "Teenagers in this country are underestimated", says Manson. "This songs is a way of reminding people that they do have a voice".

-'Lamb Of God'
A slow, atmospheric track. Manson: "This is my homage to (late Beatles mastermind John) Lennon, which people will understand when they hear the lyrics"

-'A Place In The Dirt'
Another song indirectly inspired by Charles Manson, whose Spahn Ranch home was located in the arid landscape of California's Death Valley. 'A Place In The Dirt' is dark and atmospheric, shot through with paranoid psychedelia. "This songs was definitely influenced by the desert, or Death Valley in particular", says Manson. "I wanted to capture the sound of the place and i think it's something that i accomplished".

-'Burning Flag'
Lyrically, a direct response to the forthcoming US election. "On a personal level i'm more inclined to back George Bush Jr, who's the lesser of two evils", he says, contemplating the candidates, "I think he's won it already, but to be honest it's so boring i don't really care".

-'Cruci-Fiction In Space'
A disturbing song which defines the direction of the album. When we pointed out that it's the sound of evil, Manson said, "Thank you", with a proud grin. The frontman posted a clip from this song on his website on August 16.

-'The Nobodys'
Features Manson playing the harpsichord, bizarrely enough.

Other tracks slated for the inclusion on 'Holy Wood...' are: 'Born Again', 'President Dead', 'In The Shadow Of The Valley Of Death', 'Valentines Day', 'The Fall Of Adam', 'King Kill 33', 'Count To Six And Die (The Vacuum of Infinite Encompassing)' and 'Coma Black: a) Eden Eye b) The Apple Of Discord',

The album currently ends with a top-secret sound effect, which is sure to prolong Manson's current status as a negative role model.

A single, more likely either 'Disposable Teens' or 'The Fight Song' is scheduled for release on October 2 through Nothing/Interscope. 'Holy Wood (In The Shadow Of The Valley Of Death)' follows on October 23.