November 2002
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Holy Wood Plummets to Hell
By Jennifer C., Grade 12, Fredericton High School, Fredericton, NB

Holy Wood
By Marilyn Manson
Nothing Records 2000

Marilyn Manson's latest c.d. is as fake and repetitive as his image. There are only a few artists that can successfully do the same thing for years and not be labeled repetitive. Marilyn Manson is not one of them.

When Marilyn Manson first came on the scene in 1994 he was the new shock rocker. His performances were aimed to have major shock value. He continued this for a couple years releasing Portrait of an America Family in 1994 and Smells like Children in 1995. Both had similar themes and fit right in with his shocking performances. When that started to grow old, staying with the same shock value angle, he released a new album titled Anti Christ Superstar. He was trying to reach out to all the depressed, dark teens out there and it worked. He was a hit among the "goth" community and a satanist among church goers. He had reached his goal. Then he made a drastic career move and brought a new sound and image to the table. Mechanical Animals wasn't a big success among critics or fans. Although the songs had more emotional content and were structured much better there wasn't that dark shock value everyone was expecting. Now with this new release he has tried to back pedal and return to his "dark" roots and has failed miserably.

Holy Wood has a very similar feel to Anti Christ Superstar, knocking religion and glorifying drugs and violence. The musical sound is much the same but seems sloppier and in some cases almost identical to other songs done by him. There doesn't seem to be much originality to it.

Marilyn Manson has gone way too overboard with this album trying to make up for Mechanical Animals. Everything from the album cover to the content of lyrics is just way too overdone. I don't know if he thinks that teens these days will just open up and swallow anything that is served to them, but for me to swallow this is an insult to my internal organs. The c.d. starts with the sound of a gun being loaded. The gun theme is brought throughout, along with the idea of evolution. It is repeated so many times that I lost count and just hoped it would be over soon. Of course the love theme is played out and just as in Anti Christ Superstar the ending is always sad and depressive, not hopeful, which some people might find appealing. The album ends with a gun being reloaded again and the song "Count to 6 and die" again knocking Christianity and making the world sound like such a horrible place no one would want to live here. It amazes me that albums like this are still being made. Hasn't the sad, depressive, self-loathing theme been accomplished already and in much better fashion?

To buy this album would not only be a waste of money but an insult to creativity. If you like repetitive dark gloomy senseless lyrics then by all means buy this c.d. But for the majority of people this is not an album worth spending time on. I would encourage you to buy Anti Christ Superstar and/or Mechanical Animals instead.

The audience this album tried to target was the "goth" kids he encaptured during Anti Christ Superstar, and many of them might enjoy this album but if they have evolved from there then they too would find this repetitive.


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