The Golden Age of Grotesque album — hugely successful overseas but a semi-dud stateside — Marilyn Manson’s tabloid-magnet public persona began, in America, at least, to overshadow his actual music. A shame, because for all of his storied shock-tactic self-promotion, MM (the man and the eponymous band) had always offered genuine button-pushing, genre-blurring sonic menace. But 2015’s The Pale Emperor marked a revitalization apparently triggered by Manson’s collaboration with co-producer/guitarist (and acclaimed film/TV composer) Tyler Bates. The Bates influence and return to form continue with last year’s Heaven Upside Down: a lean (47-minute), energized effort that shuns the overly-cluttered arrangements and inflated sense of self-importance that bogged down some of Manson’s post-Grotesque creations in favor of a more measured goth-rock elegance punctuated by manic, strep-throated passages recalling his early, career-shaping club performances.
Somewhere in the mid-aughts, after his 2003