For those unfamiliar with his work, previous examples of Marilyn Manson's art include dressing as the Pope (and being banned from Italy as a consequence), appearing as a mutilated rendition of Christ on the cover of his 2000 album 'Holy Wood', and using controversial imagery such as post-autopsy infants in his artwork. Due to his shambolic performance at Download Festival earlier this year, many have proclaimed Manson to be a 'falling star', stoking the dying embers of a career. However, his new music video proves that there's as much vitriol left in him as ever.

Throughout his twenty years of creating music, Marilyn Manson has always strived to add multiple levels of meaning to his art, both visually, musically and semantically - 'Running To The Edge Of The World', released November 5th 2009, is no exception. Along with 2007's video, 'Heart Shaped Glasses', RTTEOTW explores the more human side of Manson, as opposed to the theatrical creation explored most famously in his 'triptych' of earlier albums (Antichrist Superstar, Mechanical Animals and Holy Wood). Evoking sympathy, despair and eventually revulsion and anger, the video's conclusion will come as a shock to any first-time viewer, and is quite possibly the most extreme move in Manson's illustrious career, as well as a tenebrous analogy of his recent, widely publicised split with long-term girlfriend, Evan Rachel Wood.

The video has been removed due to a copyright claim - find it here before reading on, video spoilers follow.

The main body of this video, whilst showcasing the raw emotion behind the song, lures the viewer into what can only be described as a sense of 'false sympathy'. The despair evoked by nothing more than Manson's facial expressions and the pained wringing of his hands invites the viewer to drop their defenses, as Manson is seen as a clear victim - of what, we cannot be sure. It is during this section that the lyrics shine through, including the beautifully written "Sometimes hate is not enough to turn this all to ashes / Together as one, against all others, break all of our wings and make sure it crashes". Those who brand Manson an untalented musician are left with a large amount of egg on their pursed, skeptical faces.

At 4.05, the tone of the video changes, as the blurred image of a blood-stained blonde is imposed over two harsh electric notes, foreshadowing the video's conclusion. What transpires is a dark perversion of the 'vampire romance' exhibited in 'Heart Shaped Glasses', which involves a sex scene between Marilyn Manson and Evan Rachel Wood (who bears a striking resemblance to the blonde woman in RTTEOTW), showered in blood. Interestingly, the final line of that video is "Together as one, against all others", spoken before the devoted couple plunge to their deaths off a cliff.  Wood described the sex scene in a later interview as "one of the most romantic moments of my life". RTTEOTW explores just how romantic a shower of blood can be when it's pouring from a broken nose.

One cannot help but be reminded of a lyric from another of Manson's songs, 'Leave A Scar' - "If you're not afraid of getting hurt, then I'm not afraid of how much I hurt you".

Whether or not you think this bold and shocking move is a step beyond the boundaries of taste, this dark, horrific and undeniably, eerily beautiful video remains a testament to Manson's skill as an artist - and hopefully, a promise that there is more to come.

Marilyn Manson's latest album (The High End Of Low) is currently available on Interscope.

Comments

Marilyn Manson's efforts over the past decade have been extremely poor. Mechanical Animals & Holy Wood were the last two albums he released that were actually any good. He no longer has a passion for music, and that shows - go back and listen to his material from the 80's, when he was with the Spooky Kids - THAT is what made him shocking, because no one had ever heard anything like it. Now he treats music like it's a mundane 9-5 job and it shows in his songs, which is why he feels the need to fill the void with 'shock' factor, to draw the attention away from how appalling he sounds. Bring back MUSIC not image, I say!

you're forgetting that image has always been a defining part of Marilyn Manson's art, even as far back as the Spooky Kids days. I think it's a fair assumption to make that without the image, there wouldn't be the music - the two aren't mutually exclusive. Even as far back as Smells Like Children and the Triptych days, Manson's appearance and stage show have been just as important as the music he makes. As for shock value, it was the Spooky Kids that actually coined the term 'shock rock' in their early reviews.

If you're interested in checking it, out take a look at The Nachtkabarett, which details the meanings behind all aspects of Manson's work, from the pseudo-Satanic imagery employed in Antichrist Superstar and the alien/drug/glam-rock stylings of Mechanical Animals all the way to the Weimar-inspired 'Grotesk Burlesk' of the Golden Age of Grotesque.

I'm not saying that the newer albums are as good as when he was in his prime (they're really not), but you can't deny the effect of image on Manson's career.

Furthermore, both of those albums you mentioned were actually released within the last decade!

 

Fair point, Holy Wood was released in 2000 (but that's almost 10 years ago..) - but Mechanical Animals was released in 1998 - an anthem for the latter part of my childhood. It's disappointing to see an artist that played such a huge role in my life, when I was growing up, turn into something so mundane.

http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/500/296111/Marilyn+Manson++The+Spooky+...

(Marilyn Manson before he was about image - you'd see stranger looking people in the audience at his gigs)

The make-up and contact lenses are all a massive marketing technique.

However, you could also argue (quite rightly) that Mechanical Animals is the most 'image-heavy' of any Manson album, in both the Alpha and Omega aspects. Every fan knows that the music was better back then, and most (me included) consider Mechanical Animals to be the peak of his career - I remember listening to it as a kid too, I'm sure I'd be a very different person without it. But he was wearing the makeup and contacts long before MA.

Here's a couple shots of the Mechanical Animals promo material and tour, just in case you'd forgotten;

http://i44.tinypic.com/28jxkig.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v79/suewood/LiveOmega133nuts.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v79/suewood/mansonMA8.jpg
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d65/ReneeAllardice/Mechanical2011.jpg

All of these photos were either included in Mechanical Animals promotional material, or were taken during the Mechanical Animals tour. Marilyn Manson's music has always been just as important as his music - they're symbiotic.

Those who don't believe a successful musician can rely on image should look at David Bowie - Bowie himself acknowleges the relationship between image and music as essential, especially in his Ziggy Stardust (referred to by Bowie as a 'plastic rocker') years. Rock music and image have *always* had a close relationship, with the notable exception of grunge - which, one could argue, only succeeded due to it's noted 'anti-image', once again making image (or lack thereof) a massive factor.

Girl we're just peeking when our hards Booms!!!

Do you remember joy division , do you remember bauhaus, do you remember ziggy stardust and adam ant.
Brian Eno..Placebo..yeah yeah yeahs, magic mushrooms, film directors?
Gaspar Noe, TakashiMiike, Salvadore Dali, the moon, ale, asia...?
french movie "martyrs", phantasmagoria, betrayal of all decent, neo paparazi , antonin artaud, nin , morrison, jimi hendrix, nina simone, whitney houston and her pal, , justin timberlake, charles manson and the olympics... riefenstahl and Freinds

Why do you see MM in the light like he/they Should be shocking and what do you mean about shocking.?

"i saw a lot of tv the news casted disasters was boring and repetitive...but i kept on watcing..."

Running To The Edge Of The World (Marilyn Manson) - Video Review