Lots of rock stars have expressed sympathy for the devil over the years. But before Marilyn Manson no one thought to honor the rascal with his own splashy rock opera!
With Antichrist Superstar, Manson offers a combination vintage concept record and cheesy exploitation flick. Recurring themes (the role of evil in the world), gothic characters, and corny sound effects crowd this ambitious screed.
Much like Manson's previous harangues, the song ''Antichrist Superstar'' nearly busts a gut trying to be wicked. At one point, the band's wormlike frontman intones, ''I wasn't born with enough middle fingers.'' At another, he offers, ''Let's just kill everyone!''
To match his antisocial outbursts, Manson offers grinding metal guitars and death-rattle bass lines, letting his own deformed screech serve as the poison cherry on top. If only such sounds had the ability to alarm. Unfortunately, everything sounds like an industrial record circa 1990; each riff could've fallen right off an old Skinny Puppy LP.
At least Manson's high-concept depravity has its own sick charm. Nihilism this goofy makes one long to be 15 again and naive enough to swallow such ''satanic'' hokum whole. B