Boasting a fuller sound and a more focused sense of purpose, Antichrist Superstar is a substantial improvement on Marilyn Manson's debut album, Portrait of an American Family. The band draws equally from schlock metal, progressive metal, new wave, goth rock, and industrial rock, and with the help of producers Trent Reznor and Dave Ogilvie, the group creates a boiling, mockingly satanic mess of guitars, synthesizers, and ridiculously "scary" vocals. Though the sonic details make Antichrist Superstar an intriguing listen, it's not as extreme as it could have been -- in particular, the guitars are surprisingly anemic, sounding like buzzing vacuums instead of unwieldy chainsaws. Even with that considered, Antichrist Superstar is an unexpectedly cohesive album from a silly shock metal band and will stand as Marilyn Manson's definitive statement.
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