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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Full Frame
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 54:20)
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: DTS 5.1 Surround
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  Subtitles
  • None
  Extras
  • Featurette - The Death Parade
  • Animated menus
  • Booklet
Marilyn Manson - Guns, God and Government
Warner Music/Warner Music . R4 . COLOR . 80 mins . MA15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

The general public of the world find Marilyn Manson to be truly offensive in one way or another. He has been called a “poor man’s Alice Cooper”, a publicity hunter, talentless, unoriginal and almost every other negative term out there. Now this is not in any way meant as a defence of him, but being a true believer that it is about the music and the image should always be secondary, the best way to watch a Marilyn Manson DVD is with an open mind. Music is of course a matter of taste and where would we be without variety? It is fine for anyone to decide whether they like an artist for their image as well as for their music and this is not meant as a criticism of those that do - just not my thing. Quite simply, if we all dismissed artists for their actions where would bands such as Oasis or the Sex Pistols be? The same could also be said for bands such as the Stones or The Beatles.

In the case of Mr Manson it is understandable that the parents of the world do not want a musical artist to influence their offspring with Satanism, but there are those that would also not wish their children to be bombarded with religion either. Everyone should have the right to make their own choice when presented with all the options, it is after all a question of free speech. Still, I'm getting off track a bit here so back to the review...

Marilyn Manson, originally dubbed Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids first came to the world’s attention with the release of their debut album Portrait of an American Family in 1994. This had come about after Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor had offered them a recording contract along with the support for a tour. Albums to follow included Antichrist Superstar which debuted at number three on the US charts, Mechanical Animals, the Last Tour On Earth live album and Holy Wood and all achieved favourable sales. This may have been due to added promotion from the antics of Mr Manson, but the fans lapped them up.

Guns, God and Government World Tour is a live concert performance made up of footage from their world tour from 1999 to 2001. This does cause a little confusion however because of the ever changing costumes and condition of Mr Manson. What I mean by this is that a song will begin and when a camera angle changes not only does the view change but the costume Manson is wearing, along with his makeup or whatever he may have poured over himself earlier. This would normally not be a problem and would be something the viewer could get used to, but it really causes problems with continuity. A much better option with the amount of footage available would have been to select the best vision for each song and show that in full. Taking this annoyance into account, this is still a fine performance, showing these guys really can play live and that it’s not all just about the image.

Track listing:

Count to Six and Die
Irresponsible Hate Anthem
The Reflecting God
Great Big White World
Disposable Teens
The Fight Song
The Nobodies
Rock is Dead
The Dope Show
Cruci-Fiction in Space
Sweet Dreams
The Love Song
The Death Song
Antichrist Superstar
The Beautiful People
Astonishing Panorama of the Endtimes
Lunchbox

Onto the music first, remembering that the debate as to whether it is in fact music has been dealt with earlier. These guys sound great! The lyrics are difficult to understand, but that can be said about the standard studio recordings. The only qualm is that the sound is obviously one recording for each song, but as mentioned the footage is from several performances, tending to take away slightly from the full live experience. Still, this well produced soundtrack makes them sound terrific live.

As far as the performance of the band goes, it is a case of “each to their own” I’m afraid. Quite simply if anyone can sit through this full concert and not find at least one thing offensive then they have stronger stomachs than most. From the standard antics that we have all seen publicly, this concert includes some elements that will truly offend. I was fine with the spitting, the crotch grabbing, even the sight of a couple in the audience pretending to have oral sex was acceptable (well as long as they were pretending), but to see Marilyn Manson urinating in his Frank ‘n’ Furter costume was just too much.

My overall views on this release are really mixed. There is a place for this type of artist in mainstream music and the use of offensive behaviour, although not necessary in my view, does achieve its ultimate aim – to attract attention. This concert is entertaining to say the least. The visual bombardment will keep you glued to the screen, but it is really about the music for this reviewer and I openly admit I am a fan of that. As is the case with many bands that rely on offending people, I can’t see Marilyn Manson standing the test of time. After a while the audience that were first attracted to the offensive behaviour of an artist just become immune to it and move on to another artist to be freshly offended by. Running for almost 80 minutes, this is value for money for those so inclined so check it out.

  Video
  Audio
  Extras
Contract

The video transfer for this concert really depends on which camera the view is from. The quality can vary greatly, but this does seem somewhat intentional to add to the viewing experience - Marilyn Manson is not the type of performer that would look good in high quality, highly produced panoramic vision after all. Footage is all in full frame and does suffer from the standard problems associated with concerts, grain, over-saturation of colours, lack of detail, all the things that can be caused by stage lighting, but this is still of reasonable quality. There are no subtitles supplied for this release, something that would have been good for hard to understand lyrics and there is a layer change at 54:20 which causes little distraction.

Audio is supplied in a choice of Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo, DD 5.1 surround and DTS surround. All are of decent quality but the DTS is the track of choice. For a band such as this, volume is important and this is definitely one you can crank up, although your neighbours may not appreciate it. Sound is very clear throughout, with good definition and separation. The rear speakers are used predominantly to provide the concert feel, but are also used well to build up the music. The subwoofer bounces all over the room for this bass driven show so be sure your dining tray is secured and your seat is in the upright position!

The only extra provided is a featurette running for almost 30 minutes entitled The Death Parade. This is a strange little compilation of vision taken from the world tour and includes a lot of backstage footage. There are also cameos from Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne as well as Eminem that are quite interesting. The audio supplied is the same choice as the main feature, so it's quite a nice surprise to get DTS on extras, but the sound does vary with this footage. There are noticeable audio level changes, on some occasions the sound would come solely through one speaker, be it the right rear speaker or the front left. This is not a constant problem and generally the audio is good, but this oversight is very annoying.

For those that love Marilyn Manson, rush out and get this as it is a good performance. For those that hate Marilyn Manson, well you probably haven’t gotten this far anyway. For the rest of us who like the music but are still not sure about the persona, then give this a look as the music quality is very good and you can always shut your eyes for the scary bits.


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  •   And I quote...
    "Marilyn Manson is vulgar, disgusting and highly offensive to most, but the music is good and this concert presentation should satisfy fans."
    - Adrian Turvey
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-NS305
    • TV:
          AKAI CT-29S55AT 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DE685
    • Speakers:
          Sony SAVE815ED
    • Centre Speaker:
          Sony SAVE815ED
    • Surrounds:
          Sony SAVE815ED
    • Subwoofer:
          Sony SAVE815ED
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