Marilyn Manson's music is meant to shock, but sometimes he releases a song or video that's particularly dark and disturbing. The legendary and often controversial industrial rock singer's first album, 1994's Portrait Of An American Family, established his dark persona, but 1996's Antichrist Superstar made Manson a star.
Along the way there were sex scandals, drug scandals, a trip to the MTV Video Music Awards with a half-naked Rose McGowan and inflammatory criticism after the Columbine shooting. None of it has stopped Manson from putting out challenging art
Manson certainly shocked and rocked. Let's take a look at some of the most disturbing musical moments.
"The Beautiful People" (1996)
"The Beautiful People" is one of Manson's biggest hits and arrived with a video equally as intense as the song. The video is downright disturbing, with Manson appearing in several different outfits including one in which he sported a dental device over his mouth.
Another scene in the video shows Manson pale, extra tall, and bald with goggles on his head. Other parts of the video show a crowd of people seemingly giving Nazi salutes, adding to the truly creepy aesthetic of the clip.
"The Reflecting God" (1996)
"The Reflecting God" is an industrial metal gem from Antichrist Superstar that deals with the concept of death. A summary of "The Reflecting God" from Genius cheerily described it as a "very nihilistic" song that "talks about how there is no god, and that we are merely cigarettes to be lit and thrown to ashes in the never-ending expanse that is eternity."
It's a dark and depressing sentiment that's made even more intense with the heavy mid-tempo music that surrounds it. It's certainly not a Manson song for the faint of heart.
"Tourniquet," from Manson's massive 1996 sophomore album Antichrist Superstar, was inspired by Manson's own disturbing dreams.
"I've always had these dreams about making a girl out of all these pieces of prosthetic limbs, and then taking my own hair and teeth that I saved from when I was a kid and very ritualistically creating this companion," he said in an interview with Rolling Stone.
The video for "Tourniquet" was just as dark as the dreams that inspired the song. Director Floria Sigismondi later recalled forcibly enduring sleep deprivation in order to come up with ideas for the clip.
"It was shocking to see that so many people responded to that imagery like they did," Sigismondi said.
"Disposable Teens" (2000)
"Disposable Teens" was the first song Manson released after the Columbine shooting. Panicked critics assailed the singer and cited his dark music as problematic for young people and an outsized influence on the horrific shooting. Manson later claimed the controversy "destroyed" his career.
Lyrics like, "And I'm a black rainbow, And I'm an ape of god, I got a face that's made for doing violence upon" seemingly reference the controversy surrounding his music, and the threats he said he faced as a result.