Marilyn Manson – Holy Wood (In The Shadow Of The Valley Of Death) (2000)
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About the Album
Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) is the fourth studio album by American rock band Marilyn Manson. It was released on November 11, 2000 by Nothing and Interscope Records. A rock opera concept album, it is the final installment of a triptych that also included Antichrist Superstar (1996), and marked a return to the industrial metal style of the band’s earlier work, after the glam rock-influenced production of Mechanical Animals (1998). After its release, the band’s eponymous vocalist said that the overarching story within the trilogy is presented in reverse chronological order: Holy Wood, therefore, begins the narrative.
In the aftermath of the Columbine High School massacre on April 20, 1999, mainstream media widely reported that its perpetrators were wearing the band’s T-shirts during the rampage, and had been influenced by their music. As their first release after the massacre, the record was Manson’s rebuttal to the accusations leveled against him and the group, and was described by the vocalist as a “declaration of war”. It was written in the singer’s former home in the Hollywood Hills and recorded in several undisclosed locations, including Death Valley and Laurel Canyon. His ambitions for Holy Wood initially included an eponymous film exploring its backstory—a project which has since been abandoned and was modified into the as-yet-unreleased Holy Wood novel.
The album was released to generally positive reviews. Several writers praised it as the band’s finest work, and multiple publications ranked it as one of the best albums of 2000. British rock magazine Kerrang! went on to include it on its list of the best albums of the decade. In the US, Holy Wood was not as commercially successful as the band’s preceding records, debuting at number 13 on the Billboard 200. However, it became their most successful album internationally, debuting in the top twenty of numerous national charts. It was certified gold in several countries, including Canada, Japan, Switzerland and the UK.
Three singles were released from the record: “Disposable Teens”, “The Fight Song” and “The Nobodies”, and the band embarked on the worldwide Guns, God and Government Tour. In 2010, Kerrang! published a 10th-anniversary commemorative piece in which they called the album “Manson’s finest hour … A decade on, there has still not been as eloquent and savage a musical attack on the media and mainstream culture … [It is] still scathingly relevant [and] a credit to a man who refused to sit and take it, but instead come out swinging.”