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Thread: Portrait Of An American Family & The Triptych

  1. #1
    NightChameleons's Avatar
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    Default Portrait Of An American Family & The Triptych

    This might have been explored already, but has anyone considered the POAFF may be part of the same story as Antichrist Superstar? POAFF deals a lot with child abuse and the dark side of an American upbringing. This continues into songs like "Torniquet" and "Kinderfeld." Perhaps POAFF is the "back story" of the worm - how he became this lonely dejected creature that would later become the Antichrist Superstar. To me the albums seemed more thematically linked than even ACSS and MA or HW.

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    I think from MM as a lyricist that there's probably a lot connection between Portrait and ACSS, especially since some of the songs that appeared on ACSS were being worked on from that time or even earlier. ACSS is still a very personal album about what MM had become which is a result of the message of Portrait - being of America and hated for it. Musically, I think they are worlds apart even though they share a lot of the same people involved. I appreciate Portrait and some of the songs on there - but where that was Scott's baby musically, ACSS I think was where MM started getting more control over his vision of both the band and sound. Of course Twiggy helped magnify it. I think the only thing that makes it very hard to really put MM albums side by side is that each album really features a different group of musicians and so you only have a few albums where the same people are involved on the song writing from one to the next (which I think is probably only between THEOL & BV - every other album had a shake up on who was contributing song writing wise).

  3. #3

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    "Kinderfeld" was a song that was played live way before ACSS came out. Also, "1996" as well. (I think?) I do feel that Portrait was the birth of ACSS and ACSS was the transformation of Portrait. And having read about a movie called "Begotten", it synchronized with ACSS all the way- and I think that album was inspired by that movie. Since the Cryptorchid video was in black and white just as the movie was.
    I liked what Daisy Berkowitz brought to Portrait and SMLC, but then I feel that Zim Zum fit the role for ACSS perfectly.

  4. #4
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    You know, whilst they are undeniably linked historically, thematically, and as a collection of works where Marilyn Manson needed to imprint himself onto a cultural landscape, sometimes I think the 'Triptych' idea has its deficits, at least in terms of how fans try to endlessly merge things together.
    Portrait Of An American Family and 'The Triptych', are connected because it was the album released before they were written, where Manson was refining what it was he wanted to represent. It's very similar to The Golden Age Of Grotesque - released after they were written - in that it's a standalone album of Manson being hyperbolic lyrically, setting a mood that he creates using aesthetics and media from another era, infused with equal parts of his own, verbally and psychologically.

    Certainly there's themes that Manson discusses on Portrait Of An American Family which would later be expanded on, or looked at differently during The Triptych, but then there's themes on Portrait... that would be expanded on or looked at differently on all of Manson's subsequent albums.
    The Spooky Kids, Portrait..., and Smells Like Children periods of his career were an organic gestation, all the components slowly forming so that the 'Marilyn Manson' we recognise as the Antichrist Superstar could properly emerge. As Holy Wood finished its run, the Antichrist figure was allowed to become self-contained within those albums, allowing Manson to explore other things.

    What I'm trying to say more simply, is that yes, there is a connection between the first album and Manson's subsequent three concept albums, but not in the sense that they are interchangeable as sister-pieces, or anything. You could make comparisons between aspects of Antichrist Superstar and The High End Of Low, or Mechanical Animals and EAT ME, DRINK ME, but similarly they are not designed to be linked, which is what eventually took place with The Triptych.

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