Two decades after its inception, marred by Marilyn Manson’s arrival, industrial metal’s apocryphal album sees the light of night – newly expanded and brought up to speed.
For many artists, sophomore platters come difficultly; for Tim Skold, it didn’t come at all. In 2002, when the Swedish multi-instrumentalist was working on a follow-up of his 1996 self-titled solo debut which had morphed into the SKOLD project, Marilyn Manson – with whom Tim had co-produced “Tainted Love” and co-penned the “Resident Evil” soundtrack – asked Skold to become his bassist. As a result, the album planned to be called “Disrupting the Orderly Routine Of The Institution” got shelved but, despite the fact that the demo existence in only ten copies, six of its ten songs would leak onto online platforms – some sources maintained fans stole the disc from Skold’s tour bus – and officially released 20 years later under a Nietzschean title to pick up where 2021’s "Dies Irae" left off.
“Dead God” is a record which doesn’t beg for mercy – and, for that matter, doesn’t require sympathy – as outlined by opener “Don’t Pray For Me” whose serrated riff and nervous pulse are married to a mighty groove to bury the artist’s rustling voice beneath a seemingly impenetrable, yet in fact rather vulnerable, especially on the bright chorus, veneer, while, the penultimate number “Don’t Ask Me” – finally inserted into the platter’s context – offers an industrial shroud to wrap classic metal tropes into proper, synthesizer-smoothed hysterics. There are histrionics too, taken care of on the creepy, bass-laden blues of “If” and the catchy combat rock of the album’s titular cut, as opposed to the reserved likes of “The Point” where disco element will be sacrificed in favor of tasty, piano-sprinkled heaviness.
However, the effects-spiced intro to “Burn” unfolds into an even more relentless gallop ‘n’ wallop, streamlining Tim’s anger to fit his multi-instrumental assault, and the much softer, cinematic “Consequence” – another previously unheard track – locates funereal balladry in Skold’s creative method. And then there’s the dusted off farewell of “Too Weird” which slowly and sadly, albeit with a ticking-bomb anxiety and a blazing guitar figure, signs off on this artifact. “Dead God” might be dusted off belatedly but it’s as relevant and as fresh now as it was two decades earlier.