The Pale Emperor
Label: Concord Loma Vista
Long past the life stage when anyone considers him dangerous, our antichrist superstar is doing his best to age gracefully, of all things. He doesn't even seem all that industrial anymore -- distorted Burundi beats still bobble six feet under, but bluesy twang riffs swing up top, sometimes courtesy of Shooter Jennings. Marilyn's vampire vocals slip into a psychobilly drawl and, as songs build in volume and intensity, a serious Jim Morrison baritone -- both of which improve on his old sickly whispers. He's also better off keeping tempos up than sluggishly slithering.