After a 23-year career of shock-rock and smeared makeup, there's very little that's scary about Marilyn Manson these days.

That hasn't stopped him from plugging away and Born Villain, his band's eighth album, is a return-to-form after several forgettable records.

That's thanks to the return of guitarist Twiggy Ramirez and at times - like the menacing minimalism of Pistol Whipped and the disturbing vocal hooks of No Reflection - Born Villain kicks and bites like the Manson of old.

The delicious bass groove of Slo-Mo-Tion and sprawling riffs of Lay Down Your Goddamn Arms even suggest Manson has found the evil charm that made him such an unforgettable presence in the late 90s.

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But he overstays his welcome by at least 10 minutes, and tracks like Overneath the Path of Misery try just a little too hard to resurrect the magic of 1996's Antichrist Superstar.

At least the deathly serious singer seems ready to mock himself: on the spoken word poetry of The Gardener, Manson declares: "I'm not man enough to be human, but I'm learning to fake it".

A few more comical insights like that and Manson could have another classic on his hands.

Stars: 3/5

Check out the song Slo-Mo-Tion:

- TimeOut