Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. There's so much effort, Holy Wood winds up a stronger and more consistent album than any of his other work. If there's any problem, it's that Manson's shock rock seems a little quaint in 2000.
  2. Yeah, it's a party. And it's great rock music. Those who claim Manson "went back to Goth" and reclaimed Antichrist's noise after Mechanical proved too subtle for kids are only partly right. Okay, he virtually cloned his hit "The Beautiful People" in "Disposable Teens." And there are several familiar yell-and-stomp numbers on Holy Wood. But even those almost all contain a double-take chord change or a textural overdose or a mind-blowing bridge, and they'll be terroristic in concert. More important, there are a bunch of plain brilliant tracks where Manson anoints bits of rock history into his own church.
  3. Attacking God and country and rubbing his fellow citizens up the wrong way, is par for Manson?s course. Yet never has he done it with quite such passion.
  4. Manson proves again that he's one of the most skilled lyricists in rock today.
  5. A pulverizing metallic symphony that makes Rob Zombie sound like elevator music.... The hateful huckster's most potent effort yet. [11/17/2000, p.126]
  6. 70
    Holy Wood is strictly derivative, but done with enough skill to stay entertaining. Even when the borrowing is more blatant (the guitars of "The Fight Song," for example, sound like a cross between Hole's "Plump" and Blur's "Song 2"), the album doesn't suffer noticeably.... As hard rock albums go, this one's a keeper. The problem is, Marilyn Manson aspires to something greater than that. He's plenty articulate next to the competition, and plenty adept at selling his message with powerful imagery and catch phrases. But strip away those ornaments, and what he's saying seems a bit too obvious.
  7. The band truly rocks: Its malevolent groove fleshes out its leader's usual complaints with an exhilarating swagger that's the essence of rock & roll.... On Holy Wood, Manson is as ambitious, personal and heavy as he's ever been, but the album is not, as he has proclaimed, the band's White Album. The music of these L.A. scenesters, though still evolving, can't hope to match the Beatles' level of eclectic experimentation or melodicism.
  8. Where 'Holy Wood' does come together and threaten to transcend its at times cliched parts is in its clarity of vision. This is a lean, visceral album that is as tripwire lithe as its maker. Manson's also remembered to write some great pop-goth tunes this time out, nowhere more so than with first single 'Disposable Teens'.
  9. 70
    Previously merely noisy screechers with no sense of how to play their instruments, Marilyn Manson is now an accomplished and complex industrial-strength hard rock band... It's a point driven home by the group's new album, Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death). Though not as strong or consistent as the glammy Mechanical Animals, Holy Wood instead bridges the gap between that album and its dirtier, raspier predecessor, Antichrist Superstar, with songs that are catchy on the inside, but noisy on the outside.
  10. Manson's most ambitious, musically accomplished, and -- dare we say it? -- mature album to date. Holy Wood treads too much over the same nihilistic territory, raging against a God he claims doesn't exist, and describing in detail a life that he says isn't worth living. That said, there are some musically powerful moments on the album, notably the eviscerating power chords on "The Fight Song" and the galloping rhythms of "Disposable Teens."
  11. Nonetheless, while more ambitious than almost all of today's metal-flaked rock competition, the 19-track Holy Wood is not without its problems. On numbers such as "President Dead" and "Cruci-Fiction in Space," the band seems to be just rehashing old terrain. And, while The Wall may be a worthy role model, Manson and company don't quite have Pink Floyd's lyrical or musical range, adding to the rote feeling that troubles some of this overlong (60+ minutes) disc.
  12. As usual in Manson's world, the goal of maximum discomfort supercedes the music, which sticks to familiar and reliably doom-laden but catchy pop-metal on "Disposable Teens" and "The Love Song."... Here, he seems entranced by his own power, which may be why his dark worldview sounds baseless even as he offers sharp hooks others would kill for.
  13. Manson still has the most bloodcurdling scream in rock. But the flat-footed musical backing on "Holy Wood" leaves his delivery sounding strained, like an overburdened star left naked on an empty stage.
  14. 40
    With nothing fresh to moan about, it's like a seventh James Bond movie without any new gadgets. [12/2000, p.223]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 96 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 47
  2. Negative: 3 out of 47
  1. JacobN
    Feb 9, 2007
    Ok. Manson himself said hes not trying to corrupt people. He wants people to be more open about problems they have. The Album was totally fantastic. Manson knows how to blend fantastic lyrics with great beats. Marilyn Manson for president! 2008 bitch. Full Review »
  2. Jun 9, 2012
    If I were to look back at Manson's career, I would say that this is one of his 2 best albums, the other being Antichrist Superstar. It does have a few weaker points, like the fight song, but by no means does this take away from the qualities of the album. Songs like The Nobodies ot Target Audience represent some of Manson's pinnacle moments in his song writing. Full Review »
  3. [Anonymous]
    Jun 15, 2001
    This album doesnt even deserve a 0.It shouldnt even be on the market.every teen is lost in this world and becasue of this music that is about teen overdose and killing ,there gonna be lost more because theyll end up killing there self or overdosing because Marilyn Manson or some other band says its ok. Full Review »