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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No words can describe...
I was recommended this album by a friend with care and warning that the lyrics delve so deeply into the flaws and corruption of today's society that all the songs emotionally stay with you forever.
And my was he right.

First listen? I didn't really listen to the lyrics as such but more of how James managed to entwine the lyrics with the music so...
Published on 30 Aug 2007 by Ms. K. Thavabalasingam

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1 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars experimentalist indie rock album
I fought the 1st Manic CD from 1991 or 1992 was really good, and would listen to it again. This one though grows on you though and is really an experimental indie type rock sound. I think anyone who praises this CD as genius only says so because they want to be cool 'like the album tries to be cool.' This album probably sounds better live with the album turned upto 11...
Published on 18 Jun 2012 by Paul Smithson


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No words can describe..., 30 Aug 2007
This review is from: The Holy Bible (Audio CD)
I was recommended this album by a friend with care and warning that the lyrics delve so deeply into the flaws and corruption of today's society that all the songs emotionally stay with you forever.
And my was he right.

First listen? I didn't really listen to the lyrics as such but more of how James managed to entwine the lyrics with the music so cleverly.
The more I listened to the album, the more I became intrigued by the lyrics. The most gruesome, heart-wrenching and honest lyrics I've ever heard. But they're so amazing.

So what I did was look deeply into what Richey James Edwards was all about. The more I learnt about him, the more I loved the songs and the more I realised what they all meant.

This is an album to be kept forever. It seriously is a compelling disc full of the many things people are too afraid to admit are happening in our society.

Once you listen to it, you will appreciate the music that the Manics make even more. Trust me. It's definitely worth the buy as it will keep you listening for years to come.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sacred & Profane, 28 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Holy Bible (Audio CD)
Quite truly one of the marvels of British and Welsh music at the end of the twentieth century, The Holy Bible is both harrowing and addictive yet has placed the Manic Street Preachers in a awkward situation; never again would their music and lyrics fuse together into a cohesive fireball of nilhism, rage, and beauty.
The roots of this album start with the over-produced "Gold Against The Soul" and the backlash that befell the band that wanted to be bigger than Guns N' Roses. While the effort was more streamlined than the debut, the result was a Manic Street Preachers album that was too polished, very photogenic, and even polite enough to merge with MOR stadium rock in an effort to gain a larger audience. The acoustic trend in music was acknowledged with hefty doses of fingerpicked intros and hushed Hammond organs while grunge was highlighted with wah-wah pedals and stacatto riffs. They supported this album by playing with Bon Jovi.
Then, things started to happen. Richey Edwards continued his slide into self-hurt, depression, alcoholism, and drug abuse. Musical tastes were changing as bands jumped on the BritPop bandwagon. Pop music was on the way up as moody, introspective rock was on the way out. Their manager, Philip Hall, had passed away from cancer. Kurt Cobain committed suicide. All of these factors combined with an Manic Street Preachers habit of changing gears to keep their musical approach fresh. Hammonds and acoustics were stripped off the songs. Fuzz guitars and bass were added along with flanger and phase effects. The band that had a soundbite for each track on their debut album started defining each track with an opening excerpt from film, text, and music. As the Manic Street Preachers were born from punk rock, so they fully embraced their roots, and made an album of sheer vitrol and noise.
Richey's illness had sidelined him from recording, yet as he never plugged in that wouldn't be a problem. Instead, his focus was on an over-all image. Combat fatigues and dog tags told you that the band was ready to fight. Images of distorted flesh and crosses dictated a lyrical focus on the body and the soul.
Released in late summer of 1994, The Holy Bible was a stark change from the eyeliner and glitter of the first two albums. As the band had matured, so had their audience and while not everyone was comfortable with the subject matter, it was generally agreed that the Manic Street Preachers had reached the highest artistic level of their career.
The songs span several topics and spare no-one in their intensity. Yet while almost everyone who has posted a review on this album comment on the dark tone, they all admit that they cannot go for long without listening to it. While unrelentingly bleak this album is the strongest the band have ever been. Had things been different, and a few more years passed, this album may have broken free from the British Isles and been a worldwide smash with the teenagers and youths who grew up in the shadow of grunge.
Their masterpiece, hands down.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most people don't seem to understand what this is, 2 Jan 2009
By 
D. A. Mcculloguh "Deborah" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Holy Bible (Audio CD)
Notoriously seen as some what of Richey's last will and testiment its very hard to say something about this album that hasn't already been said. It's a curious CD produced in the red light district of Cardiff and it shows, everything sounds jaggered and compressed from James vocal performance to the guitars which now holds a razor sharp snarl. The music itself is heavily produced and gothic, some would go as far as metal, but I wouldn't.

The lyrics themselves tend to be a mess of disconnected jargon usually in sharp contrast. Such as the ballad of anorexia 4st 12lbs.

Lose my only remaining home
See my third rib appear
A week later all my flesh disappear
Stretching taut, cling-film on bone
Im getting better

This is far from the name checking protest of Motorcycle emptyness, this is geniune horror in song form. Which is where my review really focuses, mainly against the 2 star reviews on this album. What does this album really say and do the Manic's have a right to say it?

Why people listen to depressing music is a curious question as music tends to focus far more on emulating emotion or influencing it than say a movie. The people out there who declare this album brilliant in its total hopelessness and despair are missing the point and perhaps crazy... This album screams compassion and humanity, not neccasarally in the music, or the lyrics but in the fact it was written by some damaged people at a point where they seemed incapable of making their mark on the world.

Despite the comparisons to Closer by Joy Division or In Utero by Nirvana theres little here to suggest the album should be looked at this way. Despite the lyrics, which for the majority of the time are indeterminable without the lyric booklet it's not actually a sad album (see Radiohead or Joy Division for that), but rather incredibly angry. The sound of the Manics moving towards the bigger issues and away from explicit attacks on banks that don't even exist anymore or society in its vaguest sense... (see Generation Terrorists)

The comments made on this site about the Manics not having seen the holocaust themselves being unable to write about it meaningfully are completely absurd. The Manics by their definition are protestors and a key to protesting is to inform. Be it through shocking contrasts of anorexia (of which Richey was suffering) or the lack of humanity and apathy shown after the Holocaust.

The stock clips that accompany each song imply the Manics were making a document. The result is a monumental album and one of the most essensial peices of pop culture of the 90's, perhaps of all time. One of those things some of us insist on doing alongside reading 1984 and Animal Farm thats essensial to understanding the world we all live in.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thinks it's God, when it's the devil itself, 19 April 2003
This review is from: The Holy Bible (Audio CD)
Pretentious, political and at times poetic. Accumulating years of studying history and politics onto one disc, it's done so very well. It's gifted with a genuine detestation of political figures and glorifed serial killers which Richey/Nicky vent in their Archives of Pain. It's an education in itself, this album alone inspired hundreds of teenagers who realised that socialism is about more than being a miner from Wigan, to discover culture. Even if you depise the glamourous arrogance of the Manics, amongst the prosaic acerbity of their lyrics is a collections of songs blessed with the uniqueness of J-D Bradfield's vocals, stretched beyond what one would call 'jigsaw fitting' lyrics. It's difficult to express political opinion in sugar-coated melodies, this album is far from universal. It's ego requires tolerance; it's abrasiveness, patience. But it's expressive if not pacifying, its subject matter prevents any kinds of serene state. The album is active, if its heard from the point of view of it being solely a piece of music then its paradoxical beauty is lost. Read every condemnation, every scathing comment, its not fake depression cultivated by nu-metal, it's reality spat in its most real form.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Despairing yet fiercely intelligent and political, 21 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Holy Bible (Audio CD)
This album is the darkest of the decade (although I'm not particularly qualified to say that, not having listened to every album) but I can't imagine an album that leaves the listener with so bleak an outlook, so complete an absence of any hope or comfort...
The lyrical contnet is difficult, heavily referential (see 'Archives of Pain' chorus), bleak and self-loathing in equal doses. The music is new age punk, haunting, spiky riffs over a torrent of explosive, intellegent lyrical lucidity that requires you to read along with the album booklet to make any sense out of it.
However, persevere with the album and its brilliance will shine through, the wonderful, utterly uncensored self deprecating vitriol will expose every other American 'angst band' for the superficial chancers that they are.
Watch out Brian Warner, Richey knows where you live.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars listen reading the lyrics in the dark and with headphones, 27 Jan 2004
By 
Ms. N. Hall "abooklessordinary" (London, England, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Holy Bible (Audio CD)
from getting this album a year ago, i did just that in order to get into it. you cannot listen to this album passively or you will not get anything out of it. just from the 1st song, 'yes' i was already deeply disturbed. the actual music may seem a little dated and simplistic to some but wiht the intelligent and thought provoking lyrics everything seems to work out very well. my favourite song on the album being 'faster' which to some could really tip them over the edge. No album has ever been so dark and I ecommend to anyone who wants to listen to music that leaves them thinking about it for weeks on end. Pure class.
TIPS - you have to read the lyrics as you listen the 1st time otherwise you will never truly get what JDB is singing
listen in solitude for your brain to be totally focused on what's being said
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A career defining album., 28 Jan 2010
By 
Jamie Skelton - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Holy Bible (Audio CD)
Having read a number of reviews of this album, all claiming it to be one of the greatest of all, time i was apprehensive that i'd be let down when i heard it. I'm glad to say, i wasn't. it's a true classic.

What followed was 45minutes of the most intelligent, thought provoking, beautiful and in parts extremely moving pieces of music i've ever heard.

On first listen it's almost to much to take in. I mean who else namechecks famous historical figures and events such as: Zhirinovsky, Le Pen, Hindley and Brady, Ireland, Allit, Sutcliffe, Dahmer, Nielson, Ueda, Blanche and Pickles, Amin and Milosovic on an album!? Let alone in one chorus of one song! (Archives of Pain.) I found myself constantly on Wikipedia searching for who most of these people were such is the level of intelligence been put into it.

While a lot is said of Richey Edwards lyrics on this album a lot credit should be given to the band Bradfield/Wire/Moore who play with a constant vigour throughout and make a perfect back drop to what's been said.
Of course ultimately, it's impossible to listen to this album and not think of Edwards suicide just mere months after the album was released. A lot of what is on the album is very autobiographical to him, (none more so then on the haunting accolade to anorexia, 4st 7lb.) Indeed you could class this as his personal suicide note to the world.

The Holy Bible marked a career defining moment in Manic Street Preachers career which was never bettered (although that's not to say that some of the albums released since are also brilliant.) You've simply GOT to listen to this album. It's genius.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suicide is painless, but genius really hurts a lot, 8 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Holy Bible (Audio CD)
Have you ever lost someone you loved? Have you ever wished you could be someone else? Have you ever felt the pain of knowing that you've caused other people harm? If you have, then well done, you are a normal human being capable of demonstrating normal human emotions. If not, then go somewhere quiet and sit listening to this album on your own, pay attention to the lyrics, and when you're finished, ask yourself if the answer to those questions has now changed, if it hasn't, then you should probably go and see a psychiatrist, before you kill someone. We'll never know what happened to Richey Edwards. I personally think that the question is a naive one to ask, someone with a head as twisted as his one seems to the casual observer, should be left to his own devices. His band got the success he deserved but never wanted, so it's a win-win situation for them. On the other side of things, anyone who listens to should start to re-evaluate themselves, which can only be a good thing. Buy this, love this, but for god's sake, don't try and become any of the 'characters' it describes. If you want a list of classic tracks, just flick further up this review list, I agree with the summaries made by most of these reviewers, they make accurate statements. My personal favourite is 'This is Yesterday', a love song for the things we're forced to leave behind. Also 'Revol' is a stunning guitar romp through the history 20th century revolutions. How to some up the album, the word terrifying pops into the head at times (lets just say that listening to 'the intense humming of evil' before bed could give an impressionable mind nightmares) but I think that the album excels at what it sets out to do, expressing emotion felt in a variety of situations (from the mind of a prostitute in 'Yes' to the mind of an anorectic in '4st7lbs') in a unique and truly 'manic' (excuse the pun) way. In short, buy this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best thing since sliced bread, 28 Jan 2005
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This review is from: The Holy Bible (Audio CD)
This album, a dark, sweeping masterpiece, is without doubt the album of the nineties. Bradfield's commanding vocal and guitar performance perfectly compliment the extremely dark (some might say, depressing) lyrics of songwriting genius Richey James Edwards. Add to this Sean Moore's frenetic drumming and it all contributes to a claustrophobic yet immensely powerful album. Edwards's vision is honest yet unpleasant - he pulls no punches, lyrically, so those who prefer to look at the world through rose-tinted spectacles should avoid this album. Those who have an appreciation for top notch musicianship and lyricism at it's most potent should buy this album immediately. Listen to it from beginning to end more than once. It will never leave you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the darkest, most intense hour of your life, 14 Mar 2001
By 
A. D. R. MARKS "adrmarks" (Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Holy Bible (Audio CD)
This is a rare beast: an album where music and lyric match each other perfectly. Richey's (and let's be honest they are Richey's, not Richey's and Nicky's here) make the reader wince with their visions of pain, depression and despair, and the music feels trapped inside the heavy compression of the mix - guitars struggling to escape their claustrophobic aural prisons. Curiously, it turns out to be an uplifting listening experience (or is that just me?). That the Manics will never again be so intense is probably for the best (it could scarcely be good for their health) but in musical terms it is probably a pity. This is a once in a lifetime album to be cherished.
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