Marilyn Manson is currently working on his next studio album, which will be titled "In The Shadow Of The Valley Of Death," according to a video message and written statement that the macabre musician has posted on his official Web site.Manson said that the new album is meant to be the last part of the three-part musical story that started with 1996's "Antichrist Superstar" and continued on 1998's "Mechanical Animals." The former rock journalist has also shaved his head, giving him a look that closely resembles the vampire Nosferatu from the classic 1922 film of the same name. "This is the final piece of a triptych that I began with 'Antichrist Superstar,'" Manson said. "The character of Omega [from 'Mechanical Animals'] has been disposed of, as he was a ruse to lure the commercial mall-goers into the web of destruction that I've always planned since the beginning." Manson indicated that the band has written some 100 new songs for "In The Shadow Of The Valley
Of Death," and that the material was inspired by alchemy, slain President John F. Kennedy, the Bible, and his involvement with the spiritual group known as Ordo Templi Orientis.The themes of the new album will also tie in to Manson's film project, "Holy Wood" (see "Marilyn Manson To Probe Celebrity And Suffering In New Film, Next Album"), and both the new record and flick are expected out next year. "This is a soundtrack for a world that is being sold to kids," he wrote of the record, "and then being destroyed by them. But maybe that's exactly what it deserves." Marilyn Manson and band have been recording the new album in several "undisclosed" locations, including Death Valley (hence the LP's name), with the help of programmer Bon Harris and mixer Dave Sardy, who is also co-producing the album with Manson. In a Prince-like move, Manson has also adopted an emblem to represent himself, choosing the symbol of mercury because
of its thematic relationship to the material slated for "In The Shadow Of The Valley Of Death.""The [mercury] symbol is most commonly used in alchemy," Manson said. "It represents both the androgyne and the prima materia, which has been associated with Adam, the first man. And all of these things are major influences into the writing of the new album." Manson said he plans to keep a low profile until he finishes the new record, and that his official Web site "will be my only contact with humanity."