MARILYN MANSON has described his fifth album, the much-anticipated The Golden Age of Grotesque, as being "different and better and stronger and uglier and much more theatrical than anyone could ever imagine.""It is the most concise record we've done, so it's not as lengthy as any of the previous ones," Manson told MTV. "That doesn't mean it has less content, I just think sometimes less is more. There's time to focus on how good things are if there's not as much to look at." The Golden Age of Grotesque is the first MANSON album without bassist Twiggy Ramirez, who was unceremoniously booted from the group in May. The slot was subsequently filled by KMFDM's Tim Skold (ex-SHOTGUN MESSIAH), who is also co-producing the LP with Ben Grosse (i.e. FILTER). "I unfortunately haven't spoken to him since, but what had to be done was done," Marilyn stated about his longtime cohort. "I was going in one direction, but he didn't have a direction because he hadn't really made his way into contributing. I think his personal life was leading him somewhere different than where we were going, and I don't know, so I can't speak for him, but it's unfortunate. Hopefully he'll land on his feet. I still consider him a friend and I miss him." In addition to working with the QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE's Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri on the side project HEADBAND, which also features AMEN's Casey Chaos and GODSMACK drummer Shannon Larkin, Ramirez is working on material for a demo that he hopes to use to secure a new label deal.