If there is any musician out there who continually shocks people into going to concerts, it's Marilyn Manson. It's not just the music, it's the entire act. Although not as prominent as he was 15 years ago, the artist (if you could call him that) is just as controversial today as he was in his prime. Trent Reznor has nothing on this guy.
Marilyn Manson's music is comparatively old and it is not controversial anymore. Back in the days when MTV was novel, people were shocked by Manson's music. In the mean time, it has been copied by several other artists, many of whom are more extreme and controversial than he was in the beginning.
His music isn't controversial now and it never should have been considered controversial in the nineties. He might have written his lyrics to be provocative, but the point was to make people think a little bit about long held beliefs. To me, it's as controversial and offensive as it would be if an artist said Zeus didn't exist.
I personally don't think that Marilyn Manson's music is controversial. I think the only reason that his music is considered controversial is because people make a big deal about it, thus making it controversial in the public eye. People who have labeled his music controversial have mostly been parents of teens who listen to his music.
Are we back in 1996? Marilyn Manson, nor his music, has been considered controversial since the middle of that decade. Manson's artistic influence has waned since then, and people are used to his act and antics now. But as always, there will be something new that comes around to shock us, eventually.