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Despite the difference between the two bands' styles, Manson said they were not "afraid to mix the two together when we were making the songs." We Are Chaos contains ten songs, and no additional tracks were recorded. Manson explained that once his and Jennings's respective bands found a mode to collaborate, the songs "flowed quickly" and "there were no extra songs. There was no fat to cut off the music." The album was produced by Manson and Jennings, and Manson's vocals were recorded late at night; the vocalist said that Jennings deduced his "peak hour for singing was 3 a.m. I'm sure that's probably because it's [when] the full range of rasp comes out of my voice".
Manson initially said the lyrics on the album were autobiographical, and that he considered self-titling the record as a result. This was later revised, however, and he described We Are Chaos as a concept album. The record purposefully includes ten songs, with the explicit intention of listeners being able to experience the album as if it were a traditional LP, with Manson noting the mood and tone of the record changes drastically after the fifth track. He said: "I wanted it to be like any movie or any great book or any painting or any poem, [in] that it becomes part of the listener's experience, not just mine", noting this was what he apprised when listening to Bowie's Diamond Dogs, Alice Cooper's Welcome to My Nightmare and Pink Floyd's The Wall as a teenager, elaborating those albums made a listener "feel like you're a part of something bigger that you can insert yourself into. And I think escapism is an important thing to have now." He went on to say: "Hopefully, [listeners will] interpret it in a way that maybe I didn't even realize." Of the overall concept, he said he hoped listeners would be aware of the presence of a singular story arc, but encouraged people to discover their own story when listening to the album. He said he asked numerous people for their interpretation of the album's content, specifically whether they believed it concluded with a happy, sad or tragic ending.
We Are Chaos has been described as post-punk, rock, gothic rock and industrial rock. The first song is titled "Red Black and Blue", whose introduction consists of the vocalist reciting prose text, which he said set the mood for what was to follow on the album. In the prose, he proclaims himself to be a king bee who will cover the Earth in honey so that everyone will devour themselves. AllMusic compared the introductory prose to a sermon, before saying the song "quickly rumbles to life with a pounding beat, gurgling bass, and chugging riffage." Guitars featured on the song were recorded using the GK250 amplifier, which Jennings referred to as the best amplifier in his collection. He highlighted the amp for its "chorus button" feature, which he said was used to record "those huge tones on 'Red Black and Blue' for the chunking guitars." Reviewers compared the song to the work of White Zombie.
Several publications praised the quality of songwriting and production on We Are Chaos, including NME, which complimented Manson's lyricism for focusing less on spectacle and more on craft, and praised Jennings's production for introducing a wide variety of styles to the album. Similarly, AllMusic commended the focus on song-craft, saying this was the key to the band's later-career rejuvenation, elaborating: "As the years of shock tactics and theatrics fade into memory, Manson's left with just the music, aging as gracefully as he can with another expertly crafted offering for the altar." Hot Press said the record contained some of the most exciting songs the band had recorded in years, while Kerrang! said it continued their creative resurgence, complimenting the "razor-sharp" lyricism and saying the production evoked a "sense of stateliness at times" and a "sleazy rock club stench at others". Metal Hammer praised the lyrics for being more emotionally vulnerable than Manson had ever been previously. Classic Rock noted the absence of intentionally provocative lyrics on We Are Chaos, saying that instead it found Manson reflecting "the terrors that are already out there" before summarizing: "It's good to have the king of modern mischief back to cast a milky eye over the mess we've got ourselves into." 2b1af7f3a8