Album review: Machester Orchestra – The Million Masks Of God
That moment when you inhale, let the breath fill your lungs just before you open your mouth to let out the words – it’s a hard moment to find Manchester Orchestrathe sixth studio album by The millions of masks of God. Following the arc of 2017 A black mile to the surfaceCritically acclaimed success, the Atlanta quartet – the lead duo of songwriters Andy Hull and Robert McDowell, Tim Very (drums) and Andy Prince (bass) – returns to the lush landscapes of what they like to call an “album. de cinema â, a cohesive film narrative with pieces so intertwined, no pull can give a healthy whole.
âIf ‘Black Mile’ were this idea of ââ’birth to death’, this album would really be more about ‘birth to the hereafter, focusing on the ups and downs of life and exploring what could possibly come next, ” Hull said in a recent statement. As death plays a figurative and literal role in the lyrical context of the album – McDowell’s father lost his battle with cancer shortly after recording began – it casts a more healing shadow than expected, offering a small but powerful comfort that even in death there is still life.
Building on their work over the years 2016 Swiss army man soundtrack to the film, Hull and McDowell’s flair for the dramatic is further honed, honed by their own life experiences, and then embellished by the narrative they chose – “I’m coming / In the form of a radical being.” / You arrive / But the story can never be told, “Hull sings on” Angel Of Death “, the real start of the album’s consequent journey. Meeting this Angel of Death takes the band into an electronic burrow and powerful piano compositions. With each song blending seamlessly into the next, “Bed Head,” one of the album’s lead singles and the most dynamic tracks from the 11-track offering, feels like the final tipping point. So far, every track has embraced either anger, fear, or anxious anticipation, rolling from one to the other. But in the end, the instrumentals don’t bleed into “Annie.” They are suddenly arrested and an excerpt from a children’s story recited by a young boy th st played instead, acting as a natural break before the start of the second half of the album.
Work with the previous one Black mile Contributor Catherine Marks, as well as a new face, Ethan Gruska (Phoebe Bridgers), as the album’s production work deepened veterans’ propensity for muted drama. “Telepath” and “Let It Storm” find their strength in the smooth rolling piano keys and pick of an acoustic guitar, while “Obstacle” revel in the muffled but overpowering noises of the drums. There is a story here – yes – of meeting your destiny head-on, crossing over to the other side and wandering in a stupor almost Alice in Wonderland, but as we finally make our way to the end, “Way Back “seems to slow down at a singular moment, a melancholy memory that just can’t be let go. It is this balance of chaos, sound and emotion that ultimately boils down to deep resolution and accumulated wisdom that truly marks the album’s journey. “There is the idea of ââa birth; the beginning of the end, perhaps, and the strongest and most intense arrangements are placed at the front in order to parallel the hectic nature of your young life. and the anxiety and stress of that stage, “Hull notes with reference to the album’s structure. âAnd as that continues, there is more determination and calm and focus, almost like you’re the listener down – at the very end it all slows down. So once we committed to this idea, it was fascinating for us to understand how it all fit together. This opened up many possibilities. We were no longer afraid to move away from a typical structure.
The Manchester Orchestra has been around long enough to know that a band’s heritage is not always preserved by its distinctive sound. Most often, it is supported by the ability to adapt and reinvent oneself. And while The millions of masks of God isn’t a complete pivot, he’s turned enough that long after they’re gone fans will always remember meeting an Angel and thinking it sounded like home.