he brand new record from Manchester Orchestra entitled “The Million Masks of God” is the band sixth studio record.
The new record certainly has a different feel from that last record in 2017 “A Black Mile To The Surface”. Lead singer Andy Hull was inspired by the birth of his daughter, conceptually that album deals a lot with welcoming life onto the planet, whereas in contrast, The Million Mass of God deals with the other end of the spectrum. Vocalising subjects on dealing with death, not so much through darkness but focuses on the uncertainty of the afterlife, how we come together in mourning, and form a community with powerful bonds – which is a very special sentiment and very poignant in light of the last couple years.
A testament to the strength of Hull’s songwriting, this album is going to stand the test of time and will be great decades down the road as it’s a record that so many people can resonate with.
If you’re unfamiliar with Manchester Orchestra, they are not from Manchester but in fact from Georgia, Atlanta. Officially formed in 2004, they certainly take a lot of inspiration from the city of Manchester, a place with very rich musical history: Joy Division, The Smiths, Stone Roses. Their music has a punk and post-punk feel but it’s definitely more of an indie vibe.
This particular record is a lot of fun because it brings together all musical elements they have explored in their previous releases. Their sound is distinctive, though each record is unique to itself some more hard-rock and others more ambient.
Part of what I love about the way they make records is that they pick a certain theme, Million Masks of God truly captures everything. The lead track “Inaudible” is a great atmospheric opener, and then about halfway kicks in hard with drums with the rest of the instrumentation filling out the empty space to build a solid track. This leads us into the standout track “Angel of Death” which is one of my favourites, airy guitars, thick bass but very groovy. The first half of the album shows more heavy-hitting guitar riffs, and the second half of the record is somewhat ethereal with quality acoustic riffs.
“Bed Head” is the lead single on this album, with a solid hook. Andy Hull’s vocal hooks on each song are spot on, his voice doesn’t fail.
At 11 songs, 46 minutes, this album has a very solid run time, the album closes with the track called “The Internet” the play between the bass and the guitar is fun and phenomenal; it moves into this big finale and my only slight regret is that they don’t play around with that big ending more. The song mellows out into a finish and it’s really well done, I just wanted more and the track was a little longer because it is THAT GOOD.
This record is phenomenal, the production, instrumentation sounds great and I’m really digging Andy Prince’s base work it is one of the highlights for me, he’s been with the band for the last eight years and has certainly been a welcoming presence in their songwriting.
Highly recommend checking out their YouTube channel that they release videos throughout the course of their career, exploring the songwriting process, the touring process, they’re one of those bands that do a good job at giving access and insight into the world of Manchester Orchestra.
The Million Masks Of God, out now: https://found.ee/MO_TMMOG