Much like its predecessor ‘A Black Mile To The Surface’, the sixth album to come from Atlanta’s Manchester Orchestra is a more complex beast than it may first appear. Initially based around the loose concept of a man nearing the end of his life coming face-to-face with the Angel of Death, ‘The Million Masks of God’ soon transforms into a more reflective look at the issues of mortality and legacy we all begin to face as we grow older. And while it’d be easy to assume the record’s subject matter might lend itself to a more sombre musicality, here, the band are arguably at their most cinematic and bold. Sonically tracking the life of its central character, early tracks (‘Angel of Death’, ‘Keel Timing’) soar and swell with a striking energy; towards the album’s tail-end, things take a different, more contemplative pace. The record also sees them at their most experimental: electronics take a more prevalent role, sounds are twisted into different shapes. Even voice note recordings of frontman Andy Hull’s children find their way into the album’s rich tapestry. A record that feels dynamic and vital - while still respecting the band’s legacy so far - ‘The Million Masks of God’ is astonishing.
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