The Million Masks Of God by Manchester Orchestra
This album floored me. An instant favorite I will return to time and time again.
It's a love letter to the traditional concept album. The kind where you grab your favorite slow drink, dim the lights, and absorb it from start to finish.
At times, it recalls a feeling of Nine Inch Nails' seminal album from 1999, The Fragile. Mixing the raw with the digital—it continuously delights the ears with sonic pleasantries and unexpected callbacks.
In similar fashion, The Million Masks Of God is a seamless album that blends tracks over each other in defiance of today's single-driven culture. It is meant for a single sitting.
Sure, you could listen to many these tracks as singles, but together they become something more.
It wrestles with loss and grief, wondering at the mystery of life from all angles.
I'm reminded of the way I felt listening to 2015's Carrie & Lowell by Sufjan Steven. It's brooding and dark, yet magical.
Melodies and lyrics are repurposed throughout the album—adding to that sense of a single experience.
Hold me now, I will not repeat myself
So hold me now, All I do is repeat myself
— Keel Timing (bridge) + Dinosaur (chorus)
The Million Masks Of God is often understated with nothing but vocals and ambient drone.
It maintains the balance of being extremely well produced but with the unpredictable energy, attitude, and emotion of a debut album.
It's a masterpiece by Manchester Orchestra.