Manchester Orchestra’s ‘The Million Masks of God’ available on BV-exclusive vinyl, new song out now
Update: the sea blue vinyl variant of Manchester Orchestra's 'The Million Masks of God' sold out but you can now pre-order it on transparent light blue vinyl.
Last week, Manchester Orchestra released a new concert film that found them performing their 2017 album A Black Mile to the Surface in its entirety (prefaced by a BrooklynVegan-hosted Q&A), and during the stream they teased something called The Million Masks of God and launched a countdown clock ending on February 18. Well, that's today, and The Million Masks of God is indeed the title of Manchester's new album, due April 30 via Loma Vista. We've also teamed up with the band for a BrooklynVegan-exclusive 140g sea blue vinyl variant, limited to just 500 copies and available exclusively in our store.
Update: The sea blue variant sold out, but it's now available to pre-order on transparent light blue vinyl.
The album reunites Manchester Orchestra with Black Mile producer Catherine Marks, and also brings in Phoebe Bridgers collaborator Ethan Gruska, and it functions as sort of a sequel to Black Mile. "If Black Mile was this idea of ‘from birth to death,’ this album would really be more about ‘from birth to beyond, focusing on the highs and lows of life and exploring what could possibly come next," frontman Andy Hull says. The album sequence was intended to play out like a movie, inspired by Andy Hull and his bandmate/songwriting & producing partner Robert McDowell's recent film scores, and some of the death themes of this album directly address the loss of Robert's father to cancer in 2019.
"It started off really abstract, but as Robert’s dad’s fight with cancer got harder and harder those last couple years, I started making parallels in my mind to what I was actually writing about," Andy said. "It became an examination of my own faith. While Robert’s dad’s story certainly influenced this album, it’s equally about me coming to grips with the realness of adulthood and that there’s an expiration date to all of this—and how you’re going to live your life knowing that."
The first single is "Bed Head," which is one hell of an introduction to this record. It's got the atmospheric vibe of Black Mile (and some buzzing electronics, but it's the kind of stadium-sized rock anthem that Manchester regularly churned out in the Cope era. It's definitely a little nostalgia-inducing for longtime fans, but it also feels very much like a continuation of the new chapter they began on Black Mile.
"'Bed Head’ is two old friends existing in two separate realities," Andy said of the song. "It’s a conversation about the lives they lived, the consequences of life’s decisions, and finding purpose in trying to be better." Keeping the cinematic vibe of the album sequence going, the song comes with an effects-lande, thriller-inspired music video directed by Andrew Donoho. Check it out below.
2. Angel Of Death
3. Keel Timing
4. Bed Head
7. Let It Storm
10. Way Back
11. The Internet
Pre-order The Million Masks of God on transparent light blue vinyl here.