Manchester Orchestra always had a hold on a great alternative sound through the years. While their new record isn't as aggressive and upfront as previous efforts, it still holds its ground very well. Manchester Orchestra say anthemic on A Black Mile To The Surface, their new album that builds and swells with emotion.
You can tell when 'The Maze' introduces this record that it'll be something powerful. The dramatic intro is supported by sweet indie vocals from Andy Hull, glorious gang vocals elevating the track further up. It's a very sweet start, and 'The Gold' follows up with a more driven and active atmosphere. The guitars roll warmly as the beat carries it ahead gently, the choruses growing with a warm atmosphere. A similar warmth is found in 'Lead, SD' with its huge and driven choruses, the pre-choruses hauntingly and sadly chanting "I wait for her because without her I'm gonna sink / Would you marry me?"
There's something that just feels good about A Black Mile To The Surface. Not every song is a hit but they all connect solidly. The warmth of 'The Sunshine' follows the gentleness of 'The Alien,' before returning to a more wild anthemic sound in 'The Grocery.' 'The Wolf' proceeds with huge atmosphere and a very cool build. The energy is never lost, just redirected into new forms as the album progresses. It ends on 'The Silence,' an epic ending to record that brings it to a crashing and jamming end.
Manchester Orchestra stay anthemic on A Black Mile To The Surface, keeping a genuine sound with lots of energy that is never lost. It comes through in many different forms and there aren't many tracks that fail to use it properly. It's not an album with a lot of aggression but it's one with a lot of emotion all the same. Not every song has to be a grand slam; some hit and connect just right here.
Favorite Tracks: Lead, SD; The Gold; The Grocery; The Silence
Least Favorite Track: The Mistake
Rating: 80 / 100
Stream or buy A Black Mile To The Surface on Apple Music: