In a season where change is imminent it is easy to lose sight of vision and become complacent with the mundane and/or mediocre. Manchester Orchestra manages to journey through The Valley Of Vision and navigate a remarkably composed album that is both musically and visually stunning. Aesthetically speaking it is nothing short of a masterpiece.
Over the tenure of their career Manchester Orchestra has continued to hone their craft and continually expound upon the sound they have built. With the release of their 2017 album, A Black Mile to the Surface, the band moved in to a more indie sound that featured layered complexities that would continue to shift forward on their 2021 follow up, The Million Masks of God and stay prevalent on The Valley of Vision.
Marketed as an EP, The Valley of Vision only consists of a total of 6 tracks and clocks at just under twenty-six minutes. Prior to the full release the band only released a sole single (“Capital Karma”) with an additional track (“The Way”) being released just 3 days prior to the full release. What the album may lack in longevity it makes up for in cohesiveness as the album as a whole plays out like a theatrical opera in 6 parts. Each track is intricately connected to the next which can be seen in the official album film. While the film plays out like a long form music video it is chock full of visually stunning pieces that are perfectly matched to the audio that craft it into an album that is pleasing to both the ears and eyes.
While each track is crafted to stand on their own the album is truly intended to be listened to from beginning to end without skipping over any singular track. The opening track (“Capital Karma”) and the final track (“Rear View”) both serve as solid bookends that create an atmosphere and culminate a sense finality respectively while leaving the “journey” sandwiched within the tracks between the two. [Andy] Hull’s poetic lyricism and vocal complexity atop the musical layering just adds to the overall aesthetic.
Overall, The Valley of Vision is another remarkable entry in an already diverse and solid discography and sure to be a highlight on several best of lists later this year.
The Valley of Vision is available now on all major streaming and digital platforms or you can purchase physical media from the band via their web store.
Catch Manchester Orchestra on tour this summer with Jimmy Eat World.
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