Editors’ Notes After a grueling, months-long recording marathon, it’s no wonder Manchester’s fifth album is filled with allusions to mining and cave-ins. But despite the somber theme, A Black Mile to the Surface is packed with bright guitars and soaring harmonies. Once again, Andy Hull’s voice commands respect—it’s as imposing on a heartfelt gospel opener (“The Maze”) as a violent, distorted thrasher (“Lead, SD”). Despite its exhausting creation, the album’s imbued with an energy as rare as the gold its characters seek.

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