Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mono - "Hymn To The Immortal Wind" CD

10 years and 5 albums have now passed for Japanese quartet Mono, and in that time they have cemented themselves as one of the world's foremost purveyors of sad and melodic guitar sturm-und-drang. This group's wistful, gentle side is gorgeously emotive, full of wild-eyed wonder and quiet introspection. In songs like the opener, 'Ashes In The Snow', the peacefulness builds, then gives way to massive thunderclaps of dissonant noise and bombastic crescendos. And the presence of a full orchestra makes for an even more heightened attack -- strings, flutes, pianos, the works -- meld into Mono's traditional rock setup effortlessly. It all engages in a precise, well-mapped out series of dynamic, omnipotent, and dense instrumental passages, sometimes sad, but just as often brimming with a strong sense of hopefulness. Indeed, Mono are a force to be reckoned with. Production here is once again handled by the inimitable Steve Albini (veteran of too many indie bands to mention), who gives the group a very live, organic, and analog sound that is unaffected by studio trickery - what you hear is what you get. And what you get? Crushing, magnificent power framed by delicate passages of sustained splendor. 'Hymn To The Immortal Wind' is monolithic, triumphant and, in one word, remarkable. (Temporary Residence)

Mono website

Here's Mono's new video, directed by Dimitri Galuret, courtesy of Human Highway Records Japan:

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