I was in the record store on Sunday, just browsing really and, having been trough almost everything and about to leave the store, I noticed the sleeve in the above image. I had no idea what it was but made a closer inspection to find it was by Mono, a band I already liked but hadn’t realised that they had a new album out. I’d seen one in the store before but it was £32, a little more than I had wanted to spend at the time. The album was actually a 2016 release but I haven’t been keeping up with Mono for quite a while, the only other album of theirs that I have being ‘Hymn to the immortal wind’ from 2009 (which is excellent in case you wondered). This one was priced at £28, again a bit on the steep side but I decided to go for it.
Although a double album, it is only three sided, with the fourth being an etching of a feotus, resulting in the total length of the album being 46:03, pretty short for £28.
The sleeve is nice, with a die cut circle in the back and the vinyl is 180grm. The etching is pretty pointless, as they often are, I’d have been quite happy with a completely blank side instead but I suppose it is easier to realise that this side shouldn’t be played.
A1: Death In Rebirth (8:05)
A2: Stellar (4:59)
B1: Requiem For Hell (17:49)
C1: Ely’s Heartbeat (8:27)
C2: The Last Scene (6:43)
As for the music, it’s great, I love it. I am rather partial to long instrumental tracks in a post rock style though, so unless they had suddenly turned to J-Pop then it was a pretty safe bet for me.
Interestingly, I stumbled across a documentary on youtube titled: “MONO – Journey Through Hell (Official Documentary)” which is the official documentary celebrating the release of the 9th album “Requiem For Hell”. Along with it was a short band bio, as below:
MONO — The Tokyo, Japan based 4 piece Instrumental Rock band MONO was originally formed in 1999. Their unique approach of blending orchestral arrangements and shoegaze guitar noise in their music has been held in extremely high regard; so much so, that the band’s musicianship can no longer be sustained by Rock music alone and was praised by British Musical Magazine NME as “This is music for the Gods”. One of the most monumental live memories of the band was a special set of shows with 23-piece orchestra in New York, Tokyo, London and Melbourne. Their annual world tour consists of around 150 shows. The band has now visited over 50 countries and proudly holds the stake of being one of the most internationally successful bands in Japan. Among their fans, they are revered as one of the best live bands in Rock. After releasing 9 successful albums including a live album with New York orchestra, the band received the highly regarded award “The Marshall Hawkins Awards: Best Musical Score – Featurette” from the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema for their collaborative short film “Where We Begin” in 2015.
Now in 2016, the band has finished recording their 9th album with Steve Albini at Electrical Audio, Chicago. The album is scheduled to be released on Oct 14th, 2016.
Here is the actual documentary: