Just in time for their 10-year anniversary, MONO return to Birmingham in support of their fifth studio album, the absolutely massive Hymn To The Immortal Wind.
The music is naturally majestic, with MONO’s trademark wall of noise crashing beautifully against the largest chamber orchestra the band has ever enlisted. The instrumentation is vast, incorporating strings, flutes, organ, piano, glockenspiel and tympani into their standard face-melting set-up.
Recorded to analog tape with long-time friend and producer Steve Albini, there is an intimacy captured here that is at once beautiful and a little terrifying. The creaking of old wooden chairs as the orchestra rocks in their seats (both literally and figuratively), puckered lips rolling along flutes, and even the conductor’s opening cue can be heard during the hauntingly quiet opening moments
While Hymn continues to mine the cinematic drama inherent in all of MONO’s music, the dynamic shifts now come more from dark-to-light instead of quiet-to-loud. The maturity to balance these elements so masterfully has become MONO’s strongest virtue.
Featuring current and former members of Jesu, Cable Regime and Final, Iroha mixes layers of textured guitar and basslines with heartbreaking melodies and brutally slow beats to produce songs of melancholic beauty.
“Although its scent still lingers on, the form of a flower has scattered away. For whom will the glory of this world remain unchanged? Arriving today at the yonder side of the deep mountains of evanescent existence. We shall never allow ourselves to drift away intoxicated, in the world of shallow dreams”
Poster by Ben Javens