3. Mono - Hymn To The Immortal Wind
What can be said about Mono’s 2009 release Hymn Of The Immortal Wind that would truly do it justice?
The Japanese instrumentalists clearly know no boundaries when it comes to sound – this record is a gargantuan wall of it. Their work with a sting section of dozens is noticeable, from the slow-building opening anthem ‘Ashes In The Snow’ to the tense classical-laden gem ‘Silent Flight, Sleeping Dawn’, both examples of a group that have a clear direction of where they are going despite such a large ensemble of backing musicians.
Mono almost show a disdain for monotonous movements and tedious drones in the genre, instead opting to do anything but rest on their laurels. They soar and succeed on highlights like the impressively climatic, sky-tearing cracker ‘Pure As Snow (Trails Of The Winter Storm)’ or the majestic instrumental interplay of ‘Follow The Map’, a track that further epitomizes the delicate care that the group apply to their music.
With or without the use of vocals, not many bands comes as close to perfecting elegant and ethereal music as Mono do on this record. The grand scale of the sound is what will catch your attention at first, but the songwriting is what will leave a lasting impression and keep you coming back for more.