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Mono - You Are There

01. The Flames Beyond The Cold Mountain
02. A Heart Has Asked For The Pleasure
03. Yearning
04. Are You There?
05. The Remains Of The Day
06. Moonlight

Japan has one of the most innovative, experimental and bizarre musical scenes in the globe. Experimental music, psychedelic attempts to create something new and groundbreaking, you can find it everything in the land of the rising sun, because people there consume music and really know their stuff. The whole planet could learn a thing or two about Japan.

Time has come to review this piece of art. Mono, a Japanese power trio released last year their critically acclaimed album "You Are There", a journey through musical landscapes, towards distant horizons where sound and reality entwine in a sonorous cacophony which entangles in the depths of your ear cavities.

And why this is categorized as Post-Rock? Because the song structures follow the Post-Rock manifesto, calm sections followed by harsher parts filled with the intensity of classical composers in the vein of Bethooven and Wagner. Passionate and mellifluous is the sound of Mono, add to that the infamous hand of mythical producer, Steve Albini and you got a record that not only sounds good, but also, feels good.

Songs are quite lengthy, clocking more than 10 minutes each -with the sole exception of 2 short tracks-. But you'll have to agree with me that tracks need to be lengthy here, the way Mono construct their songs is quite particular, since they take their time to evolve. It may start with a single guitar chord, melancholic, as if yearns for something else. Then a bass comes in, accompanying the guitar in his loneliness, some string sections can make an appearance as breathing new life to an emotion, now lost. This could go like this for minutes, but eventually and with no previous notice, the intensity of the music escalates until it becomes a congruent mass of sound, aimed directly at the right side of your brain, filling it with sound, confusion and beauty.

When the fuzzy, noise-filled guitars make their appearance, you might get a little uncomfortable, especially if you're listening this with headphones, because the level of volume and sound gets very high. If you thought that harsh, noisy landscapes could be only listened in the Metal realm, you were quite mistaken, because I could dare to say that this is more heavy and intense than many Black Metal albums.

'Nuff said, this album is a must if you like to explore the duality of two moods, clashing and conflicting, juxtaposed to create a whole, intense musical experience. A stunning album in every way, from the production to the artwork, from the originality factor to the musicianship, this album fills me with mirth as I lay unfazed in my coach with my headphones on. This is the way life is supposed to sound, uneven and acerbic yet fulfilling.


written by Undercraft | 16.07.2007


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Comments: 5  
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omn1 - 17.07.2007 at 13:39  
A band I've been meaning to check out for a while, this reviews made me even more eager
Nice one
+{Jonas}+ - 13.01.2008 at 18:40  
I have their discography and they sound a lot like Pelican, so this deffinitley is my fav. band list.
Damnated - 13.01.2008 at 21:16  
i didn't like this album. it sounded like a less inspired version of GY!BE and Explosions in the Sky. will give it another listen, though.
Assassiyoun - 03.10.2010 at 06:43  
One of the greatest post-rock album ever made. I agree that sometimes the guitar sounds even more harsher than raw black metal. Some will say that the album is too repetitive but in my opinion it's because of a certain repetition that the riffs get into me unlike others metal band which play "too much" so you don't have the time to appreciate any part of the song. Intense and soothing at the same time. This album is a polished jewel.
Kuroboshi - 07.01.2012 at 16:07  
Damnit this is a nice album. It's just that, with my current mood and situation in life, this disc just pulls me under water and...

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