Mono - The Last Dawn & Rays Of Darkness (CD Reviews)

The Last Dawn
01.Land Between Tides Glory
04.Elysian Castles
05.Where We Begin
06.The Last Dawn

Rays Of Darkness
01.Recoil Ignite
03.The Hnads That Holds The Truth
04.The Last Rays

Takaakira "Taka" Goto (Guitar)
Tamaki (Bass/Piano)
Yoda (Guitar)
Yasunori Takada (Drums)

Guest Vocals
Tetsu Fukagawa

When tokyo band MONO began in 1999, they set out with a simple mission: From bliss to bludgeon, no matter how long or winding the path may be. Their debut album, Under The Pipal Tree, outlined that mission in twisted, psychedelic fury. Subsequent albums would see the band honing their craft, mastering their mission, and ultimately abandoning that path in favor of more grandiose pursuits. Flanked by increasingly larger orchestras, MONO performed live at some of the most prestigious venues in New York City, London, Tokyo, and Australia. MONO had become an orchestral rock band, a spectacle of extreme melancholy and melodrama. On 2012's For My Parents, the band had finally reached the logical conclusion of that era; it was time to remember where they started, and to rethink where they were heading. Less strings? No strings? Louder? Quieter? Lighter? Darker? Yes.

They have released two albums at the same time, the reason being that it is meant to be a creatively disparate concept acting as two sides of a story that is both opposing and complemantary - at the same time!

On Rays Of Darkness Tetsu Fukagawa of Envy has the honour of being the first person to contribute vocals to a Mono recording.

So lets start with part one:
To be honest not a lot to say about this, just six really nice laid back instrumentals with occasional bursts of heavy electric guitar.

As for part two, well 'Recoil Ignite' certainly has more life in it, heavy guitar and jazzy drumming for the second half of the 13 minutes and some inspired neo prog timing changes.

'The Hands That Holds The Truth' is definately a song of two halves, first half very quiet almost too quiet but then the second half, complete with death metal vocals' is an absolute stunner!

Finally 'The Last Rays' with its sludge/doom guitar noise for 6 minutes, is one for those with a lve of the avante garde noise scene.

So for me anyway the first album is okay but does little to stand out, however the second album with all its different elements and sounds is a must have!

Rating 6/10 and 9/10
For fans of: Brainticket, Isis, Sunn 0))), Phillip Glass, Sci'enta Dystene


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