Mono, despite possessing one of the greatest “Duh, Why didn’t I think of that?” names of all time, create music that’s perfect for the T.R. label, but they do it so exquisitely that it probably deserves a better title than the pretentious “post-rock” moniker.
Let’s call it what it really is: progressive instrumental rock music. And while they take their own sweet time gearing up to the glacial collapse that seems to come with every ending, we need to acknowledge that they’ve put a lot of blood, sweat, and violins into that epic earthquake.
Hymn To The Immortal Wind is exactly that, because it provides guitarists Takaakira Goto and Yoda Suematsu work together as if they’re sharing one guitar cord, creating beautiful countermelodies before they smash on another pedal lying on the floor like they’re hitting a detonation box.
And then there’s those aforementioned strings which pop up throughout Hymn, taking the album beyond the soundtrack motif that Explosions In The Sky now seem to have a monopoly on. Instead, there’s a clear intent that Mono have created this record out of the love of their craft.
The chamber orchestra is something else, but it’s Steve Albini’s documentation of these instruments that makes it all work. This might be the most beautiful record he has ever recorded, so bully to the band itself for allowing that distinction to fall upon his studio.