Mono / World's End Girlfriend
Palmless Prayer / Mass Murder Refrain


4.5
superb

Review

by Adam Thomas STAFF
October 16th, 2008 | 85 replies | 17,078 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Soundtrack To A Thousand Lonely Suicides.

Whenever I get a new Post-Rock album I have an OCD moment and partake of the following "ritual" when I listen to it for the first time. I put on my headphones, sit on the comfy chair in the living room and as soon as I press play I sink deep into the chair and close my eyes. The music then begins to paint its story upon the inside of my eyelids as I sit transfixed. Usually the scenes that grace my brain are those of an uplifting and happy nature and follow the ebb and flow of the music, unless it happens to be a Godspeed You! Black Emperor album which in that case they usually involve apocalypse on a grand scale, but in the case of Palmless Prayer / Mass Murder Refrain the images that appeared were representative of me at my most vulnerable. It was bleak, depressing, and lonely. After finishing the album I immediately thought back to my introduction to the genre with the song Dead Flag Blues. If F#A# (Infinity) is the soundtrack to the end-times, then Palmless Prayer / Mass Murder Refrain is the soundtrack to its "thousand lonely suicides".

The first thing that becomes apparent when listening to Palmless Prayer / Mass Murder Refrain is that the guitar heavy dynamics normally associated with Mono have taken a backseat to the mournful strings provided by Katsuhiko Maeda (World's End Girlfriend). Maeda's minimalistic string arrangements are comprised mainly of slow, brooding cello overlapped by mournful violin that weaves in and out of the space given to it by the cello. Mono's contentment to be backing musicians helps in the overall atmosphere of the piece. The gentle guitar work in the first track helps to create the perfect backing for the strings to shine and the desolate reverb soaked dissonance provided by the trademark Mono feedback elevates the second track from a somber dirge to a hauntingly beautiful work. That's not to say that Mono never hops into the driver's seat from time to time. The third track of Palmless Prayer / Mass Murder Refrain is driven entirely by Mono with it building into a slightly distorted, reverb heavy crescendo accented by a touch of violin that accentuates its violent beauty. The entire album serves as a preview for the magnificent fifth track. Beginning with only a distant piano and a bleak and melancholic strings section, it would seem as though the final track is about to carry the same feeling of despair as the tracks preceding it, but it soon begins to brim with hope. It begins with the uplifting guitars struggling to break through the grim strings but when they finally burst through, the atmosphere is nothing short of inspiring.

Even though Palmless Prayer / Mass Murder Refrain is one of the most depressing pieces of music I have ever come across, it is also one of the most uplifting. Its descent into darkness is only eclipsed by its ascent into light and its this dichotomy that raises Palmless Prayer / Mass Murder Refrain from just another Post-Rock album to one of the genre's shining achievements.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
marksellsuswallets
October 16th 2008



4848 Comments


This sounds like great reading/thinking music...and omgzorz we toatz have the same routine for new post rock albums ('cept I usually lay on the couch)

JAV
October 16th 2008



1921 Comments


Never quite got into Mono, maybe I'll give them another shot.

robin
Emeritus
October 16th 2008



4241 Comments


my friend sent me this ages ago but i didn't listen. i probably will now. nice stuff.

cbmartinez
October 16th 2008



2525 Comments


uh idk i would change that summary kind of a turn off

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2008



16081 Comments


nah bro the summary is so deep and introspective it makes my insides hurt.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2008



15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this review is all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
October 16th 2008



862 Comments


Album is so very very awesome. Think it deserves a little bit longer of a review, possibly elaborate more on the 'ascent into light' as, for me, that's what makes it. But great writing nonetheless. Summary is spot on.

BallsToTheWall
October 16th 2008



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Where can I find this? Nice review.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2008



17920 Comments


ah thx for the reminder to get this

HighandDriving
October 16th 2008



3261 Comments


Good review a little pretentious but hey it's a post rock review.

I need to grab this, Mono fuc king rules.

is the soundtrack to its "thousand lonely suicides".


I'd switch its with a.

Digging: Nightmares - Suspiria

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2008



17920 Comments


nah because 'thousand lonely suicides' is the object

HighandDriving
October 16th 2008



3261 Comments


I don't know, it just doesn't read well.

I guess I'm wrong but it'd just read nicer if switched, like Emanuel's "Soundtrack to a Headrush".


mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2008



17920 Comments


'thousand lonely suicides' is the end-time's possessive. i think it reads fine idk.

iamrockzorz
October 16th 2008



1029 Comments


idkidk imho thousand lonely suicides snds emos. scramz =/= post-rockz?

Crimson
October 16th 2008



1935 Comments


I need this so badly.

Bsmith7
October 16th 2008



252 Comments


Sweet review. I need this album.

Doppelganger
October 16th 2008



3124 Comments


I really really need to hear this.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2008



17197 Comments


for everyone that wants to check this out, its up on SirensSound.This Message Edited On 10.16.08

Wanker
October 16th 2008



139 Comments


It's on Sordo as well. I haven't heard this in a year or so. I remember that I loved it, especially track 3, but I need to give it another listen before I can rate it.

Doppelganger
October 16th 2008



3124 Comments


Got it. My version has "Trailer 1," "Trailer 2," etc. Will listen to it tonight on my walk.



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