Mono
Hymn To The Immortal Wind


5.0
classic

Review

by FourSquare20 USER (11 Reviews)
December 15th, 2010 | 109 replies | 6,174 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mono achieve what countless other post-rock bands can only strive for.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Mono doesn't really require an introduction. The Japanese post-rockers who comprise this band have made a name for themselves by playing long, epic compositions that just seem to evoke a more emotional response than the compositions of their peers. As they have aged and matured, Mono have released increasingly enjoyable albums. After their long player You Are There was released in 2006, some fans pondered as to where Mono would go after such an ambitious album. With Hymn To The Immortal Wind, Mono has decided with conviction to go bigger. Way bigger. While bigger isn't always better, Hymn To The Immortal Wind proves that in certain cases it can be.

Opener "Ashes In The Snow" begins minimally enough, with a glockenspiel playing a rather simple melody. After some plaintive guitar enters the aural landscape, the orchestra makes its first appearance. While post-rock bands often employ a lone violinist, or even a violinist and cellist, Mono went for broke and hired an entire ***ing orchestra. This lends the music a massive, cinematic presence that really engulfs you. After going through several build ups and wind downs, guitarist Taka plays an ascending tremolo riff that reaches for the heavens. Once the orchestra chimes in, you know exactly what's coming: the good old crescendo. After a solid 8 minutes of impressive restraint, Mono completely lets loose for the last 4 minutes of "Ashes In The Snow", bringing out crashing percussion, beautiful tremolo guitar, and epic-but-not-cheesy orchestration. In short, it's an utter masterpiece where Mono really shows what its got. After "Ashes In Snow" is "Burial At Sea", another showcase in post-rock mastery. This track sort of pales in comparison to the others present. I'm not trying to say it's a bad song, it just doesn't quite live up to the standards of the other songs on Hymn To The Immortal Wind. After an orchestral workout in the form of "Silent Flight, Sleeping Dawn", Mono delves into another epic titled "Pure As Snow (Trails Of The Winter Storm)". This recurring theme of snow is represented well by both the delicacy and reckless abandon that Mono revels in. "Pure As Snow" begins with a lone melancholy guitar that is soon joined by the orchestra and the rest of the band. This track follows the typical structure that dictates most post-rock songs: After building up tension, release it in a crescendo, then do it again. Yes, it has been done before, but not quite like this. The palpable emotion felt on tracks like "Pure As Snow", the aforementioned "Ashes In The Snow", or the elegantly grand closer "Everlasting Light" isn't something that every post-rock band can get across.

That's the thing that really sets Mono apart from their contemporaries. The gut-wrenching emotion and cinematic atmosphere they achieve nears grandiosity, but feels far too real to be pretentious or stuck up. The urgency felt in "The Battle To Heaven"? That's genuine. The mournful wanderings of "Pure As Snow"? Also real. The divine sense of triumph at the conclusion of "Ashes In The Snow"? As real as it gets. To listen to this album is to engage emotionally with Mono, through all of their glorious highs and lows. Hymn To The Immortal Wind is truly an experience, one that any post-rock fan should enjoy.



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user ratings (827)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
jybt (4.5)
The grandiose album title "Hymn to the Immortal Wind" is successfully translated into a soul-stirrin...

Derek Marchewka (3)
Hymn To The Immortal Wind demonstrates both the good and bad aspects of Post Rock....

Adam Knott EMERITUS (4.5)
Even the silence between songs is flawless....

Adam Downer STAFF (4.5)
On Hymn To The Immortal Wind, Mono multiply the successes of You Are There by 3 and come away with t...


Comments:Add a Comment 
SeaAnemone
December 15th 2010



19955 Comments


Ugh this would get posted at exactly the same time I comment on Do Make Say Think haha.

Digging: Natural Snow Buildings - The Night Country

Xenophanes
Emeritus
December 15th 2010



10592 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Irrevocably in love with this album, regardless of what people think of the band.

That's the thing that really sets Mono apart from their colleagues


Not sure if colleagues is the proper word for this, maybe peers or contemporaries? Either way, it was a nice read. Pos.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
December 15th 2010



10592 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Seanenemy is cruisin' for a brusin' with that rating...

porch
December 15th 2010



8453 Comments


dull, formulaic music for people that cry at the end of cheesy tv movies



SeaAnemone
December 15th 2010



19955 Comments


You Are There was good, I thought... but this is just unbearable at points, 2.5 is generous.

Despite a few points like "Yeah, you've heard it done before, but probably not like Mono does it." that sound a tad silly, I liked your review though

FourSquare20
December 15th 2010



320 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Well, to each their own. I absolutely love this album.

AnotherBrick
December 15th 2010



9770 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

you know deep down you want to 5 this porchy

DiceMan
December 15th 2010



7068 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dude, Lifetime is MY CHANNEL!

Bitchfork
December 15th 2010



7584 Comments


this is such shit

Gyromania
December 15th 2010



15461 Comments


Your rating of this album reminds me of why I've always thought of you as a troll. I don't care if you don't like this and dismiss it as boring, but to place it among some of the shittiest albums of all time? At worst this album is inoffensive.

Bitchfork
December 15th 2010



7584 Comments


This is really more of a 1.5 but I never bothered changing it because people's responses to it are pretty funny but whatever if you must nag.

porch
December 15th 2010



8453 Comments


i don't care if you don't like this


evidently you do

Bitchfork
December 15th 2010



7584 Comments


hi porchy

porch
December 15th 2010



8453 Comments


whats up bitch

crazyblinddude
December 15th 2010



3389 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is pretty sick. One of my favorite post-rock albums of last year. Just as good You Are There imo.

Gyromania
December 15th 2010



15461 Comments


Clearly porch doesn't know how to quote an entire sentence. There's a difference between disliking something and hating it.

Gyromania
December 15th 2010



15461 Comments


This album is pretty sick. One of my favorite post-rock albums of last year. Just as good You Are There imo.

I thought that at first too, but now I'm starting to think You Are There might just be better.

Ire
December 15th 2010



41753 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

sofaking boring

FourSquare20
December 15th 2010



320 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, i don't understand how you can actually hate this album. That is unless you just hate post-rock as a genre.

Bitchfork
December 15th 2010



7584 Comments


Derivative boring, cheesy shit that I've knocked off a hundred times and you're nagging me about it still is pretty retarded and calling me a troll for placing some of your favorite albums of all time (even though post-rock is often called the most useless, derivative, dried-up musical genre out there by people other than me) is equally so. So yeah porch had reason to say what he did.

nothing much porchy just upping the lo-fi as fuck punx



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