Review Summary: Mono aren't worth talking about anymore, but here are 356 words anyway.
Mono haven't improved. Mono haven't gotten worse. Mono haven't changed in over ten years but that doesn't stop fans from arguing where each new album falls in respect to the others. The band has existed in some bubble universe that only allows them to step side to side without altering any aspect of their sound or approach to composition. Is that fine? Is that good enough?
To snarky answer is "no." Frankly, Mono have never been more than a "pretty" band that makes "nice" music. They're only as good as your first listen, falling further and further away the more you chase after the. Listening to Mono is like losing your virginity: at first it's this amazing feeling and one you want to experience forever until you grow up and think back to how awkward and unmemorable it was.
That's the feeling Requiem for Hell
brings to mind over and over again. "What did I ever see in this band?" is something this reviewer echoed in his mind throughout the album's trudging run time. Beneath the repetitive tremolos and cymbal crashes, there isn't a sense of wonder to be found. With all post-rock, this feeling of discovery eventually subsides to an simple appreciation of the inherent beauty found in the interwoven strings and guitars. With Mono, the beauty is stretched so thinly that it's become transparent.
Requiem for Hell
is difficult to discuss because of this transparency. It's Mono. It's post-rock. You know what you're getting. With most bands that is acceptable when more of the same is, well, acceptable. Requiem for Hell
is anything but acceptable. It's lazy, trite, mundane, dull
, and every other superficial adjective that's been thrown at the genre. You'll never feel what you felt the first time you heard "Ashes in the Snow" because there was nothing there to feel to begin with. The history of Mono has been one of smoke and mirrors. If Requiem for Hell
is your first exposure to the band then it's best to just pack it away, cut your losses, and enjoy whatever beauty you can derive from the closing moments of "The Last Scene."