Requiem for Hell
Known for their epic instrumental music, Japanese post-rock band Mono, who are playing in Hong Kong in January, sought inspiration in a much-heralded source for their ninth album. Based on Dante’s Divine Comedy, Requiem for Hell was never going to be a light and frivolous listen, particularly with friend and producer Steve Albini at the helm again. As purveyors of dense orchestral darkness, it’s a wonder the veteran Tokyo quartet hadn’t turned to Dante’s hell, purgatory and paradise before. Where bands such as Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky have always tried to push the boundaries of post-rock, Mono’s downfall (to some) has always been that you know what you’re getting before the needle drops, and Requiem for Hell is no exception. Again using the soft/loud/light/dark formula, Mono find beauty in shards of melody, as guitars, pianos and strings swell to bury the listener under an emotional deluge. For fans of the post-rock titans, album No 9 is a devilish delight.