When Mono began in 1999, they set out with a simple mission: From bliss to bludgeon, no matter how long or winding the path may be. Their debut album, Under The Pipal Tree, outlined that mission in twisted, psychedelic fury. Subsequent albums would see the band honing their craft, mastering their mission, and ultimately abandoning that path in favor of more grandiose pursuits. Flanked by increasingly larger orchestras, Mono performed live at some of the most prestigious venues in New York City, London, Tokyo, and Australia.
Mono had become an orchestral rock band, a spectacle of extreme melancholy and melodrama.
On 2012’s For My Parents, the band had finally reached the logical conclusion of that era; it was time to remember where they started, and to rethink where they were heading. Less strings? No strings? Louder? Quieter? Lighter? Darker? Yes.
The Last Dawn and Rays of Darkness are a pair of new albums by Mono. Recorded simultaneously yet conceptually and creatively disparate, the two act as both opposing and complementary sides to a story. No strangers to narratives, the twin albums explore familiar themes for the band: Hope and hopelessness, love and loss, immense joy and unspeakable pain. Those elemental parts of life and the complicated relationships they create have never been more resonant through Mono’s music than they are here.
Rays of Darkness is the first MONO album in 15 years to feature no orchestral instruments whatsoever. That fact alone is remarkable given the band’s reputation for sweeping, dramatic instrumentals that recall Oscar-worthy film scores. Instead, Rays of Darkness more closely resembles a jet engine taking off inside a small, crowded auditorium. It is MONO’s blackest album ever, a collection of scorched riffs, doom rhythms, and an unexpected contribution from post-hardcore pioneer Tetsu Fukagawa of Envy. The album ends with the smoldering wreckage of distorted guitars and ominous drones playing out a eulogy to the days when MONO shot blinding rays of light through seemingly endless darkness.
Takaakira “Taka” Goto: guitar
Yasunori Takada: drums
Alison Chesley aka Helen Money is a cellist who has become known for her adventurous sound, bold compositions, and compelling stage performance. Called “A classical-cellist-turned-avant-metal virtuoso” by the Boston Phoenix, Chesley channels her sensibilities and experience as a rock musician through a classical instrument, altering both genres without apology. She has played on over 150 albums with artists such as Bob Mould, Mono, Anthrax, Broken Social Scene, Russian Circles, and Archer Prewitt among others.
Arena Vienna / big hall / adv 16 € / doors 19 € / 20.00h