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01 Ashes In The Snow 12:16


@ The Manning Bar, Sydney, 5 December 2009

Crescendo of Hymn ascends from the depths... as Japan's instrumental epic MONO draw forth universal rapture with recent album Hymn to the Immortal Wind. After their mesmerizing monument of a debut visit in 2007, they return to Australia on the back of Hymn. Screw Music For The People, this is music for the gods. Japan's Mono have been tugging the heartstrings of the faithful for almost 10 years with their, y'know, grand post-rock symphonies, and their fifth album is as ambitious as ever, teeming as it is with crashing guitars and cinematic strings. Pure As Snow (Trails Of The Winter Storm) soars above a maelstrom of melody and noise, the 13-minute The Battle To Heaven conjures angels and demons clashing with flaming swords and Everlasting Light burns and builds and dies with staggering grace. Pretentious, yes, but defiantly so. Hymn feels like the imaginary soundtrack to the film inside your head and is an outstanding work of epic beauty. NME 8/10