The Tokyo, Japan-based instrumental rock band MONO was founded in 1999. Their unique approach of blending orchestral arrangements and shoegaze guitar noise has been held in extremely high regard – NME classified it as “music for the Gods”. Relentless and restless, MONO's annual world tour schedule consists of around 150 shows. The band has now visited over 50 countries and proudly holds the stake of being one of Japan's most internationally successful bands.
Among their fans, they are revered as one of the best live bands in Rock. After releasing 9 successful albums including a live album with New York orchestra, the band received the highly regarded award “The Marshall Hawkins Awards: Best Musical Score – Featurette” from the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema for their collaborative short film Where We Begin in 2015.
2016's Requiem For Hell finds MONO returning to longtime friend and collaborator, Steve Albini. After MONO and Albini's band, Shellac, toured Japan together last year, they realized how much they missed the (often wordless) creative dialogue they shared during the making of many of their most memorable albums – beginning with Walking Cloud and Deep Red Sky... (2004) and culminating with Hymn To Immortal Wind (2009).
The rebirth of the Albini collaboration for Requiem For Hell also coincided with the birth of a close friend's first child, whose actual in utero heartbeat serves as the foundation for the aptly named "Ely's Heartbeat." For MONO, it all felt so right, so inevitable. Requiem For Hell is undeniably heavier and scarier than most of MONO's output to this point – hear the dizzying 18-minute title track for example – but it also carries some of their most sublime moments. This dichotomy is how one band’s obsession with conflict has manifested itself into one of underground music's simultaneously quietest and loudest catalogs.