MONO may reject the ‘post-rock’ tag, but they’ve made some of the genre’s finest albums and there are plenty of churning guitar crescendos on the Japanese band’s spine-tingling 11th album. Following 2019’s Nowhere Now Here, Pilgrimage Of The Soul was made during last summer’s lockdown, with über-producer Steve Albini returning to the desk.
MONO’s textural style is here in abundance. The heavy atmospherics of opener Riptide see the My Bloody Valentine-isms of guitarists Takaakira Goto and Hideki Suematsu’s set to almost groovy rhythms from bassist Tamaki Kunishi and new drummer Dahm Majuri Cipolla. The droning intro of Innocence gives way to
a tsunami of six-strings, while The Auguries’ lower-key atmospherics build into a Sigur Rós-alike climax.
Cipolla’s overactive snare almost spoils To See A World, but his quasi-disco beat takes Imperfect Things into new territory, and the album deepens during its apparent interstices. Keyboard/string pieces And Eternity In An Hour and Heaven In A Wild Flower offer some respite, while the strongest piece, Hold Infinity In The Palm Of Your Hand, melds Mono’s two sides magnificently.