Post-rock’s genre descriptors have always been ambiguous, allowing its practitioners to vacillate between ambient instrumentals and droning, metal-tinged riffs. During its 15 years together Japan’s Mono has explored both sides of the genre at length, at times having orchestral backing and, at others, embracing its own version of gut-level rocking. On October 28 Temporary Residence will release two albums from the band—The Last Dawn and Rays Of Darkness—which see Mono indulging in both sides of itself.
The two albums are meant to be experienced as companion pieces to one another, and The Last Dawn indulges Mono’s airier side, taking a piano ballad and injecting swells of guitar delay until it becomes a shoegaze-like wall of sound on “Kanata.” Rays Of Darkness serves as a counterpoint to these delicate offering, with Mono inviting Envy’s vocalist Tetsu Fukagawa into the fold to leave a searing mark on “The Hand That Holds The Truth.” The A.V. Club is streaming both of the albums ahead of their release, allowing for Mono’s one-two punch to be taken in as one cohesive piece.