While supplies last, we are offering BOTH new MONO albums within one amazing package. Each album is in its own inner sleeve, housed in a custom die-cut matte varnished CD gatefold jacket featuring the full cover artwork by world-renowned artist, Pat Perry. The inner panels of the gatefold have die-cut holes in the shape of some of the figures from the cover. Click on the thumbnail image to see larger mockups.
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.
The Last Dawn is the first of these two companion albums, and is the “lighter” of the two, thematically and melodically. It contains undoubtedly some of MONO‘s strongest songs ever, drawing on an array of influences from minimalist film score to vintage shoegaze. It is MONO at their absolute purest, executing an uncanny, unspoken dialogue with each other without the dozens of stringed instruments that have been so prominent throughout their catalog in recent years. The songs are also noticeably more efficient – there hasn’t been a MONO full-length record that fit on a single slab of vinyl since 2003’s One Step More And You Die – and the album benefits immeasurably from this streamlined approach.
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.
This is the limited 2xCD (gatefold) version, which combines both albums within one packaging. The outer panels of the gatefold merge the 2 separate album covers by artist Pat Perry into one continuous piece of art. The inner panels of the gatefold have die-cut holes in the shape of some of the figures from the cover. Through those cut-outs, the inner sleeves, in which the CDs are placed, can be seen. Click on the thumbnail image to see larger mockups