One of the first things apparent on MONO’s latest track are the drums. Courtesy of new drummer Dahm Majuri Cipolla, the pounding sounds are big, beefy and heavy. Cipolla replaces original drummer Yasunori Takada, who abruptly left the band after an 18 year tenure.
After the seeingly career-defining magnum opus, Requiem For Hell, the first taste of the new MONO sounds familiar, but also has a renewed sense of purpose. The tremolo picked guitars, octave chords and lush reverbs and delays are there, as always, but the chugging rhythm and heaviness are elements which were hinted at in the past, but perhaps never fully expressed. And the track is short, at least for MONO standards.
After 20 years, the quartet have perfected its patented sound of long-form, emotional, epic instrumental music. While unfortunate, the swapping of members is a nice change of pace, and it’s interesting to see how it will transform the band’s musical pallette going forward.