13 Sep 2021 - Sebastian
Post-Rock | Pelagic Records | Release date: 17 Sep 2021
For this second half of 2021 it almost feels like Pelagic Records wants to brag with their incredible artist roster. They deserve the bragging rights though and the new MONO record once again proves that. Pilgrimage Of The Soul is already the second MONO release we get this year, the first one being their beautiful live album. Let’s start the pilgrimage into the album and hopefully come out cleansed on the other side.
The album starts with ”Riptide” and its quiet intro, which soon transitions into loud guitars and heavy drums. This song is quite reminiscent of ”After You Comes The Flood” from their previous album. It might be their noisiest song on the bunch but, together with ”Imperfect Things”, it serves as a good opening couplet to a possibly great album, as both show the strengths of the band: the wild swings between heavy noise and the calm soundscapes of Post-Rock.
With ”Heaven in a Wild Flower” we get a beautiful and relaxing break from all the tension the first to songs built up. It’s a song that let’s you imagine a vast open field, full of flowers in full blossom. The wind blowing calmly across them and the sun shining down. The strings and brass sections in this song also are another highlight in MONO’s creative expression. Now it’s time ”To See a World”. With its playtime of just over four minutes, this one is by far the shortest musical piece on the album, but it condenses the essence of MONO into it all the same. ”To See a World” serves as a kind of transition into the second half of the album, which then starts with ”Innocence”. This song really embraces the listener with a lot of soothing atmospherics and is also a display of the impeccable production of the whole record. Every instrument has its own place in the mix, with the drums in the center and travelling from side to side. After half its running time, the song then shifts into peak Post-Rock. It leaves the listener hungry for more and they will not be disappointed.
Now there are only three songs left, fortunately they clock in at around 26 minutes in length combined. ”The Auguries” and ”Hold Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand” are once again an indication of the Post-Rock prowess MONO possess and refined in the 22 years of their existence as a band.
The album closes with ”And Eternity in an Hour”, a beautifully arranged piano piece supported by one of the most incredible string arrangements in recent history. This is the closing piece of one of the best Post-Rock albums this year and it leaves you with a combination of sadness and happiness at the same time.
Pilgrimage Of The Soul is nothing but an exceptional piece of art. MONO truly are on top of their game and are still able to evolve their sound. It would only be fair to their music to be performed in concert halls, supported by an orchestra. Unfortunately this is not really feasible all the time, but for that we also got their live album from earlier this year.