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Mono Hymn to the Immortal Wind album cover
3.79 | 150 ratings | 19 reviews | 36% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ashes in the Snow (11:46)
2. Burial at Sea (10:39)
3. Silent Flight, Sleeping Dawn (6:00)
4. Pure as Snow (Trails of the Winter Storm) (11:26)
5. Follow the Map (3:56)
6. The Battle to Heaven (12:51)
7. Everlasting Light (10:23)

Total Time 67:01

Line-up / Musicians

- Takaakira Goto / guitar, string arranger
- Hideki Suematsu / guitar, Hammond B3
- Tamaki Kunishi / bass, piano, harpsichord, glockenspiel
- Yasunori Takada / drums, timpani, cymbals, glockenspiel

- Jennifer Clippert / flute
- Mary Stoper / flute
- Dave Max Crawford / string conductor
- Paul Von Mertens / string conductor
- Strings ensemble / violins, violas, cellos & contrabass

Releases information

Artwork: Esteban Rey

2LP Temporary Residence Limited ‎- TRR 148 (2009, US)

CD Human Highway ‎- HECY-1028 (2009, Japan)
CD Temporary Residence Limited ‎- TRR 148 (2009, US)
CD Conspiracy Records ‎- CORE077 (2009, Europe)

Thanks to prog-jester for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MONO Hymn to the Immortal Wind ratings distribution

(150 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(36%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

MONO Hymn to the Immortal Wind reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars There's been a real buzz about this album and especially about how beautiful it is. There is about a 26 person Chamber orchestra that MONO has collaborated with on this record. There's 9 cellos, 9 violins, 5 violas and 2 flutes if I counted right. Well you get the picture, so yes strings dominate the sound much of the time. MONO collaborated with WORLD'S END GIRLFRIEND on the "Palmless Prayer-Mass Murder" album which was dominated with violins, so that may have inspired them to take it one step further and hire a whole orchestra for this album. I applaud them as well for the very detailed story that begins with "Ashes In The Snow" and continues with each song title. It really makes the instrumental music even more meaningful and certainly those who don't have the lyrics are missing out on an important part of "Hymn To The Immortal Wind". In fact the lyrics have a big impact on my feelings towards this album.

"Ashes in The Snow" opens quietly and softly, it's almost as if you can hear the winter wind blowing.The sound becomes fuller as the Post-Rock styled guitars come in. It's even fuller a minute later. Drums 4 minutes in then it settles back. It stays this way as she sleeps. Drums 7 1/2 minutes in as it builds to a full and dramatic sound. Nice. "Burial At Sea" is mellow to start out. Post-Rock styled guitars 2 minutes in are joined by drums. It settles 3 1/2 minutes in to a melancholic mood. It starts to build then suddenly it settles beautifully 5 1/2 minutes in. Strings a minute later. It's building again and kicks in before 8 1/2 minutes."Two frail bodies teetered along the highest cliff by the sea that night.Three steps from the edge, she wondered what waited on the other side of the black waters.Two steps away, he studied her face, vowing to remember. On their last step, their eyes locked, a silent reminder of their promise. Leaving behind any fears, hand in hand they jumped, a leap of faith into the cold unwelcomed waves below".

Sadness follows with strings and slowly played piano on "Silent Fight, Sleeping Dawn". "For the first time they felt bigger than the sea, bigger than the earth. Lifted and safely tucked under the gentle wing of the wind, they dove through the clouds with their eyes closed and mouths open in joy... "Carry us until we awake", they prayed". "Pure As Snow (Trails Of The Winter Storm)" opens with gentle guitar and cymbals. It's building as strings and drums join in. Gulp. Just gorgeous. It settles 4 1/2 minutes in and then kicks in after 6 1/2 minutes. Great sound 8 1/2 minutes in. Emotion. "Follow The Map" opens with strings and piano with the strings eventually becoming very prominant. Beautiful. "The Battle To Heaven" opens with some atmosphere as guitar comes in gently. It's starting to build as drums join in as well. Here we go after 4 minutes ! It settles before 6 minutes before building once again. Great song ! "Everlasting Light" opens with strings as piano joins in. Guitar follows as the sound builds until it bursts after 6 minutes and stays full to the end. "Hand in hand, they walk across their bridge into a tunnel of pure light without an end in sight".

Music can be so powerful, so emotional, and it has the ability to take us out of our everyday lives to a special place. MONO have accomplished this with "Hymn To The Immortal Wind".

Review by Prog-jester
5 stars One of the most anticipated albums of the year.

Three years ago MONO released what seemed to be their crowning achievement - "You Are There". It was moody, it was epic, it was filled with those things every Post-Rock fan adores, and it was impossible to imagine that MONO would ever create something at least related. But the first new track for the upcoming album, the opening "Ashes in the Snow" (available for free download via band's website), showed MONO'S immense potential. With the opener's upload quartet reached a very special goal: now, when everyone who have downloaded and loved this song listens to the whole album, he/she hears familiar sounds of...yep, the "Ashes" thing! It's impossible not to love the album that starts with something you've already liked, eh?

While "You Are There" was dark, moody and somewhat monotonous, "Hymn..." is filled with different shades of mood. The first time in MONO's history this one is a CONCEPT album, the story of two lovers, tragic and epic, perfectly fitting for band's music. Two closing tracks may be not only the best Post-Rock epics from this year, but the best ones for the last 5-10 years in the genre! It seems I should end my review with obvious "highly recommended!" phrase, but whatever, you've already guessed) Just dare to miss it!!!

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Beauty, pure beauty. I told this more times than it would be necessary, but every time, I meant it (total of about 3x). But after all, your vocabulary can't be infinite and when you combine post-rock style and melancholic melodies with gentle strings and other classical instruments, this simply is result.

I heard few Post-Rock albums and can say for sure one thing. It's original, not using simple pattern of graduating, climax noise, degrading and noise, or calm ending. There are of course used parts of these elements, but they're used wisely.

5(+), it's simple. Some may find ecstasy in destruction of mighty, some in creation of solid, but this is crystal ice castle building. One stronger blow of wind and it fell down, yet I feel quite defensed here.

I mean, how couldn't I resist this seduction of not only ice cold perfection, but ice cold perfection with heart full of passion.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Drowsy and stirring at the same time, Mono's 2009 offering is a jewel of melancholic post-rock. The downside is that there is little in terms of variation from track to track. Each piece has a quiet beginning and generally two louder passages, one of which is always situated at the end. However, each piece is mature and imaginative in its own right; instead of a band rattling off the same chord progressions as loudly as possible, we get honest-to-God compositions that demonstrate genuine talent, even if the album as a whole drags.

"Ashes in the Snow" Delicate and hauntingly beautiful, the piece gradually builds until a heart-wrenching electric guitar note breaks forth, forcing the music to climb even more. Stellar melodies and tasteful repetition make for a powerful and emotional work of art.

"Burial at Sea" A sweet guitar melody begins the second piece, which almost rivals the first in terms of beauty and composition. The guitars are wonderful and the arrangement is magnificent. It all culminates in a crashing conclusion.

"Silent Flight, Sleeping Dawn" Yet again, Mono treats listeners to movingly gorgeous music that takes them through several moods, this time in a relatively short time frame, and using strings and piano.

"Pure as Snow (Trails of the Winter Storm)" More straightforward than the other tracks, especially in terms of drumming, this piece is a stunning yet despondent one. The clean guitars once again enrich the music until the last several moments, when, as usual, everything erupts in a thunderous climax, leaving a grating denouement.

"Follow the Map" A simple piano starts this one. What serves as the shortest track by a long shot is very quiet music and lead guitar in the vein of David Gilmour.

"The Battle to Heaven" In keeping with the formulaic yet dynamic approach, this piece offers more striking moments thanks to gorgeous and skillful guitar work. As with elsewhere, the drumming has an organic sound that appeals to me.

"Everlasting Light" More of the same this is- by this point it is just a matter of allowing the music to wash over since this sounds almost exactly like everything that came before, and yet it is still an astounding tapestry of textures.

Review by Dim
2 stars Post rock is a genre of loose boundries. Boundries that can be pushed, passed, broken, jumped over and dug under; Mono does none of these.

Some archtypical traits of the genre are tremolo picking, string arrangements, long ambient songs with a climax towards the end.... and with that description of post rock I just summed up Mono's Hymn to the immortal wind. The guitars are almost constantly tremolo picking, only two of the seven songs are under ten minutes long, and there are moody and (in my opinion) overdone string sections throughout the entire album. Granted this group is one of the few post rock greats that I've always had trouble getting into, but neither this album or the previous have ever clicked with me, but where the rest of the post rock society sees "meloncholic beauty", I see the same the same overdone formula thats literally killing this type of music.

It may be a personal problem, and I may just have a heart of stone that cant find the inner beauty of this album, but that doesnt help the fact that I find it quite mediocre. I love Mogwai, Explosions, and Godspeed, but Mono is the one in the tier that seems to disappoint for me.

Review by EatThatPhonebook
4 stars 7/10

"Hymn To The Immortal wind" is a huge album that will crush your soul with it's beauty.

Mono is a Post-Rock band from Japan that has received a lot of attention with the previous efforts such as "You Are There", and is now much more popular with "Hymn To The Immortal Wind", an album that created quite the buzz, and for a really good reason. Whoever is familiar with Mono knows that they are amazingly melancholic. Their music crushes your soul because of its stunningly pure beauty. Sadness and bleakness are the main themes for Mono and for "Hymn To The Immortal Wind";as a matter of fact, it's almost tear-jerking. But it's also very cinematic, and the songs are all incredibly well-arranged. This is possibly one of the most mature releases of Post-Rock in general, everything here is so serious and not a bit innocent.

Mono's Post-Rock is for me a sort of stereotype of the genre; tons of orchestral arrangements, tremolo guitars, rare percussion, and instrumental. Definitely far from bands like the guitar-driven Mogwai or the more sample-based GY!BE. But it's a much more straight-forward and easier to listen to style, not at all as experimental as the bands I mentioned above: Mono is more into the melody. The orchestra is truly beautiful here, and it's definitely the main reason why this album is very cinematic sounding; special mention to the cellos, that give a deep, chilling sound and the violins as well.

"Hymn To The Immortal Wind" is a huge album: it's constantly building, and it does so until the music is so potent it might make you cry. This makes Mono's album a towering, yet extremely fragile work, there are moments where you'll be touched, and some, I admit, when you might get a little bored, especially in the calmer parts in the middle of a few songs, where there's barely any music. Thus some of the quieter moments (of course there are plenty of beautiful ones as well) here are turning me off a little bit, but they are easily compensated.

These seven songs, wrapped in more than an hour of music, make a very solid album, one of the most solid of the year as a matter of fact. The very well constructed "Ashes In The Snow", with its amazing build-up, is the opener of the album, and immediately suggests what you're getting into, along with it's following "Burial At Sea", a much more meditative track. "Follow The Map" is the most beautiful song here, and surprisingly the shortest as well, "The Battle Of Heaven" the most well arranged and played, "Everlasting Light" a great closer for the album, that contains a beautiful piano hook echoing throughout the entire track, the last impression that this album will give you.

A great musical journey that is an absolute must for Post-Rock fans, but not only. I can assure you you're in for a treat with this one, and maybe a little more than that: it is one of the best Post-Rock albums of the last few years.

Review by TheGazzardian
4 stars In a way, there's not a lot to be said about this album. It is definitely an excellent album - great to have on when you want some more peaceful, quiet music. And it has some epic moments that really sound great. But it suffers from one major weakness, and that is a repetitive song structure.

Each song on this album is breathtakingly beautiful. There is no other word to describe it. The music here is beautiful instrumental work. But, while it manages to have various levels of intensity, it does not have as much variety as one might like. The typical song structure involves building up to a climax at the end of the song, which is somewhat louder and more intense than the song up to that point. There is a bit of variation, but not a lot.

But Mono do what they do very well, and have constructed music that is, as I have already said at least once, quite beautiful. So while you may not find yourself recalling too many moments from this album (other than perhaps the ending, which is the most epic bit of all), it absolutely succeeds at creating a nice peaceful feeling.

Overall, because this album does what it does so well, I'm going to give it four stars. But I definitely would not seek out more by this band, unless I had good reason it would sound different then this.

Review by poslednijat_colobar
3 stars Calmness

My first real post rock album shall be my last 2009 album, I'm writing review before the release of 2009 collaborators list. It's Hymn to the Immortal Wind by japanese band - Mono. Obviously post rock is very philosophical subgenre. The covers show this, the music shows this, the name of the albums and songs show this. I can feel the energy of this album. It's calm, it's innovative, it's charming. It consists of pleasant sounds, especally for relax. It really doesn't contain distinct flaws. Probably it's typical of the subgenre. But that doesn't make all post rock albums masterpieces, in my opinion. I think this music is for the moment you need it. It's not so memorable, but unfortunately it's very predictable, which means it's easy to be created. So I would highly recommend Hymn to the Immortal Wind only for specific people and/or specific mood. Because of the lack of distinct flaws I would rate this album 3,5 stars.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Their biography on PA calls them the Japanese Mogwai. Well that could be true, I do find this album has a more Explosion In The Sky feel to it and in fair play to Mono they do command their own distinctive style. Backed by an amply attired orchestra, the post math/post rock genre continues to deliver some vintage bands with great atmospheres.

The album comprises of seven wonderfully dreamy, emotional pieces all as mentioned backed with great orchestral sections throughout. The songs well depict the cover theme of two children holding hands floating through the sky with schools of hammerhead sharks swimming in tandem below. Ominous to say the least. There is hope within the album and the unity these two children potray. Individually the tracks are all great but how can you not sit up and take notice with song titles like " Ashes In The Snow", " Silent Flight, Sleeping Dawn" and " The Battle To Heaven"...whew I am tired just considering them :-). Beautiful music and in this reviewers opinion one of the high points of 2009 progressive music. Four stars.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Some may describe this album as "more of the same" from Japanese Post Rock/Math Rock maestros, Mono, and while it is similar or continuous with my favorite Mono album, 2006's "You Are There," the music is still fresh and unique enough--and the Mono approach to Post Rock/Math Rock so pleasurable--that I still can only give this album my highest recommendation. It's great--and very emotional--when given your undivided attention, but also very pleasant as beautiful background music.

Favorite selections: the melodic "Silent Flight, Sleeping Dawn" (6:00) (9/10) and the spacious and delicate "Pure as Snow (Trails of the Winter Storm)" (11:26) (9/10).

Four stars; a wonderful aural experience.

Review by Starhammer
3 stars Drowning in a sea of tremolo...

This conceptual love story marks the 10th anniversary of Japanese post-rock group Mono.

The Good: The opening track is more epic than a herd of elephants riding segways! Just listening to it makes me feel like a wounded war hero, returning home to the prospect of hot showers, soft beds, and perhaps even a medal of valor. Everlasting Light is equally good and 'the other snow one' come in a close third. The album's overall sound is almost as beautiful as its artwork, which also draws parallels to the sonic deluge that is characteristic throughout.

The Bad: As their name might suggest, the musical approach can be a bit one-dimensional at times, with drawn out crescendos becoming a little too formulaic. I didn't find the album's two shorter tracks to be that engaging and whilst I really, really wanted to enjoy The Battle to Heaven for the celestial imagery its title suggests, I think Queue to the Supermarket Checkout would have been more appropriate.

The Verdict: A dish best served in the pouring rain.

Review by Warthur
2 stars By this point, I've more or less given up on Mono growing musically. Their first few albums were great, but by 2008 it was long past the point where bands could just play middle-of-the-road lukewarm Mogwai/Godspeed-inspired post-rock and expect that to fly. If you're a reasonably experienced post-rock listener, then literally nothing on Hymn to the Immortal Wind will surprise you, except perhaps for how bland it is; if you aren't, I worry that it will leave you wondering what all the fuss is about. Please, don't judge the genre on this lukewarm and mediocre album; there's better stuff out there, including far better albums by Mono.
Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
4 stars A veteran rock combo MONO is known as one of the most important Japanese post rock project prides. This album "Hymn To The Immortal Wind" was released in 2009, namely in their 'matured' days, veiled in a dark but dreamy sleeve grandeur. Basically their powerful creativity for so-called progressive rock should be based upon authentic drone, shoegaze post rock but dramatic sound toxicity is worth drinking via musical material, let me say.

From the beginning "Ashes In The Snow" quiet, repetitive but deep heavy guitar fuzz phrases knock your heart really. Magnificent expectation for their vivid sound vision can be heard at first. Not anything special nor eccentric around you indeed, but why cannot you lean forward? Mysterious melodic confusions would be continued via "Burial At Sea" followed by "Silent Fright, Sleeping Dawn" drenched with downtempo sorrowful stream through their instrumental fragility.

"Pure As Snow" is full of purity like the title but simultaneously crazy convoluted heaviness and serious explosive sound vertigo ... the subtitle "Trails Of The Winter Storm" is telling enough. Via their opuses you could not feel of immortality but continuous empty dream. Another tragedy is "Follow The Map" the shortest track filled with simple but meaningful melodic phrases. One of highlights "The Battle To Heaven" sounds kinda pain for getting hopeful future despite of distant painful past ... at least for me. And the epilogue "Everlasting Light" should be the heartwarming eternity, flooded with noisy but optimistic melody brilliance and majority.

Such a theatrical creation would let you know a wild snow shower once in your rock life. Not innovative but fascinating really.

Latest members reviews

2 stars "Hymn to the immortal wind" is ironically an a bit overblown album, but I always thought of it as "Okay" in the background while sleeping. At least a nice substitute for Sigur Rós (thats a crazy idea, there is no such thing!) or Godspeed you! Black Emperor. But today I made the huge mistake to ... (read more)

Report this review (#1158945) | Posted by BatBacon | Tuesday, April 8, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars After reading reviews about this album, I've realized that I am the only one who has problems with this album. Hymn to the Immortal Wind is Japanese Post Rock band Mono's latest album. It is claimed to be one of the best post-rock albums but I beg to differ. I understand all the hype and why ... (read more)

Report this review (#491344) | Posted by The Runaway | Thursday, July 28, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I read about post rock, i never heard before, so i change a album for a case then, this appear ahead of me, i listen one time and, disappoint me ... one day after with more time and attention i heard, and this time surprise me! A lot! Yes this band have much buzz and distortion, but this is making w ... (read more)

Report this review (#401308) | Posted by yermandu | Tuesday, February 15, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Steven Wilson had said that melancholic music is most meaningful and beautiful. He's absolutely right. I just love that kind of music and Mono created something out of this world. It seems that I always searched something like "Hymn To The Immortal Wind". Songs built to reach the climax, as o ... (read more)

Report this review (#368712) | Posted by Edvinas | Friday, December 31, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars As I heard "Ashes In The Snow" for the first time, I could not believe I was listening to something THAT beautiful! There's moments in this album that really make me fly, Mono are the most emotional post-rock band I have ever heard, their melodies and chord progressions are absolutely gorgeous and ... (read more)

Report this review (#236240) | Posted by JTP88 | Tuesday, September 1, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Oh, man... I wanna give this album 5 stars for a near perfect album so bad, but I always think you should leave room for improvement. A friend handed this to me, and I fell in love with it. I saw the cover, and thought it looked beautiful with the boy and girl romantically holding hands and how they ... (read more)

Report this review (#216389) | Posted by jpgarcia7787 | Sunday, May 17, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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