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Mono (usually stylized as MONO) are a Japanese post-rock band. Their style of music consists mostly of long, instrumental pieces based around crescendos, rather similarly to Godspeed You! Black Emperor. While they started off as a more typical shoegaze band in the vein of Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine, they began incorporating more orchestral and experimental elements into their sound as they went on. Their music has an idyllic, melancholy quality about it, using extensive, guitar based soundscapes to express both sadness and joy.

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Members:

  • Takaakira "Taka" Goto - lead guitar, glockenspiels
  • Hideki "Yoda" Suematsu - rhythm guitar, glockenspiels
  • Tamaki Kunishi - guitar, bass, piano, glockenspiels
  • Yasunori Takada - drums, synthesizers, glockenspiels

Albums:

  • Under the Pipal Tree (2001)
  • One More Step And You Die (2002)
  • Walking Cloud And Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered And the Sun Shined (2004)
  • You are There (2006)
  • Palmless Prayer/Mass Murder Refrain (2006, collaboration with World's End Girlfriend)
  • Hymn to the Immortal Wind (2009)
  • For My Parents (2012)
  • The Last Dawn/Rays of Darkness (2014, double album)
  • Requiem for Hell (2016)

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Tropes that apply to this band:

  • Cover Version: "Legend" is a very loose cover of "The Legend of Ashitaka" from the Princess Mononoke soundtrack. Yes, really.
  • Darker and Edgier: Rays of Darkness is much heavier than preceding albums.
  • Distinct Double Album: The Last Dawn has more of the band's usual symphonic post-rock sound, while Rays of Darkness is significantly heavier and incorporates more noise influence.
  • Dream Team: Their collaboration with World's End Girlfriend, which is widely considered to be a masterpiece. They also toured Europe with Alcest, another widely acclaimed band who make uplifting, Genre-Busting post rock.
  • Epic Rocking: Most of their songs stretch past 10 minutes.
  • Genre-Busting: They incorporate elements of classical music, noise, experimental rock, and shoegaze into their music. While they are usually classed as post-rock, Taka has disavowed this label, saying that he dislikes the constraints it puts on the music.
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  • Instrumentals: All of their songs.
  • Scenery Porn: The video for "Legend", which depicts the landscape of Iceland.
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