Label: Temporary Residence Japan's Mono have hollowed their own cave in the mountain of post-rock. They've incorporated everything from live electronics to orchestral strings and choirs while their harmonic, textural, and timbral palettes have become increasingly more melodic and thematic. On the two simultaneously released albums The Last Dawn and Rays of Darkness, Mono offer starkly contrasting aspects of their musical identity. The Last Dawn is the more familiar-sounding of the pair. The Last Dawn is intensely emotional music: uncertainty, tenderness, love, joy, anxiety, and loss all play a part in its unfolding. Musically, it encapsulates everything about Mono's last decade carefully, holistically. While it stands alone and can be enjoyed separately, it also serves as an entry point for the blasted, bleak roar that is its companion, Rays of Darkness. When paired, they become an opus.