Experimental group MONO announced today that their 11th studio album Pilgrimage of the Soul will be released on September 17th. Accompanying the announcement is a first taste of the album, “Riptide.” The Japanese band is now entering their third decade of making music after forming in 1999. On their newest album, which was mixed and recorded during the height of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the band is pushing themselves further than before. Pilgrimage of the Soul will be out via the record label Temporary Residence Limited.
In 2019, the band released their album Nowhere Now Here.
With a runtime of almost 10 minutes, the video to “Riptide” qualifies as a short film, and in their YouTube caption, the band describes the plot of the film, “K is a worker in a decadent industrial world. He lives in an oppressive system to recover the nature and vegetation of the world, constantly watched over by the oligarchies of power. One day, K decides to escape to the place where his dreams reside.”
There’s a lot to unpack here. The film seems to be very inspired by George Orwell’s classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. The video starts with soft guitar sounds, while the audience watches the main character, who seems to live and work in a rundown totalitarian factory, escapes to a better place in his dreams. It looks like flashbacks to his early childhood in nature with his mother. Slowly K develops the courage to take off the ankle bracelet that controls him and escapes into the wilderness. The second he runs away from the security militia, the song begins and it also scares the viewer. The purely instrumental song is dark and fast-paced. The rhythm of the track really sounds like fast waves hitting the shore, destroying everything that is in their way. As the audience continues to watch K running into freedom, he finally finds the place of his dreams, just to be caught and controlled again. After fevering along and hoping the best for K, the ending feels heartbreaking.
Pilgrimage of the Soul Tracklist: