Mono Inc. Symphonic Tour in Cologne: dark and beautiful

Author Askar Ibragimov - 28.4.2024

Mono Inc. is a well-known and well-loved name in the Goth scene, referencing themselves as “a German Gothic Rock, Gothic Metal and Industrial band”. Their music is quite melodic and festive while lyrics usually touch “dark” topics, like medieval torture and punishments for the wrongdoers. For those unfamiliar with the band, I suggest taking a closer look – maybe they become your well-hidden secret among hard and heavy playlists.

This year, the band embarked on a second edition of a Symphonic tour, where the band is supported by three cellists, violin, contrabass, and piano, featuring, among others, members of a string quartet Eklipse (known for frequently touring with major acts). The band played in Cologne on April 19, 2024. It never ceases to amaze me how easily quite large (especially by Finnish standards) venues are getting completely full and how much in Germany the local scene is appreciated. The venue, 1600-seat Carlswerk Victoria, was sold out (like the other legs of the tour).

The concert was split into two parts, the first one being fully acoustic and the second one featuring the full-on rock sound with some symphonic parts. Previously, I have enjoyed Mono Inc. in a festival setting, but this time it was a seated gig. I honestly do not know why it was seated, since – as it happens at rock concerts – on many songs people would stand up and sit down only for a brief moment between songs. (Or, maybe, not so brief in Mono Inc.’s case as Martin Engler likes to chat to the public.) Observing this was quite amusing, but I suppose this format is more friendly for the people who won’t like to stand for three hours. Mono Inc. is a very seasoned band, so the songs’ delivery was strong and brought up the crowd’s emotions. A sophisticated light engineering complimented the music. Mostly Martin, singer and frontman, was driving the show, while the remaining part of the band and the “symphonic” musicians took a somewhat supporting role. There were incredibly stylish raven masks on the “classical” musicians during the first act but they were not used in the second; I rather prefer them to keep the masks on for the entire gig as that looked very aesthetic, though I could imagine that the musicians like themselves to be seen and recognized by the public. After all, who recognizes the masked guys in Babymetal or Ghost except some hardcore fans?

Here are some impressions:

To me Mono Inc, despite not being particularly heavy band, was some kind of uplifting music. The one that talks about dark things and teach you to seek for the light on the horizon and to have some hope.

Some months before the band also released the full version of the 2019 edition of the similar arrangement, called “Symphonic Live”.

We thank Morgane Kreuzer, NoCut Entertainment, for the accreditation.