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Shining are one of the best known depressive black metal bands and they hail from Sweden. They've been standing long, since 1996, and have a plethora of releases under their belts; most notably V: Halmstad and last year's VII: Född Förlorare. With another full-length release coming in just a couple of months, lets take a look at the strictly cover based EP the band have put out in the meantime, Lots of Girls Gonna Get Hurt.
Upon first hearing this album, the listener may find themselves double checking the CD to make sure they haven't been sent the wrong one by mistake. Anyone expecting to hear anything that makes up signature Shining tracks will be sorely disappointed when they are met with a poppy, generic, gothic-folk hybrid of dark metal. That being said, the production of the overall album is great and the layering is clear, to the point that it makes one want to puke out black monochrome rainbows come the second track, "Utan Dina Andetag", which is a Swedish wedding song and is the happiest, least depressive of them all.
It's clear that Shining are trying to show tribute to some of their influences, and they are taking a different direction in doing so. Every song here is upbeat and strictly made up of clean vocals, which is something no one familiar with Shining would ever expect. The vocals are a nice display of the clean capabilities possessed by Niklas Kvarforth and he does possess a very melodic clean voice, but a mash-up with some signature forlorn growls would make this material a lot less plastic sounding.
Sure, the covers themselves are spot on, decently done homages to the originals, but what makes a real tribute is throwing in some of your own gained influence, which is a trait Lots of Girls Gonna Get Hurt severely lacks. There's not a whole lot more that can be said about this material, and to those scared that this drastic change may be a foreshadowing of what is to come this October on Redefining Darkness, fear not. The band, and management, have stated that this EP has nothing to do with the upcoming release. Steer clear of this one and check back in on Shining in October 2012.
- Villi Thorne