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Shining / Den Saakaldte - Split - 30%

ConorFynes, December 12th, 2011

Sometimes when coming across a release, I try to understand that it probably isn't as good as it was outside of its context. This is a split live recording from two nights at Inferno Festival 2008. Swedish 'suicidal black metal' band Shining and Norwegian Den Saakaldte (a band named after a song by the great Ved Buens Ende) each throw in a recording of a song they played at the concert. This release was then sold in highly limited supplies, with an exclusive t-shirt to boot. What I'm thinking is that this was meant both as a souvenir and collectible for the hardcore fanbase of either band. It's nice to hear a rare live recording of Shining, and the music of Den Saakaldte has been pleasant to encounter, but there is one huge weakness with this split that leads me to believe that there wasn't much effort involved in putting it out.

In short, the sound quality for this live recording is, shall I put it, lacking. To elaborate, the performances of both- which sound well played in any case- are muffled, fuzzy, and barely audible over the cheers and conversations of the crowd. In other words, there is nothing done to hide the bootleg quality of this album. To its benefit, it does a much better job of giving a 'real' concert experience, and that's something I usually don't find with polished live albums. Even so, the performance here is difficult to enjoy when I'm hearing a recording of concertgoers talking overtop as well.

In terms of the actual music, Shining plays one of the songs off of their then-new record 'Halmstad', an album that is considered a modern classic of black metal by some. Den Saakaldte is the band here that I'm less familiar with, but they fare a little better on the split, thanks largely due to their inclusion of a horn section. Both bands evidently play well, but I get the impression I have missed out on alot of the details in each band's performance. For those who attended Inferno Fest in 2008, this would make for an amazing souvenir. For everyone else, this is an underwhelming and amateurish live recording.