Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2023
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Privacy Policy

Shining > Shining > Reviews > kluseba
Shining - Shining

Boundless Extreme Metal in a League of Its Own - 90%

kluseba, September 18th, 2023
Written based on this version: 2023, CD, Napalm Records (Digipak)

Shining has always been a most creative, experimental and open-minded extreme metal project by extroverted, intense and unpredictable mastermind Niklas Kvarforth. Only the structure on the self-titled album follows the band's previous releases with six songs, including one instrumental cover track sitting in fifth position. The final result clocking in at fifty minutes should not only please black metal fans but should appeal to anyone desiring to discover profoundly atmospheric soundscapes including acoustic, electronic and even sacral elements.

A first outstanding highlight on this wonderful release is ''Snart är dom alla borta'', a surprisingly calm, dreamy and eerie epic with low clean vocals that show a completely new side of the group. This song invites to dream yourself far away, purify your soul and spark your imagination. Extreme metal has rarely sounded as appeasing as in this memorable track. Another song that courageously breaks genre boundaries is ''Fidelis ad Mortem'' with its sacral chorals on the thin line between mystery and tranquillity. This track features lead guitar tracks by fellow Swedish musician Andy LaRocque who has been experimenting with occult sounds in legendary heavy metal band King Diamond for almost four decades. This collaboration fits perfectly, adding exciting new soundscapes to Shining's discography while presenting a welcome challenge for the veteran guitarist. One more track that deserves attention is short instrumental cover song ''Åttahundratjugo'' that is technically appealing, soothingly calming and creatively playful. This song by French composer and pianist Erik Satie offers a welcome moment of respite by the end of an adventurous record.

Closing epic ''Den permanenta sömnen kallar'' offers everything fans would like to get from an atmospheric black metal epic. The song clocks in at almost eleven minutes. The track's blistering passages are cold, evil and relentless. The tune's calmer moments are appeasing, imaginative and soothing. The clean vocals by the band leader are enjoyably comforting, soothing and warm. The transitions between the different passages are fluid. Time goes by much faster than anticipated and once the song is over, you can't wait to listen to the whole record time and time again. The record's organic, rich and vibrant production blends in wonderfully and makes the material even stronger in its individual songs as well as in its complexity as a whole body of work.

In my humble opinion, Shining's twelfth studio record is one of the very best extreme metal releases of the year. Numerous extreme metal records have been released around the same time such as new offerings by bands like Uada, Dying Fetus and Cryptopsy to only name a few and while all these records have their very own strengths, Shining's self-titled output plays in a league of its own. Anyone who is willing to take the time to appreciate atmospheric metal music should give this release a few well-deserved spins and support the artists by purchasing this output.