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Shining - IV - The Eerie Cold CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.19 | 21 ratings

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4 stars IV - The Eerie Cold is the 4th full-length studio album by Swedish experimental black metal act Shining. It´s been a couple of years since the release of III - Angst, Självdestruktivitetens Emissarie (2002) but there´s only one lineup change since that album as John Doe has replaced Inisis on guitars. Main composer Niklas "Kvarforth" Olsson ( vocals, guitars and keyboards), bassist/ keyboardist Phil A. Cirone and drummer Hellhammer return for another round of depressive experimental suicide black metal. The reason for the long break is supposedly that the band broke up in August 2004 but reformed come end of that year. IV - The Eerie Cold was originally released on Avantgarde Music on the 20th of February 2005. There´s also an LP version available which is limited to 500 copies. The album was re-released by Peaceville Records in 2008 in a Super Jewel Box ( Which is the version I own).

The music on IV - The Eerie Cold continues in the experimental black metal style of its predecessor but adds more sophistication to the sound. There are now several progressive elements in the music. The basis in the music is still raw and aggressive black metal though. Most of the time the riffing is actually quite primitive in style but this is not music that rely on technical playing but much more on bleak, depressive and majestic atmosphere. The lyrics are again mostly in the band´s native language but the last couple of songs on the album have english lyrics. As always the lyrics primarily evolve around suicide, misantrophy and other unpleasant subjects.

While the music isn´t overtly complex, the musicianship is actually pretty good. I really appreciate Kvarforth´s aggressive rasps and moaning. He is one of those extreme metal vocalists that sounds like he actually means it. Note how melodic the bass lines are throughout the album. They really add much to the music. The guitars are grand and heavy ( sometimes very simple. Almost punk like). But it´s Hellhammer´s drumming that really puts the icing on the cake. Take a listen to his cymbal work on this album or just feast on his powerful playing. He is such a great asset to Shining.

There are 6 tracks on the album ranging from 5 - 8 minutes in playing time. The album starts with something as unusual as two minutes of monologue by Kvarforth who makes a rant about his fans being weaklings who can´t handle the concept of Shining. Extremely humourous stuff and quite unexpected from someone who almost exclusively writes lyrics about hate, suicide and misantrophy. The man has got a sense of humour and I love it. When the actual music kicks in I Och Med Insikt Skall du Förgå starts with some acoustic guitar and an ominous atmosphere, a bluesy distorted guitar solo appears and then it´s on to the real deal: Raw majestic black metal. The pace varies throughout the album from slow to mid and even to blasting a few times. There are keyboards on the album but they are only used for atmosphere and they are mostly very low in the mix. They never dominate the music. The song The Eerie Cold (Samvetskvalens Ballad) stands out a bit from the rest of the songs on the album as it is basically the same acoustic guitar figure played over and over again with some samples on top. The rest of the songs are in the raw and slightly experimental black metal style. I just mentioned the samples in The Eerie Cold (Samvetskvalens Ballad) but there´s also a very fitting sample that ends the album in the song Claws of Perdition. It´s the ending monologue by Patrick Bateman ( Christian Bale) from the American Psycho movie that ends with the words ...This confession has meant nothing. That monologue could serve as a kind of metaphor for IV - The Eerie Cold. Even though Patrick Bateman has tortured and murdered several people in the movie he has found no catharsis and no deeper understanding of himself. He is still at point zero with all his pain and grief. Kvarforth´s vision seems to be much the same. For all the pain and suffering he describes in his songs nothing ever changes. His vision is still as bleak and ominous as ever.

The production is powerful and raw, but not primitive.

IV - The Eerie Cold is an excellent release by Shining and while I enjoy III - Angst, Självdestruktivitetens Emissarie a lot, IV - The Eerie Cold adds just enough extra quality to deserve a 4 star rating. Opeth are often mentioned as a reference when people are talking about Shining and while there are undoubtedly similarities like the use of heavy riffing, dark atmosphere and melodic acoustic breaks, I´m not sure Kvarforth would appreciate that his music is compared to Mikael Åkerfeldt´s ditto. I´ll risk my neck and say that fans of Opeth should check out Shining, but never should they expect a clone. I find IV - The Eerie Cold highly recommendable for fans of dark, depressive, powerful and majectic experimental black metal.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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