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Shining - Blackjazz CD (album) cover





3.84 | 105 ratings

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4 stars Well, Shining certainly took the vibe of Grindstone even further here on Blackjazz.

Where Grindstone was a heavy, yet experimental and dynamic record, this one is just a continous punch in the gut all the way through.

The record starts off well with the opening duo of The Madness & The Damage Done and Fisheye which easily sets the tone. Unfortunately the overlong and aimless Exit Sun (both of 'em) really goes nowhere without any good riffs to boot.

But from Healter Skelter and out, the album kicks ass. On Healter Skelter, Munkeby recycles the main sax theme from the REDRUM track on the In The Kingdom... album from 2005 which pisses all over the original. And then there's a reprise of The Madness & The Damage Done which is easily the proggiest track on the album because it's got lotsa dynamics, mellotron and a nice buildup to the main theme.

Blackjazz Deathtrance is also good, but at nearly 11 mins a bit overlong, esspecially because it's so harrowing and relentless. Omen however is the best track on the album, and a song that Sunn0))))) wish they wrote. And the cover of 21st Century Schizoid Man is also very good, mainly because they do their own extreme interpretation of the song, and not a routine by-the- book delivery. These last two songs also feature guest vocals from Grutle of viking/black metal band Enslaved.

So Blackjazz is a pretty successful (and innovative) marriage of jazz and extreme metal. Unfortunately, one or two subpar songs + a slight lack of dynamics here and there means that I have to subtract one stars from the rating. Grindstone is in my opinion a better album, but Blackjazz is still good enough to label Shining one of Norway's most exciting bands at the moment.

tired_feet | 4/5 |


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