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Shining - Blackjazz CD (album) cover

BLACKJAZZ

Shining

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.66 | 94 ratings

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Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group
Site and Forum Admin
4 stars More tea vicar?

For reasons unknown to me, metal has entered my life again..... It's strange, I used to be a huuuuuge headbanger, black and blue hair, nose ring and the works, and then by the flick of the switch my tastes changed, I started listening to electronic music, jazz, hip hop, avantguarde sorcery - found out about dancing the night away - completely unlike Gene Kelly, I always prefer the sun - and somehow over 10 years went by.

SNAP!!! It said, when I then, just for fun's sake, put on an album given to me by one of my old metal friends. Blackjazz zooms out of the speakers and whacks me over my head with the force of a wet screaming baby. The brutal hard edgings of the riffing, the occasional grindcore drumming as well as the freaky howls of the toy keyboards, all make this venture extremely chaotic. You get thrown into the washing machine and hope for the best...............My jaw dropped, I started bobbing back and forth in the chair I was sitting in, and suddenly the urge just got too overwhelming and I swooped out of my seat with the grace of a small dear - flying halfway through the room - headbanging uncontrollably for about 10 minutes. My fasting days had run their course, so it would seem. Metal had returned.

This is not your every day metal though - not even remotely. The vocals hint of black metal while the drums from Elephant9 drummer Thorstein Lofthus pull toward both jazz rock and the early RIO scene. In between you get electronic mish mashes that sound like a toy store gone berserk at night - coating most of this album in a somewhat surreal ambiance. Teamed up with the harsh growling vocals, you effectively get two opposites pulling away from each other throughout the course of this album. This is part of the genius though, not unlike the way great horror flicks betrayed our fickle minds with images of small school girls, blood flowing through elevator doors and an unnerving soundtrack storming through your sensory system.

Norway is undeniably one of the birthplaces of Black Metal, and while you'll find a great deal of people up here in Scandinavia swearing to the original strain of the genre, there are still bands taking this thing to the next level. Ulver fx.... They both pioneered the Black Metal genre as well as the progressive take on it. My guess is that Shining probably picked up a thing or two from Ulver, even if it may seem as if they couldn't be further from each other musically.

Blackjazz is not for the faint of heart. It's the kind of music that stabs it's way through the airwaves. It's vicious, brutal and then at the same time incredibly frail. There's a thin line running through this album, the very tightrope the vocals balance on - where the drums spin out of control and somehow have to land on their feet again. -All of this chaos depends on a frail and minuscule line, a common idea of where the music needs to go and what it needs to get there. It's insanely difficult to pull something like this off properly, especially when the pace is so furious and pumping.

This is without a doubt music for the adventurous folks out there. Puppies definitely not allowed. Blackjazz is basically what Samla Mammas Manna would sound like if they were a modern Black Metal band. It's fun, heavy like skips of gold, erratic, choppy, insane, loud, shrieking, unforgiving and energetic like a horny black rabbit on the prowl.

Expect ear bleed and soar ankles the morning after.

Guldbamsen | 4/5 |

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