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Shining - III - Angst, Självdestruktivitetens Emissarie CD (album) cover



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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is review #666. It could have been an occasion to review Iron Maiden's Number of the Beast but since that is just comic-book evilness, my choice has fallen on something truly satanic, Shining's Angst.

Shining should not be confused with the Norwegian jazz/rio band of the same name that is also featured on the archives. The band under dissection here is an extreme black metal / shock-horror experience with disturbing subject material covering self-mutilation and suicide. Obviously much of that must be either a pose or a theoretical issue; otherwise they wouldn't have been around anymore.

Angst is the third Shining album and it concludes their growth into a solid atmospheric black metal experience. From the next album onwards they would become more experimental and progressive. Here the sound is still very similar to the harsher side of Agalloch. The music is open and mid-paced and provides a solid entrancing tempo where Kvarforth can spit out his vile and loathsome vocals. He has quite a unique voice in a field dominated by copy-cats, very dramatic disgusted and tormented. His delivery is compulsive, urgent and scary. Angst is sure an appropriate title for this album. Ork and troll fans lend your ears here!

All elements that make black metal savoury are present. Especially the chilling guitars that are played like keyboards, meaning they don't resort to the usual heavy metal riffing but rather weave dark ringing chord progressions extended over multiple bars, either picked or quickly strummed. Very repetitive and entrancing. The guitars sound sharp and snippy as it should and they luckily also have enough body. The drums are solid and mr. Hellhammer varies the tempo quite a lot, which guarantees extended listening pleasure. Shining also starts on some more adventurous song material here like Självdestruktivitetens Emissarie, something they would further explore on the ensuing albums.

Overall this is a very strong and original black metal album that I would easily rate 4.5 stars in my non-prog charts. But since suicide and mutilation are (hopefully) far removed from a progger's everyday life; I'll keep it hanging on the sharp edge of a 3.5 inch blade. Highly recommended to fans of Agalloch, early Opeth albums and Immortal.

Report this review (#266697)
Posted Wednesday, February 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars III - Angst, Självdestruktivitetens Emissarie is the third full-length studio album by experimental black metal act Shining. The band have gone from being a three- piece on the previous albums to being a four-piece on this album. The only remaining member from the last album II - Livets Ändhållplats (2001) is band founder and main composer Niklas Kvarforth ( Vocals, guitars). New members are Inisis on guitars, Phil A. Cirone on bass and keyboards and prolific Norwegian musician Hellhammer ( Jan Axel Blomberg) on drums. The latter turns out to be a real asset to the sound on the album. Jan Axel Blomberg is also known for his work with acts such as Mayhem, Winds, Age of Silence, Dimmu Borgir, Thorns, Ulver, Immortal, Fleurety, Emperor...etc. III - Angst, Självdestruktivitetens Emissarie was released on CD in October 2002 through Avantgarde Music. The album has also seen a LP release through Perverted Taste limited to 500 copies.

The music on the album is slow- to mid paced black metal with a few faster paced sections thrown in for variation. The music style on the album doesn´t differenciate itself much from the style on the previous two albums but there´s been a small development that means that III - Angst, Självdestruktivitetens Emissarie was by far the most accomplished album by Shining up until then. First of all the playing is much better than on the previous albums. Especially the addition of a skilled drummer like Hellhammer really gives the music a boost. Within the pretty strict boundaries of Shining´s style he is able to put in lots of variation which means that the music becomes more interesting and that it has a longevity that exceeds the longevity of the first two albums. The production is much better than on the previous albums too. Niklas Kvarforth is still the main composer and something that hasn´t changed much since the last albums is the overall musical style. You can still expect to hear some raw and intense black metal with a massive wall of distorted guitars, a heavy rythm section and Niklas Kvarforth´s raspy tortured vocals.

The music can seem a bit repetitive at times ( especially Svart Industriell Olycka ( Black Industrial Misery)) but there´s a majestic and epic element that lifts the music to a higher level and keeps the music interesting. There are not many experiments on the album and the progressive nature of later albums by Shining isn´t that obvious here. A song like Självdestruktivitetens Emissarie ( The Emissary of Self- Destruction) includes a depressive sounding acoustic middle section that points in a more progressive direction but that´s about it. The opening track Mörda Dig Själv...( Murder Yourself...) is a favorite but all songs are of high quality. Well...maybe except for Till Minne Av Daghen which is an eerie sounding hapsichord piece written and played by Phil A. Cirone. I find it a bit unnecessary if I have to be honest. But I guess it adds to the gloomy depressive atmosphere on the album. Talking about the atmosphere the lyrics are still depressive as hell and are delivered in the band´s native Swedish language. The only exception is the re-recording of Submit to Self- Destruction from the Submit to Self-Destruction (1998) EP which has english lyrics.

III - Angst, Självdestruktivitetens Emissarie is another great release in a row of good releases by Shining. It doesn´t quite reach the excellent mark for me personally but a 3.5 star rating is well deserved.

Report this review (#267426)
Posted Monday, February 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
3 stars 'III: Angst, Självdestruktivitetens Emissarie' - Shining (5/10)

Before Shining went on to release some of the most devastating depressive black metal albums of all time in the form of 'IV: The Eerie Cold', 'V: Halmstad' and 'VI: Klagopsalmer', this suicidal band played a less refined, more straightforward brand of black metal. 'III: Angst, Självdestruktivitetens Emissarie' shows Shining at the end of their early stretch of albums, and the potential that would later go to be realized a couple of years later is here. All the same, while this music was evidently inspired by the same dark feelings that would fuel the masterpieces of this band, Shining's third album does not yet demonstrate Shining's now- trademark emotional intensity, although it is a certain step up from their origins.

More or less, Shining's 'Angst, Självdestruktivitetens Emissarie' is a depressive black metal album on the more aggressive side of the spectrum. Much like Burzum, Shining at this point delivers repetitive, somewhat hypnotic songwriting through atmospheric riffs, subtle melodies, and blastbeats aplenty. Of special note to any black metal enthusiast; the legendary drummer Hellhammer delivers a percussion performance here, and his skill with the double kick brings a power that I was sorely missing on the band's debut. In comparison to the more modern Shining that more people are evidently familiar with, the songwriting here lacks the same heavy-to-soft dynamic that draws so many comparisons to Opeth, although a few passages see the black metal riffage take a step back in favor for some cleaner tones, at times. The production is a small step up from your run-of-the-mill black metal.

'III: Angst, Självdestruktivitetens Emissarie' has some very good ideas in regards to some guitar melodies and keen drumwork at the hands of Hellhammer. The songwriting on this album is still somewhat immature, and like the earlier two albums, a generic production holds the band back from excelling in their field. It is too repetitive and monotonous for my tastes, but there are enough intriguing ideas planted throughout each of the songs to merit a listen.

Report this review (#586347)
Posted Sunday, December 11, 2011 | Review Permalink

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