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Shining In The Kingdom Of Kitsch You Will Be A Monster album cover
3.68 | 38 ratings | 3 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Goretex Weather Report (5:00)
2. REDRUM (1:37)
3. Romani (3:19)
4. Perdurabo (3:02)
5. Aleister Explains Everything (3:23)
6. 31=300=20 (It Is by Will Alone I Set My Mind in Motion) (4:24)
7. Where Death Comes to Cry (2:22)
8. The Smoking Dog (3:57)
9. Magazine RWRK (6:32)
10. You Can Try the Best You Can (5:21)

Total Time: 38:57

Line-up / Musicians

- Jørgen Munkeby / saxes, flutes, clarinet, Akai EWI, electric & acoustic guitars, bass, Rhodes, piano, synths, Mellotron, Church organ, celesta, harmonium, string & drum programming, accordion, vocals, composer
- Morten Qvenild / Rhodes, piano, synths, clavinet, celesta, Mellotron, drum machine, sampler
- Aslak Hartberg / acoustic & electric basses, drum machine, percussion
- Torstein Lofthus / drums, percussion

- Andreas Hessen Schei / synth (4)
- Kari Knardahl / French horn (9)
- Michelle Lindboe / trombone (9)
- Sjur Miljeteig / trumpet (9)
- Karl Ivar Refseth / gran cassa, tam tam, tubular bells & gongs (9)

Releases information

Artwork: Kim Hiorthøy

CD Rune Grammofon ‎- RCD2044 (2005, Norway)

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SHINING In The Kingdom Of Kitsch You Will Be A Monster ratings distribution

(38 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

SHINING In The Kingdom Of Kitsch You Will Be A Monster reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Money
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Shining started out as an avant-garde jazz band and over the years transformed into the most powerful semi-orchestral instrumental progressive rock band in the business. This album, In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will be a Monster (great title, huh!), finds the band in a transitional phase playing a slightly more dissonant version of their present prog-rock, plus with a lot of their old avant-jazz tendencies still very present. To say that Shining's music is unique is an understatement, but if I drop enough names you might get a picture of what they sound like. Let's start off with Henry Cow, King Crimson, John Zorn, Mr Bungle, Ligeti, Penderecki, Eric Dolphy, Sun Ra's quirky world-lounge exotica, a bit of thrash metal and traditional music from Scandanavia, Africa and a few places in between.

This album is pretty much the opposite of easy-listening with it's intense metallic jazz fusion that is often laced with quiet creepy moments when you feel the next assault is lurking just around the corner. Although a lot of the avant- garde sections on this album are very good, Shining sometimes lapses into that sort of self-deprecating silliness that mars some of Fred Frith's work. I think the thing that puts Shining ahead of the pack is their ability to write really strong non-cliché dramatic melodies. Although there are some melodies like that present on this album, the follow-up album, Grindstone, will have them in much greater abundance.

This one is for fans of avant-garde rock only, but stick around because on their next album Shining begins to play in a style that should appeal to fans of intense modern heavy instrumental progressive rock.

Review by Kempokid
3 stars Shining is a band that I find very interesting, starting off as an avant garde jazz band and then gradually adding metal, ambience and a wide variety of other ideas into their musc until it all culminated into a certain furious, aggressive sound that was simply incredible (all before then stripping that stuff away to create some albums that some would consider musical travesties, but eh). In the Kingdom of Kitsch marks the start of the addition of more wild elements into Shining's music, and in many places does feel very much like a transitional album. Many of the songs don't quite feel fully fleshed out, instead causing the album to sound more like a collection of interesting experiments that heavily use atmosphere and tone in order to establish themselves, each song focusing on a certain concept and then running with it, not really breaking too far away from it, but still exploring. This provides the album with a quality in which actively listening to it will likely be incredibly dull after a bit of time, but listening to it as background music makes it quite effective, due to the atmospheric quality the album has, giving it some of the qualities of an album utilising ambience, having decent amounts of listenability when not focusing on it.

It's the songs using saxophone that I find to be the most enjoyable here, especially the downright incredible opening track, Goretex Weather Report, which is one of the only tracks on the album that I'd consider a fully fleshed out song, building in intensity, adding distortion to what is originally quite a simple, quirky saxophone line, before a wave of distortion sweeps everything away in a grand display of power, sounding truly epic in the process, especially with the hints of violin that find their way into the song. I also adore the quieter middle section that transforms this power into a lovely little electronic break, having a more melodic edge to it rather than existing for the purpose of a building intensity. The two other songs that I find to stand out are Aleister Explains Everything, which is repetitive, yet quite unsettling in the way the saxophones sound as if they're wailing, and The Smoking Dog. This song is incredibly quirky and definitely one of the most enjoyable songs on the album for me, short, sharp bursts of saxophone play off the strange, unexpected beatboxing that just decided to exist, in an amazing manner, further pushing along the beat in a greatly entertaining way. This song in particular sounds like the band was having quite a bit of fun, although the album has that very loose, experimental feel in general, it's jst stronger here. I also adore Perdurabo, showcasing the guitar element of the band in an amazing way, and having some chilling synth and distortion, creating the effect that the main melodic line present is being sung in a pained way, or simply wildly screamed, in either case, it's really cool.

The issue arises when it comes to the fact that some other tracks I find to be quite underdeveloped, such as Romani, which is structured around a single crescendo on the clarinet that continuously ebbs and flows, but unfortunately builds up to very little, which is problematic considering that literally the entire song seemed to be building up to something. I'm also not too keen on 31=300=20, mostly because despite having really great atmosphere set up, reminiscient of old horror movies, it just doesn't grab me in any particular way, despite the cool electronic intsrumentation and is one of the reasons why I do consider this album better listened to in the background. I have similar issues with Where Death Comes To Cry, as another song that just really does nothing for me.

On the whole, while I do really love certain songs here and also applaud what this album goes for, certain song miss the mark, remaining nothing more than interesting experiments. The album has a sense of immaturity to it, as if the band was still trying to find their feet in creating effective soundscapes and unique avant garde passages. I stand by the fact that this is an interesting album to listen to in the background, but I can't see myself returning to this often bar a few awesome songs, at least nt for an in depth, active listen. I'd definitely recommend this to people looking for some interesting experimentation, but the next two albums that Shining released are definitely far superior.

Best tracks: Goretex Weather Report, Perdurabo, Aleister Explains Everything, The Smoking Dog

Weakest tracks: Romani, 31=300=20, Where Death Comes To Cry

Verdict: A very interesting avant garde album that is quite hit or miss. Really interesting atmosphere throughout its entirety, but it does fall very short in other places with ideas that feel half baked. I'd recommend this album to those looking for some cool experimentation, but I'd recommend listening to Grindstone and Blackjazz first, as I find both of those albums to be far better.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars After two albums of pure acoustic jazz that in reality resulted in competent tribute sessions to early 1960s John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, SHINING's mastermind Jørgen Munkeby decided to radically change the band's musical style on the third album IN THE KINGDOM OF KITSCH YOU WILL BE A MONSTER. The musical style was inspired by fellow Norwegian band Motorpsycho who itself had transmogrified from a typical stoner rock band to a unique classically infused progressive rock band. While this stylistic shift saw the same quartet that performed on the first two albums, there was a great shakeup of instrumentation as well as including a few guest musicians that added touches of French horn, trombone, trumpet and even tubular bells.

Munkeby continued to play his usual avant-garde jazz saxophone, flute and clarinet parts but also took on the additional duties of electric and acoustic guitars, electric bass, piano, mellotron, church organ, celestra, harmonium and accordion. He also added the unthinkable sounds of drum programming which gives the album an electronica crossover feel thus bringing SHINING into the world of nu jazz which they had decided to avoid when they started out. Pianist Morten Qvenild continued with an expanded keyboard palette that included Rhodes piano, synthesizers, clavinet, celesta, mellotron and drum machine programming but clearly was not on board with these new experimental sounds and left the band before the album was even released.

Likewise bassist Aslak Hartberg would switch to electric bass and doubling on drum machines and samplers but was also not feeling Munkeby's passion for this new weirder experimental music and left before the next album "Grindstone." The only other member that wasn't significantly affected was drummer Torstein Lofthus who continued to perform his technical percussive prowess and stuck around for the next several albums which experienced the band's most successful period. After existing in the world of jazz for a few years, the band had to reinvent itself and moved to the Rune Grammofon record label which specialized in experimental and improvisational music. From this point on SHINING would never look back at its jazz origins and continue to pioneer some of the most bizarre jazz hybridization in all of the rock universe.

IN THE KINGDOM OF KITSCH YOU WILL BE A MONSTER was strongly influenced by the French classical composer Olivier Messiaen and his complex mode of limited transposition which by definition refers to musical modes or scales that fulfill specific criteria relating to their symmetry and the repetition of their interval groups. Although inspired by the more avant-garde world of Western classical music, IN THE KINGDOM was more of a bizarre mix of progressive rock and experimental jazz that included moments of metal bombast, the latter of which would be fully unleashed on future releases. The album also featured a plethora of electronic noises by means of synthesizers and drum machines and sounds more like something Squarepusher would release than SHINING's early two albums.

While jazz purists who reveled in the band's effort to revisit the early 60s with uncanny purity may have felt betrayed, for those who long for the next prestigious example of art rock that includes an ecstatic orgy of sonic differentials, IN THE KINGDOM OF KITSCH YOU WILL BE A MONSTER is a monster indeed with avant-garde classical underpinnings teasing the sounds of acoustic jazz, industrial noise effects and progressive rock accoutrements into a spell-casting series of dreamy sequences punctuated by random sounds of cathedral organs and accordions which collectively allude to a plethora of cultural references. While this album serves more of a transition album between the jazz beginnings and the prog metal experimentalism that followed, despite existing as a unique entry in the band's canon is an intriguing and oft exhilarating listening experience.

While retro-jazz is a satisfying tool of mastery for up and coming musicians, the wealth of classic jazz negates any true need for modern releases that don't have something new to offer and luckily Munkeby got that memo. The decision to take the plunge into the unknown was a wise one as IN THE KINGDOM was well received by critics and caught the proper attention outside of the confines of Norway and despite tamping down the jazz still won the Alarm Award for best jazz album in 2006. This is indeed one of those extremely complex heady albums that dwells in abstractness and surreality and for those not indoctrinated into the complexities of avant-garde jazz and 20th century classical music dressed up with weird as [%*!#] electronica, this will probably come off as a bunch of random noise for most the album's playing time but for those who relish these rare moments of competency then this album is quite satisfying indeed. While the metal aspects are minimal at this point, the right ingredients had been sowed for a fruitful harvest that would culminate on the band's following release "Grindstone."

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