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Shining In The Kingdom Of Kitsch You Will Be A Monster album cover
3.64 | 36 ratings | 2 reviews | 26% 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)

Thanks to avestin for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SHINING In The Kingdom Of Kitsch You Will Be A Monster ratings distribution

(36 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
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.

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