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Shining VII: Född Förlorare album cover
3.90 | 27 ratings | 3 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. F?rtvivlan, Min Arvedel
2. Tiden L?ker Inga S?r
3. M?nniska O'Avskyv?rda M?nniska
4. Tillsammans ?r Vi Allt
5. I Nattens Timma
6. FFF

Line-up / Musicians

- Niklas "Kvarforth" Olsson / Vocals, Keyboards
- Fredric "Wredhe" Graby / Guitars
- Peter Huss / Guitars
- Andreas Larssen / Bass
- Rickard Schill / Drums

Releases information

Full-length, Indie Records, 2011

Thanks to UMUR for the addition
and to Conor Fynes for the last updates
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SHINING VII: Född Förlorare ratings distribution

(27 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

SHINING VII: Född Förlorare reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'VII: Född Förlorare' - Shining (8/10)

With a troubled past and some incredibly disturbing subject matter under their belts, Swedish 'suicidal black metal' act Shining also has the distinction of having created one of my favourite dark metal albums of all time, 2007's 'V - Halmstad'. Although their sound may be given the half-baked comparison to Opeth or Enslaved in the sense that they meld extreme metal with clean dynamics and moderate hints at vintage progressive rock. What makes Shining such a different act than the other two aforementioned acts is the sheer darkness that Shining takes their music (and listeners) into. Even the most melancholic metal acts usually give some small glimmer of hope amidst the despair, but in the eyes, the only true escape of suicide. Kindly enough, Shining has composed another soundtrack to suicide for anyone that may opt to check out early, creating a black metal soundscape that is sometimes beautiful, often aggressive, but constant in its dark atmosphere. 'VII: Född Förlorare' may not reach the sort of dismal perfection that 'Halmstad' achieved, but Shining's seventh studio effort is a fitting addition to the band's saga.

Much like Opeth, Shining's sense of songwriting is geared greatly around the dynamic between anguish-ridden extreme metal, and introspective acoustic segments. For the majority of 'VII: Född Förlorare' though, the listener will be exposed to Kvarforth's abrasive growls and mid-tempo, almost bluesy guitar riffs.Much more so than alot of other black metal I have listened to, Shining's formula on 'VII: Född Förlorare' ('born loser' in English) is a highly riff-based venture, with the main guitars relying on fairly simple, yet darkly atmospheric licks that- were the distortion turned down a little- could fit in a standard rock song, albeit a fairly morose one. Shining's magic with guitars is found tough in the added textures over the rhythms, as well as the guitar solos. As for the texturing, Shining makes their roots in depressive black metal very clear, managing to sneak some beautiful harmonies and resolutions into the mix that- in most of the sections they are present- are incredibly beautiful. The guitar solos on the other hand, tend not to tug on the heartstrings nearly as much, but they are executed brilliantly, with plenty of bluesy grit flooding through.

The acoustic and other more introspective moments on 'VII: Född Förlorare' may be the best. While Shining works their malefic aggression quite well during the heaviest sections, it sometimes feels as if a little more subtlety could have been used to improve them. The quietest moments here are close to perfection however, often making use of mellotrons and a cello overtop the acoustic guitars and classical piano to add to the beauty. Even some industrial percussion can be heard briefly in the intro to the last track, 'FFF', although it seems awkward that it is never heard from again in the song.

While there are a couple of guest vocalists here, Kvarforth is the main vocalist. Both his clean singing and growls give off a feeling, and neither is a sound that is often heard in much black metal. The production here has not improved any from 'Halmstad', and that's perfectly fine; Shining has evidently maxed out the studio to their liking, and are free to explore the feelings of loss and despair that they base their music around. 'VII: Född Förlorare' is not the best thing Shining has released, but there is certainly depth here, and depth enough to keep me coming back for many listens. An excellent album from Shining, and if I did not have 'Halmstad' to compare it to, perhaps I would be more inclined to call this a masterpiece, because there are certainly moments in this album where I am very tempted to.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "VII: Född Förlorare" (translates into "Born Loser") is the 7th full-length studio album by Swedish extreme metal act Shining. The album was released in February 2011 by Indie Recordings. Spinefarm Records released "VII: Född Förlorare" in May 2011. I´m not sure why two different Scandinavian labels are involved.

The music on "VII: Född Förlorare" pretty much continue the misantrophic extreme metal style of "V: Halmstad (2007)" and "VI: Klagopsalmer (2009)". The lyrics are as usual centered about self-loathing, depression and hatred. The suicide theme, which used to be a dominant part of the lyrical themes on older releases, seems to have been toned down a bit on "VII: Född Förlorare". Not that the lyrics are any less extreme because of that. We´re still talking extremely misantrophic and hateful lyrics. Sometimes to the point of being pathetic IMO. While the roots of the music is undeniably black metal tinged, Shining has strayed from the black metal path for a couple of albums now, and I´d much rather call their music extreme metal than black metal. The music features elements from both black, death, thrash and progressive metal. The latter influence is sparse and the influence is rather from 70s progressive rock than from "regular" vanilla progressive metal.

If you wonder if that means, that Shining sounds anything like Opeth, you wouldn´t be completely off the mark. There are notable differences both in the complexity- and sophistication level of the compositions, but maybe more importantly in attitude and worldview, but the heavy riffing and brutal vocals contrasted by mellow acoustic sections and clean vocals are something the two acts have in common. Actually lead vocalist Niklas Kvarforth delivers more clean vocals on this album than on any Shining album before it. The vocals are predominantly raw and aggressive though. They are completely decipherable and delivered with great passion. Niklas Kvarforth is a skilled and varied extreme metal vocalist but his clean vocals are also very enjoyable.

"VII: Född Förlorare" contains 6 tracks distributed over a 41:47 minutes long playing time. 5 tracks are originals while "I Nattens Timma" is a Landberk (Swedish progressive rock act) cover from their debut album "Riktigt Äkta (1992)". And it´s the Swedish language version that Shining covers on "VII: Född Förlorare". Landberk released an english language version of their debut album called "Lonely Land" (also in 1992) where "I Nattens Timma" was given the title "Waltz of the Dark Riddle". The original Swedish language version is probably one of the most beautiful songs I´ve yet encountered, so I was pretty interested to find out how Shining had treated this fantastic song. As it turns out they have treated "I Nattens Timma" with just the right amount of respect without losing integrity and just mindlessly cloning the original. Amongst the general mayhem and misantrophy on the album the very mellow, dark and beautiful "I Nattens Timma" sits as a calm oasis. The remaining tracks are all of high quality too. Monumentally heavy riffing, unsettling atmospheric leads, passionate, aggressive and at times demented vocals and an attention to detail that makes the tracks sound interesting throughout. Song-titles like "Tiden Läker Inga Sår" ("Time Heals No Wounds") and "Människa O'Avskyvärda Människa" ("Man, Oh Despicable Man") perfectly illustrates the misanprophic and hateful lyrical themes mentioned above.

The album was recorded and produced by Rickard Bengtsson at Slaughterhouse Studios, Sweden and Bengtsson has created a powerful sound for the album. It´s not as full and warm as the sound on the two precessesors, but it´s well sounding and suits the tracks perfectly.

While "VI: Klagopsalmer" did in some ways come off as the pale (yet still pretty good) twin to "V: Halmstad", I think "VII: Född Förlorare" comes off sounding a bit more unique and not as intertwined with the celebrated "V: Halmstad". That´s a plus in my book and a sign that Shining are still adventurous and that they are still interested in developing their sound. The misantrophic lyrics and band image will probably always be an aquired taste, but the quality of the band´s music and the generally excellent musicianship on dispay here are undeniable. A 4 star rating is fully deserved.

Review by J-Man
4 stars Swedish 'suicidal' black metal act Shining are known for their misanthropic and disturbing imagery put to music, and with VII: Född Förlorare the band seems to have created yet another fantastic chapter of dark and depressing extreme metal. With a title that translates to "born loser", it's clear that Shining have not cheered up very much since their previous album, and the music contained within this disc is every bit as dark as we've come to expect from them. Shining's seamless blend of depressive black metal and seventies' progressive rock is instantly recognizable on VII: Född Förlorare, and I can't imagine any fan of the band being anything less than awestruck by the terrifically bleak and memorable compositions contained within this forty minute journey. This may not outdo some of the band's previous achievements, but it's definitely good enough to be considered part of Shining's essential canon.

Shining are often compared to Opeth and Enslaved due to their mix of extreme metal and seventies' progressive rock, but Shining should be in no way labeled a clone act. The epic black metal sections may be reminiscent of Enslaved and the heavy-soft dynamic may bring Opeth to mind, yet Shining clearly have found their own unique sound that doesn't borrow too heavily from any single influence. Even though VII: Född Förlorare contains lots of very heavy black metal portions, you'll also hear gentle progressive rock sections, pastoral acoustic guitars, and clean vocals before the album is over. Make no mistake, however - even though there may be 'lighter' prog rock sections on VII: Född Förlorare, they are still every bit as dark and depressing as the heavy parts. Shining manages to perfectly bridge the gap between vintage prog and black metal, and I'd imagine that's simply due to the fact that the mood is so consistently bleak and frightening.

VII: Född Förlorare sports a production that's both warm and organic, yet still somewhat raw and unpolished. It's actually a bit difficult to describe the production on this album. I really like the fact that it manages to sound furious and powerful during the black metal madness, and still maintain that same level of power and emotion during the calmer sections. This is the perfect mix between an organic seventies' sound and more modern black metal production in my mind.

Even though VII: Född Förlorare might not quite have the same 'classic' potential as some of Shining's previous efforts, I have no doubt that this is another terrific addition to their already fantastic discography. These Swedish lads simply know how to deliver powerful progressive extreme metal time and time again, and they've proven that once more with VII: Född Förlorare. Anyone who's willing to experience a bleak, depressing, and often beautiful musical journey should be sure to check this one out... just remember not to keep a gun or sleeping pills close at hand. I'd say 4 stars are very well-deserved here.

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