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SHINING

RIO/Avant-Prog • Norway


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Shining biography
Background:
"First period"
Shining was formed in 1999 by Jørgen Munkeby (guitar, sax and various instruments) when he moved from his hometown of Tønsberg to Oslo to study in the Norwegian State Academy of Music. As he has been playing in bands ever since he was ten years old, he wished to form a new one in Oslo. In this new school there was a good opportunity for him to choose musicians for this project of his and he chose three he thought to be the best. This new band started playing Jørgen's music he wrote for the band and also performed in several shows as a support band, in which Jørgen says the band gave highly energetic shows, playing loud and fast. In 2001 the band released their first album, Where The Ragged People Go on "bp Records", and in 2003 after a tour in China, they released Sweet Shanghai Devil on "Jazzland Records". These two albums are strictly acoustic jazz music, with much improvisation and with a hardcore feeling which is due to the way they were recorded - "Ragged was recorded with only two microphones, S S Devil with three". Jørgen say that they set themselves rules of how they should and should not play. However by the time they released those two albums, they felt those rules are too restricting for them, preventing them to do something else, more varied.

"Second period"
Since the band members were playing and composing in other bands as well (for instance, Jørgen and Morten playing in Jaga Jazzist) they were exposed and experienced in playing other types of music. For their next album they used as many instruments as they could, and took advantage of everything they could in studios to get the mixed genre result that is In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster, which was released through Rune Grammofon in 2005. Shining's lineup was reinforced after that album with a new bassist and keyboards player (Andreas Schei from Jaga Jazzist). 2007 sees the release of Grindstone which continues Kingdom's sound and progresses from it as well.

Music:
In their two albums, In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster and Grindstone, once you get passed the aggressiveness and noisy parts, and give the album a proper listen, you will realize there is a lot that is missed on initial listening. Additional layers of music reveal themselves, more instruments are heard through all the seeming chaos and various styles of music manifest themselves throughout the tracks.
You start to appreciate their ability to cre...
read more

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Buy SHINING Music


Redefining DarknessRedefining Darkness
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101 DISTRIBUTION 2008
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SHINING shows & tickets


  • Kreator + Arch Enemy + Shining + more at Manchester Academy 1, Manchester on 19 Dec 2014
  • Kreator + Arch Enemy + Shining + more at Academy, Dublin on 20 Dec 2014
  • Kreator + Arch Enemy + Shining + more at Queen Margaret Union, Glasgow, Lanarkshire on 21 Dec 2014
  • Kreator + Arch Enemy + Shining + more at O2 Academy, Newcastle on 22 Dec 2014
  • Marduk Japan Tour 2015 on 22 Jan 2015
  • MARDUK JAPAN TOUR 2015 on 23 Jan 2015
  • MARDUK JAPAN TOUR on 24 Jan 2015
  • MARDUK JAPAN TOUR 2015 on 25 Jan 2015
  • Chaos In The Skies on 5 Mar 2015
  • Devin Townsend Project + Shining + Periphery at Substage, Karlsruhe on 6 Mar 2015
  • Devin Townsend Project + Shining + Periphery at Z7 Konzertfabrik Pratteln, Pratteln on 7 Mar 2015
  • Devin Townsend Project + Shining + Periphery at Live Club, Trezzo sull'Adda, Milan on 8 Mar 2015
  • Devin Townsend Project + Shining + Periphery at Backstage, München on 10 Mar 2015
  • Devin Townsend Project + Shining + Periphery at Arena, Wien on 11 Mar 2015
  • Devin Townsend Project on 12 Mar 2015
  • Devin Townsend Project + Shining + Periphery at Majestic Music Club, Bratislava on 13 Mar 2015
  • DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT - Chaos in the Skies Tour 2015 on 14 Mar 2015
  • Devin Townsend Project + Shining + Periphery at Stodola, Warszawa on 16 Mar 2015
  • Devin Townsend Project + Shining + Periphery at Grünspan, Hamburg on 17 Mar 2015
  • Devin Townsend Project + Shining + Periphery at VoxHall, Århus C on 18 Mar 2015
  • Devin Townsend Project + Shining + Periphery at Rockefeller, Oslo on 19 Mar 2015
  • Devin Townsend Project + Shining + Periphery at Rytmikorjaamo, Seinäjoki on 21 Mar 2015
  • Devin Townsend Project + Shining + Periphery at The Circus, Helsinki on 22 Mar 2015
  • Devin Townsend Project + Shining + Periphery at Debaser Medis, Stockholm on 24 Mar 2015
  • Devin Townsend Project + Shining + Periphery at Amager Bio, København S on 25 Mar 2015
  • Devin Townsend Project + Shining + Periphery at Matrix, Bochum on 26 Mar 2015
  • Devin Townsend Project presents: The Return of Ziltoid on 27 Mar 2015
  • Devin Townsend Project + Shining + Periphery at O2 Academy Bristol, Bristol on 29 Mar 2015
  • Devin Townsend Project + Shining + Periphery at O2 ABC, Glasgow on 30 Mar 2015
  • Devin Townsend Project + Shining + Periphery at Manchester Academy 1, Manchester on 31 Mar 2015

SHINING discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SHINING top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 6 ratings
Where The Ragged People Go
2001
3.25 | 8 ratings
Sweet Shanghai Devil
2003
3.98 | 24 ratings
In The Kingdom Of Kitsch You Will Be A Monster
2005
4.13 | 48 ratings
Grindstone
2007
3.71 | 88 ratings
Blackjazz
2010
3.13 | 12 ratings
One One One
2013

SHINING Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.29 | 7 ratings
Live Blackjazz
2011

SHINING Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.17 | 6 ratings
Live Blackjazz
2011

SHINING Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SHINING Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.17 | 4 ratings
Fisheye
2010

SHINING Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 One One One by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.13 | 12 ratings

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One One One
Shining RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'One One One' - Shining (6/10)

A couple of months ago, I read an essay written by Shining frontman Jørgen Munkeby, the essence of which argued that the human ear is in constant search for a greater degree of dissonance and extremity, and that popular musical trends are built around this notion. While it's one thing to take dissonance to heart in a relatively 'high culture' environment (like a certain Parisian theatre in 1913), there's a different sort of challenge in trying to marry an inherently challenging device in popular music. Shining's "One One One" is not so groundbreaking in this regard as a work by Stravinsky or Penderecki, but I'm sensing the same sort of adventurous intent here. Atop a tight foundation of dance-able rock energy, Shining add an unfamiliar distortion and atmospheric weirdness that sounds surprisingly unsettling, even to a seasoned progger's ears. "One One One" may not be grim or jazzy enough to warrant the band's self-professed 'blackjazz' label, but the band have crafted an interesting musical experience here somewhere in between the respective and highly dissimilar madnesses of Motorhead, Strapping Young Lad and John Zorn. It's a shame that the band's songwriting isn't as vibrant here as it was on their last two records, because "One One One" has many of the makings of a potentially great album.

"One One One" is a more rock-oriented offering than Shining have done in the past, and has been the case with many bands after they release their quintessential, self-defining masterwork, Shining have scaled their sound back a bit in order to focus on the core of their music. In Shining's case, that 'masterwork' was "Blackjazz", an album that wore its quirky blend of styles on its sleeve in the literal sense. While I don't think their self-invented genre tag fits their sound anymore, Shining's palette of sound remains familiar. Schizoid keyboard leads, electronic interference, and fuzzy guitars remain staples of Shining's style, and Munkeby's vocals retain their often harsh and occasionally melodic flair.

Ultimately, Shining's change of pace is felt most profusely in the album's composition. I have fond memories of first hearing nine minute bouts of progressive mastery on "Blackjazz"; Shining would pull out all of the stops and I would often be left in suspense, wondering what tricks the band had in store right around the bend. While "One One One" sounds like Shining's more ambitious work on a superficial level, there is none of the same catharsis I felt upon hearing the band for the first time. Much of this can be attributed to the fact that Shining has focused entirely on concise songwriting. Were it not for the overzealous distortion and noisy atmosphere, many of these songs could easily be adapted for a commercial format. "I Won't Forget" is a particular favourite of mine, pairing a Motorhead- esque energy and vocal style with experimental jazz breaks and an ample dose of production noise. "My Dying Drive" is another standout piece, taking the album a step away from the chorus-centric catchiness towards darker territories. Sometimes, I get the impression with the band's adherence to such tried-and-true song structures that they're being self-aware with it, as if they're trying to see how much madness they can stir within a typical four minute song. If that's true, "One One One" stands at a half success. Shining have been able to successfully transpose their weird style onto a basic songwriting format, but in doing so, the potential of some of these ideas has been lost. Somewhere towards the halfway point of the album, I start to yearn for a change of pace; an instrumental surprise or jazz break to keep things interesting. Alas, for all of the benefits "One One One" enjoys for its concise writing mechanic, it loses some of its sense of danger and daring as a result.

Shining's style may no longer so aptly reflect their blackjazz vision, but their style remains balanced between two conflicting ideas. Moreso than the combination of metal and jazz, or any other sort of genre fusion, "One One One" feels defined by Shining's ability to two conflicting ideas at once; one comprising the album's concise, catchy songwriting, the other representing its avant-garde weirdness. I've heard that this ability to process conflicting information simultaneously can be indicative of genius. While that may be true, I do not get the impression on "One One One" that the band is playing to the extent of their potential. It was a bold move for the band to try to infuse their avant-garde sensibility with the more commercial end of rock music, but it's underwhelming in comparison to some of the band's past achievements.

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 Blackjazz by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.71 | 88 ratings

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Blackjazz
Shining RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by 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.

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 Blackjazz by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.71 | 88 ratings

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Blackjazz
Shining RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Just as Dodheimsgard's 666 International attempts to fuse industrial music and black metal from a black metal direction, Shining's Blackjazz tries the same experiment from the perspective of an industrial musician, and of the two experiments I think this is the more successful one. With keyboards that sound like guitars, guitars that sound like keyboards, and a wall of noise which shifts between industrial and black metal modes on a whim, the group have produced a complex soundscape with sufficient variety that there's space for a King Crimson cover at the end of the album which seems bizarrely appropriate given the howling cacophony that precedes it. Not to everyone's taste, but if it is to your taste you'll love it to bits.

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 Blackjazz by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.71 | 88 ratings

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Blackjazz
Shining RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars One would only hope that Shining would stick to the winning formula, that they so marvelously established on Grindstone, and push it even further with their highly anticipated follow-up release. This would of course not be something that the band members would ever accept, considering their highly fluctuating style shifts up to this point.

While In The Kingdom Of Kitsch You Will Be A Monster still had one foot solidly placed in the world of Avant-garde Jazz and Grindstone loosening those traditions and instead expanding on the darker and more eclectic approach to music making. Blackjazz does seem to promise that same tradition, judging solely by the album's title, but what we get here is just one half of what made Grindstone the great record that it was.

Right off the bat, The Madness And The Damage Done starts off as a wild beast that just won't be tamed no matter how hard you'll try. It's a wild and extravagant piece that seems to take as much inspiration from Extreme Metal as Electronic Rock. Yes, we had the electronica experiments available on Grindstone, but it was hardly the only reason why that album felt so ambitious and different. I'm talking about the groovy soundscapes that we got as the record progressed, which showed us the versatile band that Shining truly was. This just doesn't happen on Blackjazz and what we get instead is more of the same Extreme Metal and Electronic Rock sound all throughout the record.

It doesn't really help that Blackjazz is almost a third longer than its two predecessors. I honestly get exhausted while listening to this record and this feeling of fatigue hasn't really diminished over time. I often don't even care that the album ends with a cover of King Crimson's great anthem 21st Century Schizoid Man. That statement in itself says a lot!

In retrospect, I don't consider Blackjazz to be a bad record and there are quite a few tracks that come close to achieving the greatness of the band's previous milestones. Still, there are just too many flaws for me to consider rating it any higher than this. Good, but far from essential.

**** star songs: The Madness And The Damage Done (5:20) Fisheye (5:08) Exit Sun (8:36) Healter Skelter (5:35) The Madness And The Damage Done (3:24) Blackjazz Deathtrance (10:52)

*** star songs: Exit Sun (0:57) Omen (8:46) 21st Century Schizoid Man (8:41)

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 Fisheye by SHINING album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2010
3.17 | 4 ratings

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Fisheye
Shining RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars I was really looking forward to hearing the new Shining album after the excellent Grindstone and was finally able to get a first glimpse of the upcoming release with its first single!

Fisheye did take me by surprise at first since it sounded like a much heavier composition that I was used to by this point for this quartet. It was clear that the band's collaboration with Enslaved on Armageddon Concerto did inspire Shining to push their style even further towards extreme industrial metal route but I really didn't expected them to keep it up for, what would later turn up to be, almost the entire full length release.

The expanded version of Fisheye doesn't make this composition more enjoyable for me than its five minute version off the full length album, hence I can live without the additional two minutes of added grooves but it's really not a problem either. The shorter Radio Edit edition of the track, on the other hand, leaves out some of the essential moments for me and concentrates on the bone structure of the composition, which unfortunately isn't the main reason why we listen to this track to begin with.

Overall, it's a decent introduction to Blackjazz which sort of hints at what we can expect from the rest of the album, but I'll leave out the details for my next review!

**** star songs: Fisheye [Extended Version] (6:57)

*** star songs: Fisheye [Radio Edit] (3:13)

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 Grindstone by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.13 | 48 ratings

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Grindstone
Shining RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars It took Shining a few albums to develop their own unique voice but they not only progress but actually managed to perfect their music layering experiments and create a beast of an album!

It's nearly impossible for me to explain why I enjoy Grindstone as much as I do since there is really no formula to the music on this 45 minute record. The compositions might seem a bit harsh at times, especially while listening to the opening few numbers, and for some people this will definitely be a love or hate type of affair. Honestly though, I couldn't get enough of this album upon my initial spin and it became an essential part of my playlist all throughout late 2009 and early 2010.

I love that this album is short enough to not feel intrusive and not long enough to overstay its welcome, something that Shining didn't succeed on with their follow-up release, and it's definitely one of the reasons why Grindstone was the breakthrough album that that earned this quartet the recognition that they truly deserved. It's by no means an easy experience but there is a certain staying power with these compositions that will make you want to repeat the trip just to make sure that you haven't missed anything. Trust me when I say that compositions like the great Fight Dusk With Dawn are still growing on me even to this day.

This is one crazy ride of an album that I still love to take on occasion. A slight word of caution to anyone expecting Grindstone to be a jazz record. Although jazz influences are definitely still in place, they might not seem all that prominent at first. Give this record some time and it will guarantee to work its magic on you!

***** star songs: In The Kingdom Of Kitsch You Will Be A Monster (5:40) Asa Nisi Masa (1:52) Fight Dusk With Dawn (6:53)

**** star songs: Winterreise (3:33) Stalemate Longan Runner (4:15) Moonchild Mindgames (3:06) The Red Room (2:16) Psalm (7:20) -... .- -.-. .... (2:07) 1:4:9 (5:03)

*** star songs: To Be Proud Of Crystal Colors Is To Live Again 1 (0:49) To Be Proud Of Crystal Colors Is To Live Again 2 (1:09)

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 Blackjazz by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.71 | 88 ratings

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Blackjazz
Shining RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars What is this sort of radical experimentation in music comprised in "Blackjazz"? - a mixture of dementia, rebellion and black magic, perhaps. Mostly, it is the hyperbole of avant-garde metal, or the hyperbole of avant-garde jazz-rock wrapped up in abundant shades of metal and bound with progressive laces. No matter how sophisticated your sentences pour out in order to make an attempt to define the musical offering of Norway's Shining. It will always come out complicated and not as clear as it intended to be. Well, so let's try to point out at it this way: a dynamic mixture of prog metal, death, 90s Crimson, avant-jazz, RIO and electronica. Or maybe this way: a confluence of hyper-Fantomas, ultra-KC, mega-NIN and over-Tool at the UZ-meets-Zappath power. I'm afraid t didn't work either, but I'll leave it to rest so I can now set my mind to describe the repertoire of Shining's "Backjazz", arguably the cruelest prog rock album of the year. The first part of 'The Madness And The Damage Done' states a complex set of cadences that allows tension and counterpart to weave the running shrapnel of lunatic rock sonorities. 'Fisheye' is a bit less loud and more industrial- based: the massive influences from NIN and Tool are easily noticeable. Intelligent storms and erudite tortures, all this and more is what we have got so far from the Shining ranks? and will continue to, be warned. 'Exist Sun Pt. 1' also bears a Toolian mood in places, but the overall framework happens to be more related to Behold The Archtopus and Between The Buried And Me. The industrial expansion of the not-too-long 'Exit Sun Pt. 2' paves the way for the explosive odyssey of metal-jazz encapsulated in 'HEALTER SKELTER', a curious homage to The Beatles' wildest song ever. 'HEALTER SKELTER' is one of the most accomplished manifestations of the band's aesthetics of cruelty in the album - dissonant, powerful restless, yet sophisticated enough as to achieve artistic greatness beyond simple anger. The second part of 'The Madness And The Damage Done' starts on an autumnal mood, Crimsonically contemplative ("Red"-era Crimson is the obvious reference here), until the reprise of the first part's main motif brings a relief for massive aggression of sound. 'Blackjazz Deathtrance' occupies a 11- minute span: a prog metal gale focused on alternated sources of avant-garde adventures, industrial explosions, death metal irruptions and jazzy occasional developments. Many instrumental deliveries are really humanly impossible, as Zappa would say: given the amount and intensity of the mood and tempo shifts, it must have been particularly challenging for drummer Lofthus to use every ounce of his talent in order to comply with the demands for the rhythmic department. What a great work! 'Omen' is an exercise on creepy ambiences and surrealistic developments that inherits much of the darkness epitomized in UZ's "Heresie". All throughout the track's 8 ¾ minute span, there is a feeling of impending doom that never seems to fully come to the fore, and still, the fear remains solid as an infinite grey cloud on an endless winter sky. The tracklist end with a cover of KC's perpetual classic '21st Century Schizoid Man': Grutle Kjellson, of Enslaved, guests on vocals for this one. The band gives this classic a Dadaistic spin with lots of industrial-metal and RIO nuances along the way. Even though this particular cover does not add something essential to the "Blackjazz" experience, it works as a hint to the artistic ideology upheld by Shining. General conclusion: an excellent item in any progressive schizoid man's collection.

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 Blackjazz by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.71 | 88 ratings

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Blackjazz
Shining RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Well I must admit this is a diappointment for me after their previous album "Grindstone" which blew me away.They've pretty much made this record more extreme when it comes to the vocals and sound. It's a noisy and chaotic recording while the growling and screaming vocals are just too much for me. A very intense album.

They kind of play with the title of Neil Young's "Needle And The Damage Done" calling their's "The Madness And The Damage Done". It opens with yelling then kicks in heavily. Not a fan of the vocals here. It's chaotic before 3 minutes and the vocals come screaming back after 4 minutes. "Fiskeye" opens with heavy drums as crazy synths join in. Spoken vocals a minute in as the guitar joins in. Synths are back. Sax before 3 1/2 minutes. Catchy stuff believe it or not. "Exit Sun" has a good guitar intro and some killer drum work.It turns experimental when it settles. Kicks back in at 6 minutes.

"Exit Sun" is a short percussion based tune. "Helter Skelter" is an uptempo track with drums and dissonant sax standing out. "Madness And The Damage Done" is intense early. Drums kick in before 2 minutes and the guitar follows. "Blackjazz Deathtrance" has these strange sounds that pulse before the heavy drums arrive. It settles around 3 1/2 minutes with more weird sounds. Spoken words follow. It's intense again. A calm before 6 1/2 minutes then it picks back up 8 minutes in. "Omen" is dark and intense once again. Sax in this one after 4 1/2 minutes and later. "21st Century Schizoid Man" is an interesting cover especially with the processed growling vocals. I prefer APRIL WINE's version.

A tough one for me to get into. Experimental, chaotic, noisy and loud. And no this has nothing to do with Jazz.

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 Blackjazz by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.71 | 88 ratings

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Blackjazz
Shining RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by tired_feet

4 stars Well, Shining certainly took the vibe of Grindstone even further here on Blackjazz.

Where Grindstone was a heavy, yet experimental and dynamic record, this one is just a continous punch in the gut all the way through.

The record starts off well with the opening duo of The Madness & The Damage Done and Fisheye which easily sets the tone. Unfortunately the overlong and aimless Exit Sun (both of 'em) really goes nowhere without any good riffs to boot.

But from Healter Skelter and out, the album kicks ass. On Healter Skelter, Munkeby recycles the main sax theme from the REDRUM track on the In The Kingdom... album from 2005 which pisses all over the original. And then there's a reprise of The Madness & The Damage Done which is easily the proggiest track on the album because it's got lotsa dynamics, mellotron and a nice buildup to the main theme.

Blackjazz Deathtrance is also good, but at nearly 11 mins a bit overlong, esspecially because it's so harrowing and relentless. Omen however is the best track on the album, and a song that Sunn0))))) wish they wrote. And the cover of 21st Century Schizoid Man is also very good, mainly because they do their own extreme interpretation of the song, and not a routine by-the- book delivery. These last two songs also feature guest vocals from Grutle of viking/black metal band Enslaved.

So Blackjazz is a pretty successful (and innovative) marriage of jazz and extreme metal. Unfortunately, one or two subpar songs + a slight lack of dynamics here and there means that I have to subtract one stars from the rating. Grindstone is in my opinion a better album, but Blackjazz is still good enough to label Shining one of Norway's most exciting bands at the moment.

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 Blackjazz by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.71 | 88 ratings

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Blackjazz
Shining RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Name "Shining" for years associates for me with great movie with Jack Nicholson. And "Blackjazz" could be possibly nice words game ( if there will be release from late 60-s with such name, I could think it should be possibly avant-jazz-funk Afro-American energetic project). But it is not.

Norwegian quartet of jazz musicians with music academy education plays combination of BLACK metal, industrial, heavy progressive and free-JAZZ. Or shortly speaking, BLACKJAZZ.

During last decade Norway became the strong base for world most innovative progressive musicians in different genres. Shining's team is not exception - band's musicians participated in many different, mostly jazz projects, and two of them are even "Jaga Jazzist", one of best known European progressive new fusion band, members. But there is no music as on "Jaga Jazzist" albums on Blackjazz at all.

In fact, musicians doing there on this album, same things they 're doing in their other projects - they are mixing different styles in one melted fusion. The difference is components: this fusion is very fast, very heavy, cold, industrial, with trash/death metal vocals. Possibly, it is most radical mix, with still could be named "fusion".

Possibly, it is difficult to imagine, how does it sounds: just think about Zorn's Naked City, some radical form of King Crimson, and the atmosphere is very similar to The Mars Voltian chaotic space, but without such deep psychedelic sense.

As many avant/experimental works, this album is not everyone's cup of tea. For those searching for harmony, mellow symphonic conformism with very regulated element of heavy rock in their music, or lovers of Pat Metheny pleasant listening, this album could break their nerves. Or bring them into depression. Or just destroy their pink glasses. If you're the one from categories from above, better avoid. It is just not your world ( and there is huge industry, working to produce one more product to make you happy).

But for dark streets travellers, for researchers of the borders between light and dark, for those thinking music is not nice soundtrack for your cocktail party - try this.

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