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Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Sweden

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Shining biography
SHINING is a Swedish experimental black metal act formed in Halmstad in 1996. The band has gone through several lineup changes through the years and only lead vocalist/ keyboard player Niklas "Kvarforth" Olsson is left from the original lineup. The band is known for their fascination of lyrical themes such as Hate, Depression and Suicide and their style of music is often refered to as suicide black metal. SHINING released their debut full-length studio album "I - Within Deep Dark Chambers" in 2000. They did already release the "Submit to Selfdestruction" EP ( limited to 300 hand-numbered copies) in 1998 though. SHINING´s studio albums are numbered I, II, II and so forth. The latest studio offering at the time ( December 2009) is "VI - Klagopsalmer (2009)".

SHINING´s inclusion in the Prog Archives database was approved by the Progressive Metal Team.

( Biography written by UMUR)

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IV - The Eerie ColdIV - The Eerie Cold
Peaceville 2015
$28.70 (used)
Through Years of OppressionThrough Years of Oppression
Unexploded 2014
Audio CD$10.54
$7.81 (used)
Livets ÄndhallplatsLivets Ändhallplats
Osmose Productions 2013
Audio CD$8.52
$65.94 (used)
VII: FVII: F"dd F"rlorare
Spinefarm 2013
Audio CD$8.82
$5.29 (used)
IX / Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, EndsIX / Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends
Season of Mist 2015
Audio CD$7.99
$7.99 (used)
International Blackjazz SocietyInternational Blackjazz Society
Spinefarm 2015
Audio CD$9.71
$9.69 (used)
V: / HalmstadV: / Halmstad
Imports 2007
Audio CD$8.42
$34.99 (used)
8 1/2 - Feberdrommar I Vaket Tillstand8 1/2 - Feberdrommar I Vaket Tillstand
Karisma 2016
$110.00 (used)
One One OneOne One One
Prosthetic Records 2013
Audio CD$9.43
$4.42 (used)
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SHINING discography

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

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

3.01 | 11 ratings
I - Within Deep Dark Chambers
3.38 | 9 ratings
II - Livets Ändhållplats
3.41 | 12 ratings
III - Angst, Självdestruktivitetens Emissarie
4.20 | 19 ratings
IV - The Eerie Cold
4.03 | 26 ratings
V - Halmstad
3.99 | 17 ratings
VI - Klagopsalmer
3.90 | 25 ratings
VII: Född Förlorare
3.98 | 11 ratings
Redefining Darkness
3.67 | 3 ratings
8 1/2 Feberdrommar I Vaket Tillstan
3.83 | 6 ratings
IX - Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends

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

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

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

2.95 | 4 ratings
Through Years of Oppression
2.49 | 3 ratings
The Darkroom Sessions

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

2.98 | 3 ratings
Submit to Selfdestruction
3.45 | 4 ratings
Dolorian / Shining
2.98 | 3 ratings
The Sinister Alliance
1.51 | 3 ratings
Shining / Den Saakaldte
2.00 | 1 ratings
Förtvivlan, Min Arvedel
2.00 | 1 ratings
Lots Of Girls Gonna Get Hurt
2.00 | 1 ratings
Shining / Alfahanne
2.00 | 1 ratings
Shining / Monumentum
2.00 | 1 ratings
In The Eerie Cold Where All The Witches Dance
2.00 | 1 ratings
Shining On The Enslaved
2.00 | 1 ratings
Five Valid Reasons For Self-Inflicting Harm


Showing last 10 reviews only
 I - Within Deep Dark Chambers by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.01 | 11 ratings

I - Within Deep Dark Chambers
Shining Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

3 stars There are some people who are just born to be unhappy despite living in the most fortunate of circumstances. For some reason, Scandinavia has plenty of unhappy souls despite having one of the highest standards of living in the world. Such is the case with young Niklas Kvarforth who started his depressive black metal band SHINING (the Swedish band, not the Norwegian jazz-metal group of the same name) at the tender age of 12. Depressive black metal set itself apart early on in the 90s distinguishing itself other black metal in that it doesn't focus on misanthropy or Satanic themes but rather on self-destruction and all the negative emotions associated with suicide and self hatred. WITHIN DEEP DARK CHAMBERS is the full debut album by Kvarforth who contributes vocals, guitar and keyboard with his lineup of other sickened souls: Tusk on bass, Ted Wedebrand on drums and additional disturbed vocalizations by Andreas Classen.

This debut album is pretty much in line with the depressive black metal scene of the 90s in that it utilizes an overall repetitive, hypnotic and monotonous feel that incorporates the wall of sound guitar frenzy with atmospheric keys, occasional chimes and midstream drums meaning that blastbeats are uncommon and the drums lazily accompany the fuzz feed frenzy. Perhaps the most "depressive" aspect of SHINING's first album is not only the uncompromising fury of the music but mostly of Kvarforth's anguished and tortured vocals above all else. This is one of those albums that simply excels in distressed fury and keeps me on pins and needles wondering if dude isn't gonna do himself in on the final track just to have a musical place in history. Fortunately not so as i like future SHINING albums better than this one. But wow. This definitely fits the depressive black metal bill. Not recommended as music for grandma's funeral.

While this album excels at keeping every shimmer of light from entering the boarded up windows and screams a razor blade, case of aspirin with vodka and carbon monoxide party, the music is fairly straight forward as this was before SHINING started experimenting with more progressive elements as to add more sophistication to self-hating pity party. The music here has the regular black metal buzzsaw grunge, where the guitars and bass are one and the raspy vocals wax and wane between traumatic black metal tantrums about how horrible the world is with utter resignation to the life sucks affirmations. The weakness here is the percussion as it is as languid as a salamander in the arctic and merely keeps the beat and not much else. Overall, this is a decent slice of depressive black metal but some of the tracks which hint towards progressiveness such as "Stonelands" and "And Only Silence Remains?" tend to meander for far too long, however the inclusion of church bells and slow parts in the latter does make it a bit more interesting at times. 3.5 rounded down

 Redefining Darkness by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.98 | 11 ratings

Redefining Darkness
Shining Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I first heard of Shining and Niklas Kvarforth by reading accounts of the ludicrous "Ghoul" stunt perpetrated by the band a while back, but at least they seem to have decent music backing up these stunts. Aside from an obligatory black metal denunciation of Christianity in the final track, For the God Below, the album finds Niklas singing (screaming, roaring, growling, ranting) about depression, suicide, and murder in disturbingly frank terms, backed by dark and dirty black metal thunder from his bandmates. None other than Andy LaRoque - yes, King Diamond's Andy LaRoque - steps in to provide a guest performance, along with a range of other guests, and if the performances occasionally seem to lean in surprisingly commercial directions for a band with Shining's forbidding reputation, this is never so blatant as to disrupt the aesthetic they're going for. An interesting effort which makes me want to plumb the depths of Shining further.
 VI - Klagopsalmer by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.99 | 17 ratings

VI - Klagopsalmer
Shining Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Klagopsalmer finds Shining persisting with the musical approach they'd adopted on Halmstad, and whilst it doesn't quite feel as fresh as it did on that album, it's still nice to hear them really going to town on embellishing the quieter sections of their loud/quiet blueprint. Shining could probably be accused of sticking to their basic formula once again, but the additions to the formula attained during the Halmstad era have clearly stuck, and consequently their sound still feels moderately refreshed here. I don't think this album is the equal of Halmstad, which I would personally recommend to most listeners as their starting point in exploring the miserable world of Shining, but it's not bad either.
 V - Halmstad by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.03 | 26 ratings

V - Halmstad
Shining Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Emerging in the wake of the whole "Ghoul" debacle (in which Kvarforth and Shining tried their best to convince the world that Kvarforth had committed suicide without ever directly stating it for the sake of plausible deniability when the sham was revealed), V: Halmstad reveals a rejuvenated and refreshed Shining. It's not that their formula has radically changed here, but the application of the formula is masterful and compelling. In particular, the band have clearly honed their skills when it comes to the quieter instrumental sections, and the tightened up sound there really helps the compositions hang together. If Kvarforth needed to pull a tasteless prank on the black metal scene in order to produce this album, I'm inclined to forgive him when the results are this good.
 IV - The Eerie Cold by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.20 | 19 ratings

IV - The Eerie Cold
Shining Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars With some of its calmer tracks approaching post-rock territory (complete with found audio snippets a la Godspeed You Black Emperor), Shining's fourth album is a confident application of what had by this point become a tightly optimised blueprint. It's a solid work, though it still doesn't quite represent a major creative breakthrough in the band's music; if anything, it risks creating the impression that the band were stuck in a rut at this point and only just about manages to avoid this. You have to wonder whether Kvarforth's infamous "Ghoul" stunt that followed the release of this album wasn't at least in part motivated by a desire to shake off the cobwebs and do something a little different.
 II - Livets Ändhållplats by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.38 | 9 ratings

II - Livets Ändhållplats
Shining Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Shining's second album is in most respects a reiteration of the formula of their debut, once again offering desperate scrabbling outbursts of black metal in between despairing acoustic passages. The main development here over Within Deep Dark Chambers is in a mildly greater level of polish to the production, and a deadening of the fury of the black metal sections, sinking even deeper into the melancholy, lethargic atmosphere that makes these early albums of theirs a simultaneously fascinating and worrying listen. By the end of the listen most listeners will feel that Kvarforth is badly in need of a hug; whether you consider this a positive or not is probably key to whether the whole "depressive black metal" concept is for you or not.
 I - Within Deep Dark Chambers by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.01 | 11 ratings

I - Within Deep Dark Chambers
Shining Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Shining's debut album mashes up Burzumesque black metal with gloomy, doomy riffs and subject matter to create a sonic journey down into the deepest vaults of depression. There's a certain lifelessness to the album which would be a detriment to most circumstances but works well to evoke the misery they are aiming for - this is music which has to make a conscious effort just to get out of bed and face the day, and is always half-tempted to grab a handful of sleeping pills and not get up at all. Niklas Kvarforth is, of course, still with us (the unspeakably silly Ghoul incident notwithstanding) so clearly the process of making this music is therapeutic to a certain extent, and when I'm in the right mood it's an intriguing and maudlin experience, though I wouldn't want to listen to it too much if I were actually in a major grump.
 Redefining Darkness by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.98 | 11 ratings

Redefining Darkness
Shining Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by kluseba

4 stars After the short cover EP "Lots Of Girls Gonna Get Hurt", the controversial Swedish depressive black metal band Shining around front man, vocalist, keyboarder and guitar player Niklas Kvarforth is back for good with an eight full length record in only twelve years.

I haven't been a big follower of the band but I wanted to try them out for quite a while and I'm very positively surprised with this release that surely motivates me enough to check out further parts of their discography. The band is in fact much more epic and especially melodic than I expected. Harsher parts with unchained and fascinatingly unique vocals, sharp riffs and heavy drumming are as present as psychedelic with atmospheric keyboard sounds, chilling acoustic guitar passages and dreamy clean vocals that give the whole thing a very progressive touch. In these passages, the band is quite close to bands such as Anathema, Katatonia or Opeth. There is only one difference: Shining happens to be better than any of the talented other three bands. The band sounds very pure in its emotions, the song writing perfectly plays with contrasts and the tracks vary enough to never get boring.

A few years ago, I would have been discouraged by the quite brutal opener "Du, Mitt Konstverk" but as time went by, I began to understand what I would call the essence of black metal and find the bleak atmosphere authentic, extreme and profound. It's definitely one of the most diversified genres in the entire metal universe but it takes some time to get into this kind of music. Even this beast of an opener has though a melodic break in its second half that calms you down, puts you in a melancholic mood and plays with contrasts. On the other side, the closing "For The God Below" is probably one of the most epic and melodic tracks the band has ever written as far as I've heard and should also please to fans of other genres such as gothic or progressive metal for example. The acoustic guitar harmonies, the variable vocals and the great guitar effects and solos are simply touching and also technically very well executed. This track is by far one of the best songs of the year and any open minded metal maniac should try this out at all costs.

In the end, Shining deliver one of the most emotional and varied releases of the year and have won a new fan in me. There have been many amazing records out this year but this album is clearly among the twenty best albums and I feel that it may still grow on me. Those who like extreme emotions and imaginative music filled with contrasts should try this band out despite its controversial image. Madness and genius are quite close and even though Niklas Kvarforth might be very eccentric, what he delivers here can be called a true little masterpiece despite its short length and a few less convincing passages in the tracks of the record's middle part.

Originally published on the Metal Archives on November 5th of the year 2012

 Redefining Darkness by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.98 | 11 ratings

Redefining Darkness
Shining Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Redefining Darkness" is the 8th full-length studio album by Swedish extreme metal act Shining. The album was released through Spinefarm Records in October 2012. "Redefining Darkness" was produced by Andy LaRocque (King Diamond), who also plays some leads. Other notable guests are Anthrax guitarist Rob Caggiano, who also contribute with lead guitar work and Hoest (Taake) who contributes additional vocals.

The album features six tracks. Two with Swedish language lyrics, three with English language lyrics and one instrumental. The band haven´t used English language lyrics on any album since "IV - The Eerie Cold (2005)", so in that respect Shining return to the roots. That´s certainly not the case with the instrumental part of the music or the songwriting in general though. "Redefining Darkness" is in the more mature semi-progressive extreme metal style that the band have more or less followed since they reformed in 2004. Misantrophy, depression, self-loathing and suicide are still central themes in the band´s lyrics like they have been from day one. The words are delivered with a malevolent kind of gleam in the eye and therefore it´s hard to know how much to put into them. They are certainly deranged and will probably also be perceived as imoral by some.

Niklas Kvarforth´s twisted schizophrenic vocal delivery, which ranges from extremely aggressive raspy/growling (completely intelligible) to clean singing and whispering, is a real treat and create intriguing contrasts, that not many extreme metal vocalists are able to do. Personally I think he is best when he delivers lyrics in his native tongue. One of the most striking examples of that is the line: "Snällä, snällä, snällä, snällä, snällä, snällä Låt mig få skada dig" (which translates into: "Please, please, please, please, please, please Let me hurt you") from the opening track "Du, Mitt Konstverk" ("You, My Artwork"), which is delivered in a clean emotional and mellow tone, that greatly contrasts the lyrics, which are about a murderer and his obsession with mutilating his victims. In his mind he is an artist. "Genom att förstöra skall jag nu skapa" ("By destroying I shall now create"), "Så skapar jag nu ännu ett mästerverk", "Allt som är vackert blir nu fult" ("This is how I create another masterpiece". "Everything that's beautiful now becomes ugly"). Twisted and unpleasant to say the least.

The intrumental part of the music is varied. The album features both faster parts, crushingly heavy yet groove oriented parts (the main riff in "Han Som Hatar Människan" ("He Who Hates Humans"), is a classic example of the stomping groove that Shining are able to produce) and mellower acoustic sections, which usually feature a haunting or melancholic atmosphere. The guitar solos on the album are a real treat. It´s not that the guitar solos on previous releases have been bad. Actually far from it. But the solos on "Redefining Darkness" are a step up for the band. Of course I would have expected no less from especially Andy LaRocque.

Out of the six tracks on the album, it´s only the instrumental piano dominated "Det Stora Grå" ("The Great Grey"), which isn´t that great. On the other hand it does work as an atmospheric intro to the closing track "For the God Below", so it does serve a purpose on the album. "Redefining Darkness" is overall a very strong release by Shining. This could make a great entry for new fans but it´s certainly a worthy addition to the collection of the existing fans too. It´s not that "Redefining Darkness" is vastly different from the rest of the post-2004 material by the band, but the band incorporate enough new ideas to the music to keep it fresh sounding and exiting. A good example are the saxophone parts in "The Ghastly Silence". A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is well deserved.

 The Darkroom Sessions by SHINING album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2004
2.49 | 3 ratings

The Darkroom Sessions
Shining Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

2 stars 'The Darkroom Sessions' - Shining (4/10)

'The Darkroom Sessions' is a rare compilation from Shining, a band who are definitely at the top of my favourites list when it comes to suicidal, misanthropic Swedish progressive black metal. Barring the darkly eccentric nature of their frontman Niklas Kvarforth, the band has made some incredible music. Although it is a compilation, 'The Darkroom Sessions' is not a best-of, or even a collection of unreleased tracks,as was the case with their earlier 'Through Years Of Oppression'. Instead, this compilation offers alternate takes of tracks from their early albums, specifically instrumental renditions. Likely used as demos to sharpen up the instrumental quality of the compositions, these demos show the songs in a (more) raw form, but the lack of anything really fresh or new makes the album feel somewhat unnecessary.

The only real perk that 'The Darkroom Sessions' has over other releases is the lack of Kvarforth's vocals, an aspect of the band which helped distinguish them as a whole. To be fair, these longwinded compositions are functional without the human element, and parts of this- particularly the epic 'Svart Industriell Olycka'- work even better in the instrumental format. However, in general, 'The Darkroom Sessions' does not offer a listener much more than a sombre, tedious listening experience. Keeping in mind that I was not a big fan of Shining's early material to begin with, the compilation does little to augment my appreciation for the work. 'The Darkroom Sessions' is easy to sit through, and enjoyable at times, but it would sooner send me to sleep than haunt my dreams.

Thanks to UMUR for the artist addition.

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