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Shining - Grindstone CD (album) cover





4.09 | 69 ratings

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Easy Money
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Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars Although they are categorized on this site as an avant-rock band, Shining has come a long way since they started as a noisy improvisatory jazz group. With the release of Grindstone, Shining has finally become the incredibly powerful modern instrumental progressive rock band they had hinted at on previous albums. As a long time fan of this genre, I think this is the strongest most original progressive rock band I have heard since the original King Crimson disbanded in 1975, yeah, it's that good.

Although Shining has their own sound, some of their similarities to classic Crimson are very much in their favor. Both bands combine rock, jazz, modern classical, metal, avant-garde, funk, punk and world music into a highly original musical collage, both combine acoustic and electric instruments into unique mini- orchestras, and both create music that is somehow ancient and modern at the same time. I especially enjoy the Crimsonish doubled saxophone lines and heavy Mellotron dirges. To this classic mix Shining brings excellent compositional skills, truly unique melodies that reflect their North European background, and modern metal influenced musical sensibilities that give them a futuristic cutting edge sound. Besides King Crimson, some other bands that come to mind when listening to this album include, John Zorn, mid- 70s Genesis, Van der Graf Generator, Slayer, Mr Bungle, The Mars Volta and probably some avant prog metal bands I don't know about. The diffrence is that Shining's music is almost all instumental except for occaisonal wordless vocals. Ashild Skiri Refshdal's soaring soprano combined with the metal guitar and heavy Mellotron definitley takes a few of their tunes to another time and planet.

It is Shining's compositional skills and gift for original melody that sets them apart from the pack. The ability to draw upon and invoke the spirit of classic progressive rock, and still move the genre forward into new territory is no easy fete, but on Grindstone, Shining achieves what no other band has been able to achieve in decades.

Easy Money | 5/5 |


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