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Shining - II - Livets Ändhållplats CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

2.79 | 10 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'II: Livets Ändhållplats' - Shining (5/10)

I have previously expressed that while I deem Shining to be a highly consistent band, I did not care much for their debut, 'Within Deep Dark Chambers'. While it would take until their fourth album for Shining to hit their stride, 'II: Livets Ändhållplats' shows Shining already moving in an interesting direction with their music. That being said, the band is not yet out of a Burzum worship phase with this record, and and like the first and third album from this band, does not tend to stir me in the same profound way that the best material from this band does.

Although the highly negative lyrical content is still here as it always would be for Shining, the band's way of expressing their hatred of life and others is channeled through a more straightforward black metal sound. Shining's 'III' would see the identity and individual style begin to peer through, but at the stage of 'Livets Ändhållplats', do not expect Shining to go beyond the call of duty. Shining plays a brand of depressive black metal that isn't unlike Silencer, complete with drawn out compositions, washed out guitar tones, and Niklas Kvarforth's near-inhuman wailing. In terms of atmosphere, 'Livets Ändhållplats' does not grab me like the titans of the depressive black metal style, but it draws me in. Burzum is another act that Shining could be compared towards at this point. Along with Burzum's firm grasp of atmosphere, a problem I had with much of Burzum's music has also transferred via the influence, that being the highly repetitive songwriting structures. The sensation of hearing these drawn out chord progressions play in a loop has the effect of mildly hypnotizing a listener, but they don't overcome their influences on this one.

The music is not challenging perse, but it is difficult for me to get into. I am not opposed to a lo- fi rendition of depressive black metal, but the conflict between the need to concentrate in search of subtle melodies, and the inclination to simply 'let the music wash over me' makes 'Livets Ändhållplats' an album that leaves me a little underwhelmed, despite demonstrating the band's great potential. I feel that if the compositions had used their ideas better, I would have found myself loving what Shining offers on the second album. Alas, I will have to look to their fourth album and onwards for a fulfilling experience.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |


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