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SHINING

RIO/Avant-Prog • Norway


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Shining picture
Shining biography
Founded in Oslo, Norway in 1999

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.

Photo by Christoffer Krook

"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 ar...
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X - VARG UTAN FLOCKX - VARG UTAN FLOCK
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Redefining Darkness [LP]Redefining Darkness [LP]
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V - HALMSTAD (NIKLAS ANGÅENDE NIKLAS)V - HALMSTAD (NIKLAS ANGÅENDE NIKLAS)
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VI / KLAGOPSALMERVI / KLAGOPSALMER
Season of Mist 2012
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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)

3.36 | 11 ratings
Where The Ragged People Go
2001
3.08 | 12 ratings
Sweet Shanghai Devil
2003
3.65 | 34 ratings
In The Kingdom Of Kitsch You Will Be A Monster
2005
4.09 | 68 ratings
Grindstone
2007
3.75 | 100 ratings
Blackjazz
2010
3.31 | 23 ratings
One One One
2013
3.58 | 12 ratings
International Blackjazz Society
2015
2.84 | 6 ratings
Animal
2018

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

4.25 | 8 ratings
Live Blackjazz
2011

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

4.14 | 7 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)

3.16 | 6 ratings
Fisheye
2010

SHINING Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 In The Kingdom Of Kitsch You Will Be A Monster by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.65 | 34 ratings

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In The Kingdom Of Kitsch You Will Be A Monster
Shining RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Shining is a band that I find very interesting, starting off as an avant garde jazz band and then gradually adding metal, ambience and a wide variety of other ideas into their musc until it all culminated into a certain furious, aggressive sound that was simply incredible (all before then stripping that stuff away to create some albums that some would consider musical travesties, but eh). In the Kingdom of Kitsch marks the start of the addition of more wild elements into Shining's music, and in many places does feel very much like a transitional album. Many of the songs don't quite feel fully fleshed out, instead causing the album to sound more like a collection of interesting experiments that heavily use atmosphere and tone in order to establish themselves, each song focusing on a certain concept and then running with it, not really breaking too far away from it, but still exploring. This provides the album with a quality in which actively listening to it will likely be incredibly dull after a bit of time, but listening to it as background music makes it quite effective, due to the atmospheric quality the album has, giving it some of the qualities of an album utilising ambience, having decent amounts of listenability when not focusing on it.

It's the songs using saxophone that I find to be the most enjoyable here, especially the downright incredible opening track, Goretex Weather Report, which is one of the only tracks on the album that I'd consider a fully fleshed out song, building in intensity, adding distortion to what is originally quite a simple, quirky saxophone line, before a wave of distortion sweeps everything away in a grand display of power, sounding truly epic in the process, especially with the hints of violin that find their way into the song. I also adore the quieter middle section that transforms this power into a lovely little electronic break, having a more melodic edge to it rather than existing for the purpose of a building intensity. The two other songs that I find to stand out are Aleister Explains Everything, which is repetitive, yet quite unsettling in the way the saxophones sound as if they're wailing, and The Smoking Dog. This song is incredibly quirky and definitely one of the most enjoyable songs on the album for me, short, sharp bursts of saxophone play off the strange, unexpected beatboxing that just decided to exist, in an amazing manner, further pushing along the beat in a greatly entertaining way. This song in particular sounds like the band was having quite a bit of fun, although the album has that very loose, experimental feel in general, it's jst stronger here. I also adore Perdurabo, showcasing the guitar element of the band in an amazing way, and having some chilling synth and distortion, creating the effect that the main melodic line present is being sung in a pained way, or simply wildly screamed, in either case, it's really cool.

The issue arises when it comes to the fact that some other tracks I find to be quite underdeveloped, such as Romani, which is structured around a single crescendo on the clarinet that continuously ebbs and flows, but unfortunately builds up to very little, which is problematic considering that literally the entire song seemed to be building up to something. I'm also not too keen on 31=300=20, mostly because despite having really great atmosphere set up, reminiscient of old horror movies, it just doesn't grab me in any particular way, despite the cool electronic intsrumentation and is one of the reasons why I do consider this album better listened to in the background. I have similar issues with Where Death Comes To Cry, as another song that just really does nothing for me.

On the whole, while I do really love certain songs here and also applaud what this album goes for, certain song miss the mark, remaining nothing more than interesting experiments. The album has a sense of immaturity to it, as if the band was still trying to find their feet in creating effective soundscapes and unique avant garde passages. I stand by the fact that this is an interesting album to listen to in the background, but I can't see myself returning to this often bar a few awesome songs, at least nt for an in depth, active listen. I'd definitely recommend this to people looking for some interesting experimentation, but the next two albums that Shining released are definitely far superior.

Best tracks: Goretex Weather Report, Perdurabo, Aleister Explains Everything, The Smoking Dog

Weakest tracks: Romani, 31=300=20, Where Death Comes To Cry

Verdict: A very interesting avant garde album that is quite hit or miss. Really interesting atmosphere throughout its entirety, but it does fall very short in other places with ideas that feel half baked. I'd recommend this album to those looking for some cool experimentation, but I'd recommend listening to Grindstone and Blackjazz first, as I find both of those albums to be far better.

 Animal by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2018
2.84 | 6 ratings

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Animal
Shining RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars Jørgen Munkeby (saxophonist and guitarist, a graduate of the Norwegian Academy of Music) has long been the driving force between Norway's jazz-metal collective, Shining. Over the years they have broken down musical barriers and have refused to be categorised into any particular style of music, as they mixed progressive, technical metal, jazz, avant-garde and experimental sounds. But now he is back with something different "I was tired of doing the same thing," he explains. "I was done with 'Blackjazz' and wanted to create something new and exciting. I needed a change. I'm finally at the point where I have nothing to lose and everything to win. We had 360 degrees to play with so we could've gone in any direction. This new record is more Muse than Meshuggah, more Ghost than Gojira, and more Biffy Clyro than Burzum!"

It is all over the place as one might expect from the quote, and given Shining are known for having the sax as a key instrument it is somewhat surprising for one not to make any appearance anywhere on this! Devin Townsend has been an obvious influence, as have Linkin Park, and it is when the guys are really pushing the envelope with downtuned guitars and stacks of groove that they really make the listener stand up and take notice. It is mainstream for the most part, and it will be interesting to see how hardcore fans view this, as while it is an okay album, it is never really much more than that, and certainly not one which would be expected from him/them. It is almost a case of treating this as a brand-new band, and while the sound is very modern and powerful, for some reason it feels as if it as all been produced at the same level and consequently there just isn't enough drama for it to be consistently interesting.

 Grindstone by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.09 | 68 ratings

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Grindstone
Shining RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Having started out playing an eccentric style of flute-focused jazz fusion, Shining had undergone a long evolution, and Grindstone represents the tipping point where the metal components of their music shifted from being occasional influences (as in the preceding In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be A Monster) to being a central plank of the group's sound. Though the group had yet to grab onto the industrial influences which would bring this formula to perfection on Blackjazz, this off-kilter mashup of black metal, prog rock, and eccentric fusion will appeal to anyone interested in weird genre mashups. If Mr Bungle's Disco Volante is your idea of a good time, this might well be your jam.
 One One One by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.31 | 23 ratings

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One One One
Shining RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by I Love Internet

4 stars This is one wicked band! During this currend decade I´ve been dissappointed with most of the album released by my favorite band(circus maximus, devin, fates warning, Dream theater, vangough to name a few) And the same goes for most new bands I´ve given a chance. But this one! This album has a real personality and possibly my favorite opening track of the decade so far. Thus far I have only listened to this album by these guys, I sure will check out the new album as soon as I get the energy to get my hands on the album. This album is excactly what I´ve been in the mood for lately - crazy and fast and aggressive and just completely messed up. Jorgen Munkeby has become one of my favorite screamers. There´s really something about his vocals that resonates with me in a way that very few others do. I´m sort of reminded of mars volta by the vocal melodies. It sounds to me like they´ve been created with a similar mindset.

I´d love to give this album 5 stars, but it just doesn´t have enough variation between tracks to get a five from me. Still I do strongly recommend this to anyone who likes a good dose of screaming in their prog. Also people who like jazz with extreme metal or the other way around should check this one out.

 One One One by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.31 | 23 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.

 Blackjazz by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.75 | 100 ratings

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Blackjazz
Shining RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Guldbamsen
Special Collaborator Retired 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.

 Blackjazz by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.75 | 100 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.
 Blackjazz by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.75 | 100 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)

 Fisheye by SHINING album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2010
3.16 | 6 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)

 Grindstone by SHINING album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.09 | 68 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)

Thanks to avestin for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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