Shining (SWE)
V - Halmstad


4.0
excellent

Review

by John weathered old reviewer Hanson STAFF
December 4th, 2007 | 241 replies | 26,719 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Progressive black metal that doesn't suck in every possible way? Heresy, I must be wrong!

As I sit upon the culling block of life, questioning both my sanity and my reason for being, I think about all the good things in life. Chicken, boobs, liquor, books, tight female clothing, the black metal band Shining, the- wait, black metal? What the hell, am I turning into some horrible caricature of myself that enjoys horribly generic and tepid, badly produced metal?

I discovered Shining due to the fact they were tagged as “suicidal black metal” on last.fm and rateyourmusic. Out of pure morbid curiosity I checked them out, as their newest record V: Halmstad was getting some pretty high praise. Contained within was something that was much better than the ridiculous tags they get would assume you to believe.

Throwing out most black metal conventions, Shining pull an Opeth (or maudlin, whichever you prefer) and focus instead on incorporating clean and faux-classical passages into their music. What does this mean for those folks who have somehow missed the Opeth crazy train? Well, often to break up the obvious monotony that would occur if Shining just plowed through all of their songs like a bad early Satyricon impersonator, they will bring in a loose translation of a classical piece (although this does only occur once) or smoothly transition into an acoustic passage, occasionally accompanied by a piano. Perhaps because this is only one album, but Shining accomplish this goal ever so slightly better than their counterparts in Opeth, as the lighter passages always seem to be perfectly placed.

“Besvikelsens Dystra Monotoni” begins with two cello’s furiously playing against each other, and the sound of broken glass being shuffled around as the song then quickly generates into the two guitarists riffing in a similar pattern to what the players were doing just before. Moments like these are what makes Halmstad special in the grand scheme of things. While the interlude track “Åttiosextusenfyrahundra” is fairly lame and doesn’t add much to the feel or mood of the album (being the previously mentioned classic interpretation), elsewhere all of the clean passages build into the sense that whatever the hell “Kvarforth” (the singers kvlt BM name) is singing about, he is probably a little bit insane.

The black metal elements are pretty minimal if your going to compare it to a normal album in the genre, but they are well executed all the same. Kvarforth’s vocals are guttural and when he doesn’t sound like he’s gurgling on blood, they are actually surprisingly engaging. The riffs are pretty damn good, and both the riffs and solos both very similar to thing Entombed would have written in their heavier days. The bass work while rarely present isn’t awful, as it complements the melodic aspects of what the guitarists are doing well. So that I don’t leave it out, the drumming isn’t anything special, but at least it doesn’t sound like tin cans being banged against each other.

Shining shines (yeah, I said it) in the general construction of their songs, as the spectacular “Låt Oss Ta Allt Från Varandra” demonstrates perfectly. It starts with some distorted guitar riffs, which proceed to go full blast into the main “black metal” segment of the song. Just as you get settled into the routine, the whole song drops out and one of the few voice samples of Christina Ricci from Prozac Nation chimes in. Combined with a piano, a steady marching drum pattern, and a cello, it could end up incredibly cheesy but rather is poignant and incredibly hard hitting. The song then transitions into Kvarforth singing, which is quite a sound, and then with the soft chimes of what sounds like a cowbell we go into a glam metal solo which just kicks ass. Not sounding that impressive? Listen to the song, and then think about the fact its not even the best on here.

V- Halmstad is only a black metal record by the loosest stretch. Progressive black metal may be the best tag for this, and purists are going to absolutely hate it. Shining actively combat stereotypes and standards within the genre, and whether or not they should be applauded for it depends on your idea about the black metal scene. What they deliver with V- Halmstad is a black metal album for people who don’t really like black metal, but have always sort of wished they would. It’s heavy, it’s vaguely intelligent (musically- lyrically the translations I’ve been able to find are hilariously bad), and its got the ability to make you rethink your hate for an entire genre. Then again, Shining probably would want you to say “Fuck black metal” anyways.



Recent reviews by this author
Say Anything HebrewsWashboard Leo Thomas Louisiana Bluegrass
Crusades Perhaps You Deliver This Judgement...Against Me! Transgender Dysphoria Blues
Los Campesinos! No BluesArcade Fire Reflektor
user ratings (266)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
Jack Boaden (5)
Kill Yourself....

onlyhuman (5)
A truly exceptional lesson in how to create one of the darkest, most horrific atmospheres in all of ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2007


16088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Hey guys Im reviewing metal.
I'm editing all the crap that needs to be fixed like the lame tracklisting now.

Tyler
Emeritus
December 4th 2007


7926 Comments


kill yourself.

get it?

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2007


16088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

ya i get it funny!

Jom
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2007


2675 Comments


This is not the first time you've had a "I'm not a fan of [genre]" introduction. Diversify. Stating flat-out that you don't care for a genre right off the bat causes readers to not care and seek a different opinion.

plane
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2007


6094 Comments


Yeah this album rules. The only track I dislike a tad is the last one. I really like the interlude though breaking up the album in the middle so idk. “Besvikelsens Dystra Monotoni” is so awesome for the cello transition alone.

But good review and all that.

rasputin
December 4th 2007


14544 Comments


Looks pretty interesting, I like prog and I like black metal because I'm tr00. I might check it out.

Intransit
December 4th 2007


2797 Comments


Review sucks negnegnegcrushcrushcrush

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2007


16088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

OKAY JOM I CHANGED THE INTRO DO YOU LIKE IT BETTER NOW

Jom
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2007


2675 Comments


The capacity of human intelligence seems to limit the capabilities to expand upon any possible creative aptitudes. Indeed, if one cannot even notice the facets that the ingenuities around him are comprised of, how can he be expected to fashion a beast of his own? This inveterate sense of constraint is a great blow to the veracity of mankind’s abilities. It restrains us and holds our minds to the ground below, averting any possibility of rising above ourselves to something greater; something not fathomed by the conventional mind. This concept of seeking to go beyond one’s self, known as “transcendence”, is essentially a gateway to unlocking pieces of ourselves that can lead to some of the most elaborate and significant creations of our world. For many, this quest to transcend and form creations that were once considered unthinkable and overwhelming consumes life. Certainly it is rare to find such people, but when they are found, creative barriers are destroyed.

Intransit
December 4th 2007


2797 Comments


LOL INTRO RAWKS.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2007


16088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I so would have used that if I hadn't already used it in my CTTS review =(, but it was certainly an influence haha.

plane
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2007


6094 Comments


WHOA WHOA WHOA WAY OUT OF LINEThis Message Edited On 12.04.07

Willie
Moderator
December 4th 2007


15965 Comments


What they deliver with V- Halmstad is a black metal album for people who don’t really like black metal, but have always sort of wished they would.
If you had just put that as your summary I could have skipped the whole review ;) I'll definitely check it out.

Digging: Necropoli - I

BallsToTheWall
December 4th 2007


44300 Comments


This is actually pretty good despite all the deranged shit the singer pulls off on stage. A grower but pretty good.

Digging: Tiamat - Clouds

francesfarmer
December 4th 2007


1477 Comments


The riffs are pretty damn good, and both the riffs and solos both very similar to thing Entombed would have written in their heavier days

SSSSsss.........

Good review, this sounds interesting ima' dl.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2007


16088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Oh look Nostalgia being a retard, but on the REVIEW site now. Really mixing it up.
And knowing that Balls like this forces me to change my review to a 2.

Intransit
December 4th 2007


2797 Comments


I was expecting this to have more spam than the kids bop thread between the first like 10 comments or so. Shadows lulz+paramore+intro+whatever else=usually a recipe for plenty of off topic comments.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2007


16088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks for contributing!

Nostalgia
December 4th 2007


64 Comments


GREAT REVIEW BRO.This Message Edited On 12.04.07

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2007


16088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Who deleted your comment.

edit: oh wait i can hazard a guessThis Message Edited On 12.04.07



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy