Those who need a quick briefing on what Shining are all about direct your attention to the album title. Mercurial jazz meets pizzazz black metal. It feels like something that would accompany an Uwe Boll film except the catch here is it doesn’t suck, and like most of his trite attempts at filming, the soundtrack would out mass the film. Blackjazz
is an album that’s ugly because of its pension to mash genre’s that don’t feel as parallel as they are.
Ugly seems to be more than a fitting description of Blackjazz
. It’s anything but inviting, evident from the transcending screams opening “The Madness and the Damage Done” but ascertained by the progression most tracks take. Where the electro jazz substance feels silly an, almost
abhorrent atmosphere takes hold shifting the attention to the spastic riffs that repeat but don’t grow stale – see “Exit Sun”. However, riffs are supplements for the fusion of the genres. The riffs split time between the whirlwind of buzzing that circumvents a majority of the affair, which mold nicely with the catatonic jazz instruments whether that be the saxophones, synths, and keyboard styling’s or all three they add to the harvesting of brutality Shining know how to produce so well.
And with that brutality familiarity treads. This is the Shining of past, doing Shining of the future (here in the present). Things are “new” (certainly heavier); yet most could approach this record and say “I’m not too shocked to hear that forty-five minute scream, or those repeating of track titles, or that ALL CAPS TRACK TITLE”. However you may be shocked to hear the influences they’re pulling from these days, and while they lean more to the motW side (which is a vastly different enigma all in itself), their ties keep them grounded while shoving those bars of metal further. Complexity in the simplest form, if that makes since, is a sharpened tool on Blackjazz
. While toning done the frenetic senses of previous affairs, the way in which they utilize all their instruments’ effects leads no structure. There is some extremely vivid work to be had here most of the second “The Maddening and the Damage Done” for instance - complete with tricky saxophone interplay and, of course, more buzzing.
Those aren’t discrepancies though, they’ve bolstered their work tenfold and it pays the dividends. Sure they could lay off the King Crimson
love for(ever) a while, but that doesn’t mean their aspirations aren’t in the right place. It is to say, they’re on the right track. Where their robotic vocals meets their buzz saw attacks comes beauty in the form of true “progression”. Not that Wal-Mart labeled progression because it doesn’t fit in the rock/pop category either, but ideas that are currently thinking outside the metal box; like the way their punk tastefulness sits perfectly in place next to their drone aesthetics. Here is where they beam brightest, in melding together superfluous influences into one single track – forget the album as a whole, they catapult the making and feeling of a truly original concept.