Shining (SWE)
V - Halmstad


5.0
classic

Review

by onlyhuman USER (17 Reviews)
October 29th, 2012 | 39 replies | 5,123 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A truly exceptional lesson in how to create one of the darkest, most horrific atmospheres in all of music leads to this becoming one of the finest releases in all of black metal

9 of 10 thought this review was well written

If there were ever a black metal band that deserves more attention in not only the black metal circles it originates from, but every genre of music, it is Shining. Seamlessly blending brutality with some of the most beautifully composed, extremely emotional music that effortlessly conveys feelings of hopelessness and loss, Shining make extremely powerful music that is not for the faint hearted. Each of their albums is good enough in its own way, however, it is their fifth album, Halmstad, that stands out to me the most.

Opening up with a sample of a poem, this really does kick off with some power. The poem itself pretty much sums up the lyrical content of this album with its line "i wish i wasn't there today", before diving headlong into Shining's signature brand of black metal. However, on thing immediately becomes apparent for those uninitiated to the Shining discography, and that is how clean and soft the album is compared to many of Shining's black metal comrades. The infamous black metal production is not as evident on here as, say, a Mayhem album, and the blast beats are not there. Before long, this has gone into a clean guitar section, which is exceedingly soft, and contains some absolutely tortured vocals from Niklas. Seriously, this is the one black metal vocalist who truly deserves recognition. The amount of emotion he manages to pour into his vocals is absolutely breathtaking, despite the style of vocals he adopts for much of this release. He also shifts between a number of styles at times, which makes for one interesting listen.

The album's crowning achievement is the true feeling of being without hope at all. The lyrics convey feelings of suicide, and Niklas vocals and the soft to heavy dynamics with the beautiful and yet haunting melodies found throughout ensure that even without the poorly translated versions of the lyrics, one can truly feel the exact pain the songs outline. The music on display here is one of the tightest, most powerful performances I have ever seen, being absolutely brutal whilst rarely conforming with the norm of black metal of using blast beats and tremolo picking throughout songs. These elements are in play here frequently, but not to the same degree as many of the bands out there. Shining truly are unique in the way they play their music, making the darkest most morbid adventure a listener will ever embark on.

However, this album is not without faults. The bass work on here is the most lackluster, lazy performance I have heard on a black metal album to date. The frantic bass work found on many black metal albums is still present here, but never aspiring to do anything other than mindlessly follow the guitar lines throughout the songs, never really adding anything to the album, instead taking away from it. This is truly a disappointment to hear, as this is the single most powerful album a listener is likely to hear for a long time, with its unrivaled feel to it. However, this is a reason to excuse the weakness in the bass department, as the rest of the instruments are as tight as could be asked. It just gets a little depressing in itself to think that the bass work could have been so much better than what is found on here, and yet somehow the other instruments miraculously enable the listener to completely overlook this fact, such is a testament to the talent of the band.

This is one of the most blood curdling, heart breaking tales ever told, with every riff, each drum beat and every last agonizing scream conveying absolute self hate, making this a flat out classics. The acoustic sections on Neka Morgondagen do not feel out of place, nor do the groovy riffs that open it up, making this album an entity on its own, where any style of music can be seamlessly integrated and yet still feel utterly brutal and have a tint of mourning to it. The guitar solos are both vicious and, yet again, emotional, and the sudden tempo changes are perfectly written. This is black metals finest hour, in my opinion, even toppling the greats such as Immortals better efforts and Burzums finest.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
SAPoodle
October 29th 2012



454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fantastic album but your review reads more like a 4.5 or 4. Also, this should be under Shining (SWE) where there is already at least one review for this and a whole lot more ratings. Pretty good review though, sums up the album quite nicely.

StarlessAnd
October 29th 2012



443 Comments


this band and album are hilariously overrated

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 29th 2012



16259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Låt Oss Ta Allt Från Varandra" is a fantastic track. Love how it goes from string arrangements to a guitar solo that would feel at home in the 1980's.

Tyrael
October 29th 2012



20738 Comments


you should probably ask the mods to move this to the right page

the real band page is Shining (SWE)

Ethics
October 29th 2012



4112 Comments


heard a song from this band and it was incredible
probably will wind up getting the album

great review :]

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 29th 2012



19453 Comments


Cool band name and review POS

Digging: The Who - Tommy

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 29th 2012



15789 Comments


"However, on thing"
However, one thing

nice review, pos

Digging: Synaesthesia (UK) - Synaesthesia

XingKing
October 29th 2012



10039 Comments


Youtube links, man. I can't be expected to type them myself. I can only type this comment.

XingKing
October 29th 2012



10039 Comments


"This is black metals finest hour, in my opinion, even toppling the greats such as Immortals better efforts and Burzums finest."

Take out "in my opinion". Never say that in a review. Also, Immortal and Burzum are not at the top of the black metal food chain.

onlyhuman
October 29th 2012



83 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Burzum have ALWAYS been considered one of the best in the genre... Fuck, look at the average rating for their first few albums. Same with some of Immortals stuff, considered classics of the genre. However, that statement was intended for the uninitiated to the genre who have perhaps only heard entry level black metal bands

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 29th 2012



19453 Comments


Gonna listen to this right now.

XingKing
October 29th 2012



10039 Comments


Emperor and Dissection not only have a higher rating than both of those bands, their first two albums from both bands are undeniable classics of the genre

onlyhuman
October 29th 2012



83 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

And yet Dissection are not as well known as either band. A review should apply to a wide audience, so i at least had to mention the most well known bands in the genre (should have probably mentioned Mayhem aswell).


Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 29th 2012



19453 Comments


who cares lol anyways fuk black metal gonna thrash.

XingKing
October 29th 2012



10039 Comments


lol at thinking Immortal are anywhere near the popularity of Emperor or Dissection. Fuck, Emperor's first album has twice as many ratings as Immortal's most popular and if you don't think Emperor are one of the most popular and influential black metal bands, you are delusional.

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 29th 2012



19453 Comments


like i said, WHO CARES.

XingKing
October 29th 2012



10039 Comments


He jumped into asshole mode with his first reply. He cares. I care that he is wrong.

Havey
October 29th 2012



9617 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Emperor and Dissection not only have a higher rating than both of those bands, their first two albums from both bands are undeniable classics of the genre


them being classics doesn't make Burzum any less of a classic though. Hvis Lyset Tar Oss is without a doubt one of the pinnacles of the genre and more of a classic than Dissection's Storm of the Light's Bane, dude. Also, Hvis Lyset has a lower rating because there is a significant amount of controversy surrounding Varg's music.

agreed on Emperor though, they're def at the top. also agreed on Immortal not being close to the others

Digging: Cecil Taylor - Dark to Themselves

XingKing
October 29th 2012



10039 Comments


I'm not saying Burzum isn't a classic, they just aren't on the same plane. The different level of musicianship found on In the Nightside Eclipse compared to Hvis Lyset is absolutely worlds apart and they came out the same exact year. Hell, the Somberlain's musicianship is a giant leap from Burzums and that came out a year before.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 29th 2012



19453 Comments


I don't think he was an asshole in his first comment lol he was just stating his opinion.



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