Shining (SWE)
Redefining Darkness


3.5
great

Review

by ImTheOnlyThugInTheBuildin USER (142 Reviews)
November 10th, 2012 | 51 replies | 6,675 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Close, but no cigar for Shining in an album that is slowly ironing out the creases that were created by their last two full length releases

9 of 13 thought this review was well written

The sounds that greet the listener when they insert a Shining CD into their chosen choice of audio device can only be described as those of a man under his own form of torture; a man who is his own worst enemy. For so long the, band lead by Niklas Kvarforth have achieved a sound akin to something that many would crave to be able to find in their music-genuine suffering. Whereas pretenders may find glimmers of torment in their life's and channel them into their music, few have ever managed to capture such a chaotic and morbid sound as Shining. However, 2011's Fodd Forlorare and 2012's EP entitled Lots Of Girls Gonna Get Hurt hinted at a slight change in direction for the band, although still being flooded by depressive lyrics such as a song title that translates to Man, O Despicable Man, the dark atmosphere that had made albums such as V:Halmstad so successful was slowly being streamlined. Come the time of their latest studio album Redefining Darkness, however, it is clear that this is not the case.

First of all Redefining Darkness is certainly not a black metal release throughout much of its forty minute running time despite the first three minutes containing some of the most brutal instrumentals that the band has ever recorded. The rest of the album is more experimental; incorporating various other influences including clean guitars and some soothing clean vocals. This is one of the most warped creations from the band to date, merging more styles than the average Opeth release to great success. The guitar work on here is as varied as it gets, with some tremolo picked lines characteristic of the black metal genre and then some incredible melodic sections. The Ghastly Silence uses acoustic guitars prominently towards the end that give off some of the most incredible feelings of loss and hopelessness the music industry has ever produced. The solos on this release are rather surprising as well, with an extended solo found on Han Som Hatar Manniskan being one of the highlights of the album instead of feeling shoehorned in as is the case with many of their previous releases solos.

Once again however it is the vocals that carry this album forward as with all of the bands previous releases. There are a huge amount of clean vocals found on this album that are beautifully sung, particularly the operatic overtones on the fourth song Hail Darkness Hail, which also features some of the most traditional black metal sounding vocals on the album. The screams across this release are overall a lot deeper in pitch than those on their past discography as the opening song will indicate to strong effect. The tones themselves all echo the real torture that Nik has gone through in his life and convey well the songs of suicide that the band writes with disturbing accuracy. This is one remarkable vocal performance and almost single-handedly pushes this album into the upper echelons of the genre.

When all is said and done this album is not perfect though, with a few flaws that need ironing out. In particular the transition with the spoken words at four minutes into Hail Darkness Hail feels half written and pointless, as though the band was clutching as straws as to how to progress their music. Also, the shock value of the album is vastly toned down compared to past releases and feels totally cheesy at times. Lyrics such as "Without you there's no light at the end of the tunnel" feel like something an angry teenager would write after a breakup and sound all the more ridiculous coming out of a heavily accented Swedish mans mouth. Moments like this completely kill off the atmosphere established by the musicianship on their respective song and make them a mere shadow of what the band used to be on their fourth and fifth albums.

This was an album that had so much potential with its clear will to ditch any rules the genre they are a member of set down and write their own style of music but is under-pared by some truly silly writing. Parts of Hail Darkness Hail and For The God Below manage to destroy anything that the band has created emotionally and drag the song quality down a lot. For The God Below took far too much time with acoustic guitars playing at the beginning to get to the point and for that reason feels overly long. This was a nice effort from the band but is unfortunately nowhere near as powerful as V:Halmstad had been but is a certain step up from their last two releases.



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user ratings (53)
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metalwam (4)
I really like this album for the fact I find it very interesting musically and emotionally but it's...


Comments:Add a Comment 
GiaNXGX
November 10th 2012



4867 Comments


Great review and your diction is getting better and better. The first paragraph has an unnecessary
comma and " ' s ", fix it. Pos'd.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 10th 2012



15800 Comments


slowly ironing out the creases,
that were created by their last two full length releases

hey that rhymes

Digging: Synaesthesia (UK) - Synaesthesia

Tyrael
November 10th 2012



20740 Comments


lol

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
November 10th 2012



19471 Comments


great review buddy i'll try and check these guyz out later

Digging: The Who - Tommy

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
November 10th 2012



20650 Comments


good review pos

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

DropdeadWHA
November 10th 2012



569 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Found this pretty boring.



deathofasalesman
November 10th 2012



5811 Comments


Oooooh new Shining.

DarthMann
November 10th 2012



13476 Comments


sucks

Calc
November 10th 2012



12024 Comments


you have to ask for a feature? lamezors

Digging: Kashiwa Daisuke - April. #02

DarthMann
November 10th 2012



13476 Comments


its not gonna get featured

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 10th 2012



16263 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"For The God Below" is a sick track but unfortunately the rest aren't up to par.

Digging: Ulver - Bergtatt

Hawks
November 10th 2012



34582 Comments


Am I really missing anything if I don't listen to this?

Digging: Equilibrium - Erdentempel

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 10th 2012



16263 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

No

GiaNXGX
November 10th 2012



4867 Comments


congratz on the feature bro, keep it up. Yeah Crysis this wasn't so good but they did a sick Kent cover on their last ep, did you heard it?

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
November 10th 2012



19471 Comments


holy shit congratz on your first feature

RagingNoob
November 10th 2012



134 Comments


Hate the band, but great review. Pos'd.

DarthMann
November 10th 2012



13476 Comments


fuk come on this album sucks

GiaNXGX
November 10th 2012



4867 Comments


Album Rating: 3

Hey silentdude everything on the album is decent but I hate that artwork.

zaruyache
November 10th 2012



5896 Comments


What happened to the funny review of this? :[

Digging: Sunwolf - Beholden To Nothing And No One

GiaNXGX
November 10th 2012



4867 Comments


Album Rating: 3

Obviously they did bro and it really sucks, where's the depression? Where's the shining? It is not here because they no longer promote wrist-cutting, sellouts >:[



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