Shining (SWE)
II - Livets Andhallplats


4.0
excellent

Review

by TheSpirit CONTRIBUTOR (136 Reviews)
January 29th, 2010 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist


In the year 2000 when Swedish based band Shining released their first album I - Within Deep Dark Chambers the group simultaneously (and almost singlehandedly) created both the suicidal and depressive sects of black metal. From its subtly atmospheric music to its heavy references to suicide, the album inspired hundreds of young musicians to step and and voice their own hurts and pains. Unfortunately, the majority those inspired musicians have only instead created music that hurts and pains the ears of the genres listeners. Luckily for the black metal community, that unlike so many of the other suicidal and depressive black metal bands who (also luckily) would disappear after their first albums, Shining proved to be a true long player in releasing their fantastic II - Livets Andhallplats in the summer of 2001.

As a whole II - Livets Andhallplats proves to be a much more dynamic record then its predecessor. This is clearly evident even from the first song "Ett Liv Utan Mening" which begins with a hauntingly melodic acoustic guitar introduction which leads into but then leads to pure, unrestrained atmospherically abundant black metal. While most times the atmospherics are created by some sort of synth effect, in Shining's case the overwhelming disparity is caused by nothing more then the tremolo picked guitars and the gratifyingly audible bass to the blasting drums and the tortured howls of project main man Kvarforth. Musically, there are many instances on the album where the band successfully and what seems to be easily, transitions from melancholic clean picked guitar sections to the trademark black metal aggression the genre is known for. While yes, the music is fast, intense and quite claustrophobic it is also enjoyable melodic, with the latter factor never detracting from the emotions brought out by the instruments.

Lyrically, the suicidal content of I - Within Deep Dark Chambers is also taken to new heights (or depths depending on how one decides to look at it). In the song "Att Med Kniv Göra Sig Illa" Kvarforth repeatedly spews "born to die/cursed to life/i was born to die/but I'm cursed to die/unchain the wolf inside/and let the self-destruction blossom". With lyrics like this coupled with the lead singers haunted delivery it really is a wonder at how the man has not yet committed the act he so vehemently supports. Where this pain and anguish came from, nobody can say, but it's quite easily felt upon listen that Kvarforth doesn't live a day without some sort of feeling of ache and pain. Even with the song "Manipulation Mass" the band urges it's listener's to harm themselves, creepily pleading "Do me a favor/and kill yourself" throughout the song. While many bands in the past have been tried and sued for even the thought of incorporating such a message into their music, the bold Shining puts their message right into the front of the mix, unafraid to preach their own self mutilating morals.

Overall, II - Livets Andhallplats is much more focused, mature approach to the musical and lyrical content of the first album. The instrumentation proves to be much better, and the lyrics, even more depressing that thought to be possible. While the rest of the suicidal black metal genre was already showing signs of an imminent collapse, Shining gave the genre a revitalizing breath of fresh air with II - Livets Andhallplats showing once again, the might of of true innovators.



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user ratings (62)
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3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
January 29th 2010


22401 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

For some strange reason i was feeling oddly inspired this morning around 5:30 and wrote this up. Album rules

Digging: Witches Moon - A Storm of Golden Mare and Black Cauldron

Ponton
Emeritus
January 29th 2010


6154 Comments


Good job, man. You've become a very good reviewer. However, you may want to proof read this some as I notice several comma splices and awkward sentences. Pos.

Digging: Head North - The Last Living Man Alive Ever

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
January 29th 2010


22401 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ah thanks man. I'll look it over when i get from work tonight

Ponton
Emeritus
January 29th 2010


6154 Comments


No problem. I've never been one for suicidal-type metal, but I hear these guys make some of the best music for it.

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
January 29th 2010


22401 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's definitely an acquired taste but Shining so it better than pretty much anyone else

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
January 29th 2010


22401 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

At this point in time, Shining sounded much more like straight up BM though, so it's actually pretty accessible as well.

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
February 4th 2010


22401 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

BUMP

Crysis
Emeritus
February 4th 2010


17311 Comments


don't reply its a trap

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
February 16th 2010


22401 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you're a trap.

jingledeath
February 16th 2010


7101 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ah missed this when it was posted. Good stuff man although I'd say this is the weakest album in their discography, still pretty good which says a lot about the band.

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2010


22401 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, although i'll respectively disagree with II being the worst, i think III is their worst

Dryden
February 25th 2010


13554 Comments


so good



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