Album Review: Shining - Shining
Reviewed by Richard Oliver
Returning after five years since their last record, controversial Swedish black metallers Shining are back with their eleventh full length album - the self-titled “Shining” which the band have described as “a downward journey in stereo that will drown the world in a mesmerizing, inescapable darkness” and sees the band very much on form with a six songs of bleak and unrelenting darkness which is the perfect soundtrack for the world in 2023.
Shining have always been a band to push the boundaries of black metal incorporating progressive elements and influences from outside the sphere of metal into their depressive black metal sound and this is still very much the case on “Shining” with bleak doom-laden songs such as ‘Snart är dom alla borta’ and ‘Allt för döden’ sitting alongside ‘Fidelis ad Mortem’ with its dark choral vocals and prog influences before the band unleash hell with album closer ‘Den Permanenta Sömnen Kallar’ which is relentless and atmospheric black metal for its first half before it drops to a more doomy and progressive second half. This is definitely Shining sounding a bit more introspective and understated here which can also be heard in the vocals by Niklas Kvarforth which are a bit less unhinged than usual and there is a heavy use of his melancholic clean vocals.
“Shining” is another solid album from the Swedish depressive black metallers and it sees the band further progress their sound. This may be less visceral and violent than some of the previous Shining albums but this is dark, brooding and contemplative music which whilst not sonically destructive is blackened to its rotten core. Black metal is probably the most versatile sub-genre within metal and “Shining” is testament to that and will appeal to fans of black metal, doom metal and progressive metal alike