SHINING - V.HALMSTAD - THE END
V.Halmstad is six songs at over 42 minutes of ‘suicidal’ black metal promoting ‘self harm’. At least Shining can have some claims over originality. An interesting haunting intro leads to an often-acoustic track that manages to be catchy and include slow metal moments. More acoustic passages on the next track, one that is structured like a traditional metal ballad and one that manages to get heavier and faster and actually offer something for a few minutes. The third track again features metal mixed with some melancholy to fit the suicidal theme. The fourth track starts off in the classical realm before diving into aggressive riffing and solos and then into melancholy and agony producing an odd mix of emotions for a 10-minute period. The fifth track is more like a classical piano intermission. The last track starts off with something that actually sounds like black metal, unlike most of what is heard before it, and while it stays at it for longer than perhaps expected it does not avoid the acoustic and agonized vocals that take it in different directions altogether. – Anna Tergel
SHINING - 8 ½ - FEBERDRÖMMAR I VAKET TILLSTÅND – DARK ESSENCE
Another Shining album with six tracks sounds like par for the course, but look at the ‘half’ in the album’s title and there is something different about this release. It is comprised of older tracks augmented and spruced for re-presentation in 2013. To say Shining is raw, rough and tough is to state the obvious. The droning agony that are these songs endure eight to nine minutes each and combine the tortured black of metal with ambience and solitude. Szabadulj Meg Önmagadtól and Selvdestruktivitetens Emissarie have a lot of it, but the haunting instrumental Through Corridors Of Oppression is a desolate piece that wraps itself like a Nordic wind around an unsheltered body. Hear it and you will understand. What you won’t understand is the song titles and the languages the band deploys. English, French, Hungarian and Swedish – languages as well as singers - come together for variation where the same doesn’t exist musically. As always, the use of a drum machine is disheartening and lazy, but the tormented vocals, guitar and bass do make an impression.
If you thought the music is sombre and unhappy imagine how the band must feel about distancing its listeners from Christ year after release and still seeing the plague fester and grow. The album cover art could say whatever it wants. - Ali “The Metallian”