Född förlorare

Shining – X – Varg utan flock Review

Shining – X – Varg utan flock Review

Shining is remarkably long-lived if one considers mainman Niklas Kvarforth’s admonitions that everyone should commit suicide. Twenty years into Shining’s career, Varg utan flock (Wolf without [a] Pack) marks the band’s 10th full length, and first since 2014. I have been holding out hope that Shining will regain the form of their earliest masterpieces, but since 2011 that field has been fallow. It’s tough to live up to records like Halmstad—one of the best albums of the 2000s—and Född förlorare. Those albums were excellent, memorable, and loaded with great writing and riffs. But starting in 2012, Shining/Kvarforth made a lot of noise about change. This was particularly present on 2012’s Redefining Darkness and even, to an extent, on IX: Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends. The reasons for this are unclear—it could simply be that Kvarforth was bored—but the “redefinition” meant English lyrics in 2012, and a significant lack of intensity in 2015. So, you’ll forgive me if I approached X: Varg utan flock with some hesitancy.” In the darkness, a ray of deeper darkness.

Shining – Redefining Darkness Review

Shining – Redefining Darkness Review

Shining has been a consistent favorite of mine since I discovered the band. Since V:/Halmstad: Niklas angående Niklas I have reviewed every one of their records and have witnessed a change in the band that I think is hard to ignore. Starting with V, the band has continued an Opethian evolution away from the raw, gut-wrenching emotional black metal into something less raw, more catchy and proggy (Marillion prog not Dream Theater prog). Having now dropped the numbers and donned instead an English title, (what would have been VIII) Redefining Darkness continues the band’s evolution away from its gut-wrenching roots. Were we looking for a redefinition? After the mighty VII: Född förlorare I sure wasn’t

Shining – VII: Född förlorare Review

>Shining is about as hip as it gets among so called “underground” black metal bands, though really at this point, what with being signed to Spinefarm now, I guess they’re not super underground anymore. But whatever, success does not make a band sucky by its very nature—no, it’s Angry Metal Guy’s Law of Diminishing Recordings™ that does that. And with the anticipation building around VII – Född förlorare (English: Born Loser[s]) due to the myriads of issues that surfaced in the process of recording, mixing and getting the album even out, it pretty much should go without saying that I’ve really been looking forward to this record. Haven’t you been looking forward to it? Damn straight.