Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Shining: Blackjazz (2010) Review

Shining is a Norwegian avant-garde metal band with close ties to black metal band Enslaved. Their fifth album Blackjazz came out earlier this year.

Their sound is a bizarre mix of metal, jazz, industrial, and noise. They often use strange time signatures and abrupt transitions, but at the same time they know how to turn this collection of oddities into an excellent groove (see "Fisheye"). There is a lot of variety: Tracks like "Healter Skelter" really show off the sax, while "Blackjazz Deathtrance" is (like its name suggests) in the trance genre.

When it all works, it's excellent, like the opener "The Madness and the Damage Done, Pt. 1". Sometimes, though, it seems thrown together haphazardly (like their cover of "21st Century Schizoid Man"), and sometimes the tracks drag on too long ("Omen" or "Exit Sun, Pt. 1"). In all, though, it's much more good than bad, and you have to expect at least a little randomness in this kind of music.

The Verdict: Shining is a very strange band who have created a very strange and experimental album that's surprisingly listenable, though obviously not for everyone. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. Shining is a strange band. I have not really checked them out all that much. As odd as their music is, their live show is stranger, featuring a lot of cutting on behalf of their singer.