Shining - Shining (2023)


As polarizing of a person as Niklas Kvarforth is, his music is always full of raw and unadulterated emotion. With Shining’s self-titled release, the band continues its path of decadence into weirder and equally disturbing territories. With a (mostly) new line-up that includes additions such as Nick Barker on drums, Alex Friberg on bass guitar, and Charles Hedger on guitars, this album delivers over 50 minutes of chaotic and yet masterfully constructed music.

Opening with the powerful “Avsändare okänd”, we get that slow and atmospheric pace that the band has mastered, with a mixture of harsh snarls, clean vocals, and furious onslaughts of harsh brutality. The dark vibe that the band has been creating over the years, is perfectly encapsulated in the lush “Snart är dom alla borta” with its jazzy undertones and dramatic lead guitars.

Showcasing the class of drummer that Nick Barker is, “Allt för döden” features some very crafty percussion alongside some chilling slower passages where Niklas shines with its deranged vocal antics. This last track is definitely one of the best in this release, and luckily for the listener, one of the longest as well, perfectly leading into the melancholy of “Fidelis Ad Mortem”, which features some excellent leads by Andy La Rocque.

Closing the release with the blistering aggression of “Den permanenta sömnen kallar”, the band sets the record straight that while they have the melancholic and slower side, they are still an aggressive beast with sharp teeth and long claws. As a whole, “Shining” is a very characteristic release from the band, with a few extra polishes in terms of musicianship and sound. Delivering on all expectations, fans of the band will certainly enjoy the sick ways of Niklas and company in this powerful release.

Band: Shining Album: Shining

Label: Napalm Records

Release: September 15th, 2023

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Genre: Black Metal

Country: Sweden

Rating: 90/100

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