Picture of Shining

One One One

Shining - One One One ©2013 Universal
1. I Won't Forget
2. The One Inside
3. My Dying Drive
4. Off The Hook
5. Blackjazz Rebels
6. How Your Story Ends
7. The Hurting Game
8. Walk Away
9. Paint The Sky Black

So for years I've been slightly confused between the pair of Shinings that come from various points of Scandinavia. It has never helped that people would inform me I should check out Shining, "because they're brilliant!", and never differentiate between the Swedish depressive metal version and the Norwegian jazz infected band. To this day, I'm not quite sure which Shining I was originally supposed to check out, but as it so happens the latest release from Norway's Shining has turned out to be the one that has caught my ear.

Norway's Shining originally started out as a modern jazz outfit whose early work is most certainly jazz and hardly metal. Over the years the band apparently absorbed some of the metal and avantgarde musical tendencies around them and they morphed into what they call "blackjazz" (and in fact, that's the title of their 2010 release). As of 2013, the band has evolved very much into a unique avantgarde metal venture that relies only partially on their early jazz background and much more on heavy, rhythm oriented slabs of rock. One One One still incorporates a reasonable amount of jazz instrumentation, but it's often blended into the chunks of guitar and forceful percussion. The vocals aren't terribly far off from some of the black'n'roll type of bands that also tend to inhabit the Norwegian lands.

The best thing about the approach Shining takes on One One One is their concise approach to songwriting. The songs all have arrangements that get to the point in a hurry and don't wander around unnecessarily. The usual drawback to a jazz influence is a tendency to ramble on and on or take songs on pointless tangents, but Shining excels at quickly entering the building, shattering all the breakables and leaving before you can catch your breath.

If you're seeking a metalized album that could also be just a tad avantgarde or otherwise adventurous, One One One is rather good and so far one of my favorites of 2013.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/2013

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