Shining–Redefining Darkness

Shining
Redefining Darkness
Released 29th October 2012
Black Metal
Released via Spinefarm Records

 

Shining have become one of those infamous names in the black metal scene, fronted by the devilishly intelligent Niklas Kvarforth. With apparent controversy surrounding the band’s live shows and a number of line-up changes, Shining have, so far, stood the test of time, so it comes to no surprise that the release of Redefining Darkness is just around the corner…

Kicking off the album comes Du, Mitt Konstverk conjures up fierce, howling guitars and an ever-growing essence of darkness, combined with some interesting vocal sections. The drums gallop through the track, for the most part, violently like some sort of hell-spawned cavalry hellbent on make the song heavier and heavier with each passing second. Of course, there is a mellow part but it still radiates that subtle darkness that adds more feeling to the music. The Ghastly Silence has a softer approach to the album before the demonic screams that are the guitars come crashing down like thunder from the sky. The song also features some not-so-typical black metal instrumentation that really plays on the “ghastly” part of the song’s title.

Han Som Hatar Människan is the more hypnotic anthem on the album, mesmerising oneself with an enchanting riff – Well, maybe enchanting isn’t the right word but you hopefully get what I mean but don’t worry, the riffs are brutal as well as “enchanting”. The fourth track is none other than Hail Darkness Hail, which might sound like the title to some sort of cheesy fantasy RPG that flopped years ago but it’s far more being cheesy, kicking out with aggressive guitar stylings, harsh, almost hellish vocals and a creeping darkness. The acoustic section is unexpected but suits the song, emphasising the cold feeling of the music, especially with the use of clean vocals. Trudging on towards the end comes the piano soundings of Det Stora Grå, which create a tragic atmosphere and tense sound which gradually leads into the final part of the album; For The God Below, a song that utilises the acoustic elements from earlier in the album before introducing the satanic wailings of the guitars and the harsh, guttural screams. The clean vocals make themselves heard as well, blending with the acoustic elements rather well.

Redefining Darkness really does live up to its name. Each track is poignant but they each stay true to Shining’s sound, creating that perfect balance of tragedy and darkness. Redefining Darkness is another classic for the black metal fan’s collection.

5/5

Nico Davidson

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2 Responses to “Shining–Redefining Darkness”

  1. Jane Murrell Says:

    I can’t say I was impressed, it’s very much the same sound wise, which is okay… but for such an album title I thought there would be a strong departure from their past ventures and not just soundwise, it’s more their approach to how they are aiming to promote their music now that is only slightly ‘redefining darkness’ I feel. Many seem to be annoyed by their new video for instance which is ‘too white and too mainstream’ well that is their aim, to infect the mainstream more… but I don’t see MTV or whatever playing the video hah, but who knows, they may have done so already, I don’t have Sky.

    • I enjoyed it – It’s one of the few decent BM albums that will be around these days.

      I’ve not seen any Shining videos on MTV or any other channel for that matter, saying that, I rarely watch the TV these days anyway, haha

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