Shining is the Norwegian band that is known as the pioneers of the genre “blackjazz”. Their music had unconventional time signatures, and it the music had elements of black metal, yet had those numbers on occasion that had that jazz feel to it. Shining had some form of art and that unconventional wisdom to their music. Now, Shining sounds like they want to throw the biggest birthday party on the planet as they throw a knuckleball to their fanbase that was expecting a fastball right down the middle with their latest offering entitled “Animal”.
This offering reminds me of when Sonic Syndicate went all party rock with a bit of pop elements, and a lot of people were taken aback by it. However, I’m going to remind the listener to really try to open up their minds about the new direction that Shining is taking in their music.
Gone are the sinister guitar riffs with the unconventional time signatures and here is Shining with a party rock album entitled “Animal”. The opening track entitled “Take Me” has some new wave synths going on that are commonplace in the Scandinavian metal genre that you might have heard in the likes of Sonic Syndicate and The Unguided, and here comes Shining startling their fans.
I can picture it now, these longtime Shining fans screaming “what in the actual hell” upon first listen. There is some of that trademark screaming in “Take Me”, however, the synths and ambiance sound like it belongs on a Grand Theft Auto video game. In this track, the guitars pack a punch, however, it makes the listener forget that they are listening to Shining because it almost sounds unrecognizable with how much they have changed. If you’re looking for the saxophone/avant garde sound in this record, forget it, you won’t find it.
I certainly appreciate the sound of the wolf howling in the title track, “Animal”. This track is a fist pumping anthem that will get the listener out of their seats. Shining fans, please open up your mind, with this band, you should expect the completely unexpected. I was a bit taken aback by the guitar riff in “My Church”, which sounded eerily similar to “Burn It To The Ground” by Nickelback, I was waiting for Monday Night Raw to come on when I heard that intro.
Overall, you have a decent rocker of a record with “Animal”. If you’re not that familiar with Shining or stumbled upon this band, you will really enjoy this record. However, if you’ve spent your years devoted to listening to the music of Shining, you could be taken aback, however I want to encourage you to give it a few listens before you pass judgments. Shining is the Rowdy Roddy Piper of the metal world, just when you think you have the answers, here comes Shining changing the questions. Honestly, this feels like a cash grab and a desperate attempt for mainstream success, yet they do mainstream rock better than most American bands out there. Madness To Creation rates this a 7 out of 10 stars for the polarizing effect that Shining will have upon its fanbase for this record. Here is the track listing below.
- Take Me
- My Church
- Fight Song
- When The Lights Go Out
- Smash It Up!
- When I’m Gone
- Everything Dies
- Hole In The Sky (w/Linnea Dale)
Shining will be touring Europe in support of “Animal”. Check out tour dates below.
Fri. 10/19- Hulen in Bergen in Bergenhus, Norway
Sat. 10/20- Hovleriet in Haugesund, Norway
Thu. 10/25- Tou Scene in Stavanger, Norway
Fri. 10/26- Ostsia in Kristiansand, Norway
Sat. 10/27- Parkteatret Scene in Oslo, Norway
Sun. 11/4- Satan’s Hollow in Manchester, United Kingdom
Mon. 11/5- The Underworld Camden in Greater London, United Kingdom
Wed. 11/7- Le Botanique in Saint-josse-ten-noode, Belgium
Thu. 11/8- Le Ferrailleur in Nantes, France
Sun. 11/11- Rex Toulouse in Toulouse, France
Mon. 11/12- Sala Caracol in Madrid, Spain
Tue. 11/13- Sala Boveda in Barcelona, Spain
Fri. 11/16- Legend Club in Milano, Italy
Sat. 11/17- Traffic Club in Roma, Italy
Sun. 11/18- Cycle Club in Calenzano, Italy
Mon. 11/19- Viper Room in Wien, Austria
Tue. 11/20- Reflektor Venue in Timisoara, Romania
Wed. 11/21- Fabrica Club in Bucuresti, Romania
Thu. 11/22- Form Space in Cluj-napoca, Romania
Sun. 11/25- Logo in Hamburg, Germany
Mon. 11/26- cassiopeia Club in Berlin, Germany
Tue. 11/27- DAS BETT- Live Musik Club in Frankfurt Am Main, Germany
Wed. 11/28- Backstage Concerts GmbH in Munchen, Germany
Thu. 11/29- Durer Kert in Budapest, Hungary
Sat. 12/1- Winter Metal Days in Bohinjska Bistrica, Slovenia
For tickets and further information on any of the shows listed above, click here.
Fans can find Shining at the following locations: