Shining - VI - Klagopsalmer
Osmose Productions
Black Metal
6 songs (50:32)
Release year: 2009
Shining, Osmose Productions
Reviewed by Goat

Well, this seems like quite a step sideways for Shining. Without a doubt, no longer are they ‘just’ the band fronted by Kvarforth the skinny suicidal self-harmer who vanished and reappeared so spectacularly in 2006, no longer are they ‘just’ the band defined by their deeply depressive music, but instead album number six sees, as well, a band quite capable of rocking the fuck out. Summing VI – Klagopsalmer up is far from easy – of course, this is still Black Metal, and of course, the depressive aspects of the band are still very much the focus, but it’s hard not to think of Opeth when hearing the likes of Plågoande O'Helga Plågoande with clean crooning over lush acoustic arrangements, or Dream Theater in the wild Petruccian soloing that crops up on every song. Heck, there’s even a weirdly creepy xylophone solo towards the end of the aforementioned Plågoande... which is hardly typical territory for your everyday suicidal Black Metal group.

I’ll admit to not being as familiar with Shining as I should be, but Klagopsalmer is so driven by guitars that it’s hard to see any Metal fan not enjoying it immensely. Even in the more heavy, blasting moments like the opening to Krossade Drömmar Och Brutna Löften there’s a blazing melody, and the album is fantastically listenable throughout. Song lengths vary between five and sixteen minutes, but all flow wonderfully, the minutes slipping by easily as these master songwriters do their very best to make this an engrossing experience. What makes it a truly excellent experience is the work that’s gone in to make this a deep, satisfying piece of music from the first time you listen to the hundredth.

The songs are so meticulously crafted that they’re simply a joy to listen to, the aforementioned sixteen-minute track not by any means least. This song, Total Utfrysning, is a complete and utter diversion from the tracks before, starting with Doom-laden bleakness before turning to soft strings and a sampled bit of spoken word that works wonderfully, especially as soon after the track takes a Porcupine Tree-esque turn towards restrained piano-driven melody, building up beautifully before exploding into Metal terrain around the midpoint, returning to cello and piano towards the end. No doubt it’ll be less popular than the more Metal moments of before, and indeed, I’m not going to suggest even for a second that the likes of the opening Vilseledda Barnasjälars Hemvist is anything other than utterly awesome, a riff-driven grinding torrent that will flatten all resistence and kicks the album off wonderfully. Both Ondskapt’s Wredhe and Peter Huss are excellent guitarists, without a doubt, and with Kvarforth’s keyboards and Rickard Snell’s technical blasting backing them, there’s little to criticise. Mixing the best widdly guitar-driven Metal with the most miserable ambience, Shining’s latest is ultimately a triumph, and is more than worthy of the attention of any Black Metalhead with a brain as well as an ability to headbang.

Killing Songs :
All, but Total Utfrysning is excellent
Goat quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Shining that we have reviewed:
Shining - X - Varg Utan Flock reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Shining - IX – Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Shining - Redefining Darkness reviewed by Goat and quoted 70 / 100
Shining - VII: Född Förlorare reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Shining - Halmstad reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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