Shining (NOR) - Animal review



Reviewer:
N/A
Band: Shining (NOR)
Album: Animal
Release date: October 2018


01. Take Me
02. Animal
03. My Church
04. Fight Song
05. When The Lights Go Out
06. Smash It Up!
07. When I'm Gone
08. Everything Dies
09. End
10. Hole In The Sky (With Linnea Dale)


"Good grief, Shining (NOR)!" This was the opening phrase of my review of One One One. Back then I meant it more as an attention hook than an actual exclamation. This time, however, I'm genuinely stumped. If you are strongly rooted in the Blackjazz camp, you can safely devote your time elsewhere, because Animal will divide crowds like Moses split the Red Sea.

I've been wondering if the lyrics of "When I'm Gone" are something that's going to bite Shining (NOR) one day and whether this countdown on the path of possible decline starts now. "I / I want you to remember me / Remember how I used to be / Not how I'm now." I wonder if Animal is to Shining (NOR) what One Second is to Paradise Lost sound-wise. The first notes of the album opener, "Take Me," are guaranteed to take you by surprise. How you react to the almost cheesy-sounding opening synths and the following rock sound will define whether you can accept what is basically a straightforward hard rock album.

Reiterating what I said 5 years ago, to evolve from jazz to Blackjazz is a huge stretch of imagination, but eventually the question arises: what is there beyond Blackjazz? Animal is what I expected International Blackjazz Society to be after One One One. Albeit one album later, it is still a very decisive step away from the chosen path and an attempt to find a new sound. This is where Shining (NOR) are choosing to ignore the expected and try to reinvent themselves. The main question then is, given their track record, are they actually daring enough?

The answer to that is likely a no. It's not that to make the change doesn't take courage or effort. That's beyond discussion here (or anywhere). Shining (NOR) have been able to reinvent themselves spectacularly in the past. Their avant-garde songwriting has been so insane that "curveball" is probably the simplest of patterns you could use when describing their music. Putting it on the line, Animal is about as straightforward as a yardstick. On the tail of the Blackjazz phase, it's about as interesting as a goldfish in a bowl.

However, and I'm not just playing devil's advocate here, judging the album on its own merits, it is far from being uninteresting or no-good. Yes, it's straightforward. Yes, the saxophone is gone. Yes, it severely lacks in the insanity, fury, and rage departments. However, it's still a pretty neat and, more importantly, fun hard rock album. It's Shining (NOR), mainstream edition - which brings me to the true question posed with this album: what if this were the least-expected direction from the band? What if, all things considered, they have actually succeeded in being unpredictable through simplicity?


 



Written on 08.10.2018 by I shoot people.

Sometimes, I also write about it.

And one day I'm going to start a band. We're going to be playing pun-rock.


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 132 users
08.10.2018 - 09:31
RiouxMax
That was a pretty well written review. Thanks!
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09.10.2018 - 00:15
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Why, out of all the ways to go more accessible or conventional, did they just the absolute worst?
----
Professor Isak Borg: And the punishment?
The Examiner: I don't know. The usual, I suppose.
Professor Isak Borg: The usual?
The Examiner: Loneliness.
Professor Isak Borg: Loneliness?
The Examiner: Precisely.
Professor Isak: Is there no mercy?
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09.10.2018 - 09:34
Ivor
Staff
Written by RaduP on 09.10.2018 at 00:15

Why, out of all the ways to go more accessible or conventional, did they just the absolute worst?

I think you're underestimating what it could have been, considering it's Shining. For all you know it could've been Amaranthe-like or, I don't know, dub-step or something. Hard rock is pretty good all things taken into account.

I.
----
No friends for playing games
No foes who scorn my name
Computerized machines of steel and rust
/---/
No friends in my house on Mars
No foes in my house on Mars
I was born in my house on Mars
I will die in my house on Mars
-- Ayreon - My House on Mars
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09.10.2018 - 20:35
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Ivor on 09.10.2018 at 09:34

Written by RaduP on 09.10.2018 at 00:15

Why, out of all the ways to go more accessible or conventional, did they just the absolute worst?

I think you're underestimating what it could have been, considering it's Shining. For all you know it could've been Amaranthe-like or, I don't know, dub-step or something. Hard rock is pretty good all things taken into account.

I.

I'd be more interested in hearing a dubstep Shining album.

And the fact that it could be worse isn't doing it any favors
----
Professor Isak Borg: And the punishment?
The Examiner: I don't know. The usual, I suppose.
Professor Isak Borg: The usual?
The Examiner: Loneliness.
Professor Isak Borg: Loneliness?
The Examiner: Precisely.
Professor Isak: Is there no mercy?
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10.10.2018 - 17:42
Milena
Learning To "X"
I have a chance to see them in a couple of days, curious to see what the setlist will be! Great review Ivorman.
----
"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
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14.10.2018 - 22:14
Netzach
I guess his saxophone finally broke from all the abuse.
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