Rating:
8.5
Shining - VII - Född Förlorare
25 May 2011


01. Förtvivlan, Min Arvedel
02. Tiden Läker Inga Sår [feat. Erik Danielsson]
03. Människa O'Avskyvärda Människa [feat. Christopher Amott]
04. Tillsammans Är Vi Allt [feat. Håkan Hemlin]
05. I Nattens Timma [Landberk cover] [feat. Peter Bjärgö]
06. FFF


Rejoice, oh desolate ones! Niklas Kvarforth and the rest of the self-destructive mentally disordered vehicle named Shining, along with some guests, are back with their seventh rope around your neck. Född Förlorare (=Born Loser - hence the cover of human remains waiting for nothing at the end of the street) its name and as you might have already guessed, it's the natural continuation of Klagopsalmer.

"Sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey, you make realize how much I love you, please don't take my sunshine away". This is how Född Förlorare begins and if you listen carefully, you will witness another presence accompanying the little girl, an eerie whispering voice which replaces the singing during the very last part of the phrase. A Halmstad déjà vu dare I say, since its opening composition was starting in a parallel way with a demented recite.

Urban disharmony, sweet disturbance, melan fucking choly and hate, hate, hate. These are the main characteristics that run through the open veins of this new album. Shining managed to remain sick enough so as to keep on spitting as an offence whereas at the same time they let melody expand its territory even more. They tend to forge a world of dissonance that crumbles and the more it crumbles the more fragile it becomes, turning into a form of despair until a ray of sunlight breaks through unveiling a bittersweet broken smile. You will live another day, you know you will, but still, you hate it; and this is what comes forth from "Förtvivlan Min Arvedel".

The guitars keep on unleashing their razor-sharp railway continuous riffing with its ominous vibe as if someone is after you, without forgetting to embed a more rocking attitude filled with negativity and groove. The acoustic chords couldn't be missing, they evoke a feeling of fake tranquility to burst into a pandemic solo or pushing lead. In addition, the rhythm section is definitely the ideal one, from the pulsating bass lines to the groove-lending or accompanying drumming equally, setting the foundation upon which the rest of the band will step to complete the structure.

Once more, you've got to adore Kvarforth's vocals, this infected throat never ceases to unleash these motherfucking boiling curses making me realize recently that whenever he repeats words or phrases it's quite orgasmic, a fetish-like condition. Take for example, "och mer" on "Förtvivlan, Min Arvedel", or "malevolent" from Klagopsalmer's "Vilseledda Barnasjälars Hemvist". This time the clean vocals appear more often, they are nothing special as they are part of the main clean Scandinavian vocals you can find in many bands around (on "Förtvivlan, Min Arvedel" -and not only- for example they possess an Opeth-esque approach), but still, they serve their purpose well both in emotional and interpreting manner. Here and there you will notice as well a few piano/keyboard passages enriching the overall atmosphere, making the sound of Shining more affected. And once again something that tends to become a tradition is the fact that we've got a cover, "I Nattens Timma" (Landberk), lending a nightly lullaby aesthetic.

Well-produced, well-conceived, well-executed, Född Förlorare will appeal to the Klagopsalmer audience. It may not be Angst, The Eerie Cold or Halmstad, but it takes the sound of its predecessor to a finer level. Keep in mind we're talking about Shining, so if there's any chance you enjoyed any of their previous releases, make sure you get to listen to it, it's Shining after all. Ough!

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Shining
Album: VII - Född Förlorare


 



Written on 05.06.2011 by
DerRozzengarten
"It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."
More reviews by DerRozzengarten ››



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DerRozzengarten - 05.06.2011 at 15:10  
Special thanks goes to Lucas for the "rejoice" part and the inspiration on the opening part according to the Halmstad-Fodd connection
Mr. Doctor - 05.06.2011 at 15:59  
8,5?
No, just no... This album is just not good.
The review is well written, good work... But I disagree with pretty much everything you wrote. This is completely unispiring, the atmosphere is GONE. We're left with something that sounds pretty much like Dream Theater doing black metal: well executed music, well composed... but completely soulless.

There's just one track that it's really good but unfortunately can't save the rest of the album for shit and that is Förtvivlan, Min Arvedel. It's the only good track and the first track I listened so I thought "omg they are doing something of real quality once again!" but all went downhill from there. If all the other songs had the same power from the first track it could have been a wonderful album but they blew it. I also disagree that "the clean vocals aren't that special" I think that was a big improvement from Kvarforth to do something different that worked on many levels.

Sadly.... he only does that type of vocals on the first track because the other songs have SO annoying clean vocals specially on "Tillsammans är vi allt"... I mean... what? Is that shining? It sounds like a completely different band with clean vocals that could have been found easily on a lame rock/metal song from the radio, no passion at all... It sounds fake both the voocals and the music. I could see myself buying this album just for the first song... Such a shame too see this wonderful band going downhill.

6,0 - 6,5 from me.
Troy Killjoy - 05.06.2011 at 16:24  
I disagree and agree with different portions of your review. In terms of the philosophy behind this album, and partially in terms of the sound, there's a few areas of interest that I try to point out when people mention this album.

Firstly, I (almost) hated VI, and this album blows that out of the water. I'd also say it's more a continuation of V - at least emotionally, as VI simply lacked any of what Kvarforth is known for expressing. Musically it's not nearly as raw or "black" as III/IV/V, the "suicidal" vibe is more or less reduced as a result of an incredibly slick production, and the focus on melody over aggression takes a bit of a turn for the worst - at least for some.

The repetition I believe is a metaphor in a sense, as are several elements found in VI, but the role of repetition sets this apart from Shining's previous releases. As progressive in nature as it appears, the guitars seem to borrow a lot of riffs from each other over the course of the album, sometimes even lending an apparent homage to its predecessors, which to me reveals a certain nature in Kvarforth: that he's stuck - he's trying to grow or evolve from his position but something's holding him back. He repeats the same mistakes over and over when in reality he's trying to "get out".

Which leads to my second point; as I've said before, this album is a completely different approach to depression. It strays from the personal self-loathing and aims for a more "social" form of depression, which is perfectly summed up by the video they released earlier. I mean the self-mutilation is there, but it's not just cutting and overdosing on drugs alone in your basement, it's about getting fucked up with people who feel the same negativity. It's like a few people from a suicide support group going out for a few drinks. Eventually their true nature is revealed, but at least they have each other - as fucked up as they all may be.

And that kind of vibe makes me think that, at least in one sense, Kvarforth seems to be more accepting of his sorrow and apparently finds solace in drowning his miseries with like-minded people/friends - something not really seen before with Shining. The more blatant use of clean vocals - a different approach to the music - perhaps implies a different approach to life. It's not just about dreaming of suicide, it's about moving on from the worthless pile of shit that is currently his life, to start something new. The repetition mentioned earlier is what negates Kvarforth from becoming a whole person instead of bits of broken pieces.

Shining's first few albums were the caterpillar, a tiny bug bent on self-destruction and introspective annihilation. VI and VII set up a bit of a cocoon molding for Kvarforth's future releases, which in turn should eventually lead to a butterfly effect...and that will likely be the end of Shining as we know it. Whether or not it's a result of Kvarforth moving on or repeating the same mistakes will likely be revealed in the near future.

Of course, it is just another album by a band that presumably markets self-mutilation for profit and uses it as a gimmick, but I think Kvarforth makes it easy to analyze his work like this. To me, that's the work of an artist.
!J.O.O.E.! - 05.06.2011 at 16:28  
So Troy's saying that this is not "Depressive Suicide Black Metal" but is actually "Was Feeling Depressed And Suicidal But Actually Feeling A Bit Better Now Black Metal"

No wonder it failed
Mr. Doctor - 05.06.2011 at 16:39  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 05.06.2011 at 16:24

And that kind of vibe makes me think that, at least in one sense, Kvarforth seems to be more accepting of his sorrow and apparently finds solace in drowning his miseries with like-minded people/friends - something not really seen before with Shining. The more blatant use of clean vocals - a different approach to the music - perhaps implies a different approach to life. It's not just about dreaming of suicide, it's about moving on from the worthless pile of shit that is currently his life, to start something new. The repetition mentioned earlier is what negates Kvarforth from becoming a whole person instead of bits of broken pieces.


This sounds LOVELY on theory as I really liked your vision of the album and agree with most of it. But yeah... An awesome theory would have been even better with awesome music but no, he's stuck like you said doing meh-stuff. I appreciate his effort but it's still a bad album from him. My expectations after the first track were huge but then he crushed them.
I'm right now lsitening to Tiden Läker Inga Sår and I can hardly stand his vocals and the riff on the beginning because of how fake it sounds (around the 2.00 mark) Even that interesting approach in philosophy won't save this album.
Mikyz - 05.06.2011 at 20:42  
It's better than most Black Metal outputs this year, but it really isn't Depressive Black Metal anymore, it's plain Progressive Black Metal. I didn't really enjoy VI, so while this much better Kvaforth is losing his drive. Well executed,it has its moments but nothing mind blowing, I say that after over 10 listens, my favorite track is easily Tiden Läker Inga Sår. So it is worth a couple of listens. Good review.

@Troy you might over analyzing because I didn't get that vibe at all, it didn'y feel as personal as III or IV.
Slayer666 - 05.06.2011 at 21:36  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 05.06.2011 at 16:28

So Troy's saying that this is not "Depressive Suicide Black Metal" but is actually "Was Feeling Depressed And Suicidal But Actually Feeling A Bit Better Now Black Metal"


Y' know, I can actually see this as a legitimate sub-genre within the next few years.

Yup, a meh album, through and through. First track is pretty solid and I rather like "Tillsammans Är Vi Allt", but the rest is pretty mediocre with "I Nattens Timma" being a total piece of garbage.

@Troy
That shit's deep man, but hardly strikes me as true.
Dangerboner - 05.06.2011 at 21:46  
Troy, you smoke weed now?

Sadly, their music video is so embarrassingly bad to me that it ruined any desire I had of listening to this album
Pyramid God - 05.06.2011 at 22:03  
I like it. Perhaps this Kvarforth character just realized being sad all the time is stupid.
Chobo_jokeR - 05.06.2011 at 23:35  
I decided to give this band a chance despite the particular "genre" they play. I've been going through their whole discography, and I enjoy every album. I need to give each album more listens, but I don't see why this album is getting bashed so hard by certain people. I think its as good as all their other releases. Perhaps not better than certain ones, but still good.

EDIT: Good review btw.
Marcel Hubregtse - 06.06.2011 at 00:26  
Shining's worst album by far. Like Mr. Doc. sai it sounds like Dream Theater trying to to play depressive suicidal bm, totally soulless. even more unimpressive than the already bad VI
SoulScarred - 06.06.2011 at 02:19  
It's better than VI that's for sure, I liked the first two tracks and the videoclip, the rest is kinda meh as everyone had said and the clean vocals weren't that awesome, woulda rate like 7 or so..
Daniell - 06.06.2011 at 22:57  
The review is a lot better than the album which, sadly, is quite shitty. Kvarforth is in dire need of new ideas.
Hybreda - 08.06.2011 at 02:54  
I really had low expectations for this album when I heard the first song online, because it still reminded me way too much of the past two albums. VI was a disgrace in the way that they moved nowhere, and while it reflected what Shining started doing in V, it was merely the same expression. The cover song was the best song on there, and when I learned that it was not so much different from the cover, that was another letdown. Although I have to say that last song was brilliant, especially those chords constantly progressing, and giving out that depressive aura.

When I heard VII in its entirety tho, things changed. One: First song in better quality sounded much better with all its details, two: the song fit perfectly into the flow of the album. I think that Shining did truly evolve in this album (just the way Opeth is evolving into a more proggy style) and it's incredible that even at the moments of quiet melody, the band is still able to deliver mischief. It's not only about Kvarforth singing in agony, but also a melodical despair that Eerie Cold was able to deliver. It is not for everyone, because things now get much more richer in texture, but I enjoy what the band is capable of delivering despite their step away from the patterns of V/VI. Definitely not my favorite album, but still would get more spins than VI did!
Hybreda - 08.06.2011 at 02:58  
Written by Pyramid God on 05.06.2011 at 22:03

I like it. Perhaps this Kvarforth character just realized being sad all the time is stupid.


I hope he kills himself again but gets reborn as this cool dude that explores a different region of black/prog blend. I mean, come on, if Christ resurrected in the same clothes and facial hair, and acted as people say he did way back, that would be ridiculous. But who knows, maybe Christ resurrected as a flower or a beluga whale.
Funeralium - 13.07.2012 at 13:02  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 05.06.2011 at 15:59

8,5?
No, just no... This album is just not good.
The review is well written, good work... But I disagree with pretty much everything you wrote. This is completely unispiring, the atmosphere is GONE. We're left with something that sounds pretty much like Dream Theater doing black metal: well executed music, well composed... but completely soulless.

There's just one track that it's really good but unfortunately can't save the rest of the album for shit and that is Förtvivlan, Min Arvedel. It's the only good track and the first track I listened so I thought "omg they are doing something of real quality once again!" but all went downhill from there. If all the other songs had the same power from the first track it could have been a wonderful album but they blew it. I also disagree that "the clean vocals aren't that special" I think that was a big improvement from Kvarforth to do something different that worked on many levels.

Sadly.... he only does that type of vocals on the first track because the other songs have SO annoying clean vocals specially on "Tillsammans är vi allt"... I mean... what? Is that shining? It sounds like a completely different band with clean vocals that could have been found easily on a lame rock/metal song from the radio, no passion at all... It sounds fake both the voocals and the music. I could see myself buying this album just for the first song... Such a shame too see this wonderful band going downhill.

6,0 - 6,5 from me.


I totally agree with you.

Are you joking?? 8,5??

I listened a lot of times, I feel sick now. Is a cold album, I don't feel anything.

A band that is totally overrated, playing good doesn't mean make good music.
Mr. Doctor - 13.07.2012 at 13:53  
Written by Funeralium on 13.07.2012 at 13:02

A band that is totally overrated, playing good doesn't mean make good music.


Well, personally I think all their albums from the first one up to the fifth one deserve all the praise they get. It got awful from VI...
BoxCar Willy - 13.07.2012 at 15:42  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 05.06.2011 at 16:28

So Troy's saying that this is not "Depressive Suicide Black Metal" but is actually "Was Feeling Depressed And Suicidal But Actually Feeling A Bit Better Now Black Metal"

No wonder it failed


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