Music

Shining: VI: Klagopsalmer

The Swedish black metal band just keeps getting better and better.


Shining

VI: Klagopsalmer

Label: Season of Mist
US Release Date: 2010-02-10
UK Release Date: 2009-07-20
Amazon
iTunes

Niklas "Kvarforth" Olsson might be a miserable sod (after all, his last album featured a cover photo of a man with a gun in his mouth), but for all the doom and gloom that hangs over Shining, they've turned into one of the more adventurous bands to come out of the Swedish black metal scene. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to call these guys black metal at all these days. Like Norway's Enslaved and Satyricon, Shining (not to be confused with the Norwegian band of the same name) has taken to streamlining their sound as of late, displaying a strong predilection towards progressive rock, and although cultists might cringe at the notion, by separating themselves from all the other formulaic bands in that grim genre they've turned into something a lot more exciting, an extreme metal band completely unafraid to try interesting new ideas.

Instead of continuing right where 2007's excellent V: Halmstad left off, VI: Klagopsalmer is a distinct change of pace. Traces of Shining's black metal foundation remain, mostly in the atmospheric fog of the rhythm guitars from time to time, but it's more about clarity this time around, the straightforward riffs often traditional heavy metal and even (gasp!) rock-oriented, the guitar solos by Fredric Gråby and Peter Huss restrained and expressive, Olsson's keyboards so tastefully composed you'd swear the late Richard Wright was sitting in. Of course, those depressive elements are as prominent as ever (standout track "Fullständigt Jävla Död Inuti" translates as, "completely fucking dead inside") and the charismatic Olsson turns in his usual tormented vocal performance, but it's not long until raw anguish is supplanted by reserved melancholy, building up to the gorgeous 16-minute epic "Total Utfrysning".

8

Over the Rainbow: An Interview With Herb Alpert

Music legend Herb Alpert discusses his new album, Over the Rainbow, maintaining his artistic drive, and his place in music history. "If we tried to start A&M in today's environment, we'd have no chance. I don't know if I'd get a start as a trumpet player. But I keep doing this because I'm having fun."

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

The Cigarette: A Political History (By the Book)

Sarah Milov's The Cigarette restores politics to its rightful place in the tale of tobacco's rise and fall, illustrating America's continuing battles over corporate influence, individual responsibility, collective choice, and the scope of governmental power. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 5. "Inventing the Nonsmoker".

Sarah Milov
Books
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2018 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.