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Shining - Animal

Shining
Animal
by Martin Knap at 04 December 2018, 3:17 PM

The Norwegian band SHINING was known in their beginnings as a Jazz group turned Metal band. They’ve got accepted into the ranks of metaldom by Metal listeners after they released the experimental Metal-Jazz fusion album “Blackjazz”, which got them the attention of the Metal-oriented media. On their following releases they’ve streamlined their sound, shifting to a Melodic Hard Rock Sound. They continued to make heavy music, but the melodies became poppier and at this point there is so much Hello Kitty in their sound that the Gatekeepers Ov Metal at the Metal Archives erased them from the internet Heavy Metal encyclopedia. I know their admins make strange decisions about what they do and don’t deem “Metal” enough to have an entry, but I don’t know about many bands that would be retroactively kicked out. It is telling is what I’m trying to say.

On their latest album “Animal,” SHINING completes their transformation into a Pop Rock band, and I don’t think it’s too big of a stretch to call them that. There are hard-hitting, high energy rockers on the album, but the sound doesn’t go beyond the confines of “radio Rock”. All songs have big, catchy, radio-friendly choruses that fulfill their function in a Pop Rock perfectly: they get you hooked immediately. The drawback is that for some listeners they can get obnoxious before the song even ends, especially if the song is written for the maximal efficiency of the hook. To their credit there SHINING keep some of their character and idiosyncrasy in some of the melodies. There are some corny moments though, like in the stripped-down verse of the opening song “Take Me” the singer sings over a simple tension-building drumbeat about “driving in a red Corvette to the end of the world” before the big chorus with synths beefing it up kicks in. I could imagine this song or the title song to be featured in an action Hollywood movie soundtrack. There are interesting ideas throughout the album: for example in the emotional, mid-tempo synth-driven song “Fight Song” we suddenly hear a groovy Stoner Rock riff – which is surprising but also really interesting. I also like the Djent-y breakdowns at the end of “Smash It Up!”. The singing also sets SHINING apart form your average Pop Rock band – Jørgen Munkeby really brings it with his screamed vocals.

Objectively speaking, this is a good Rock record, but my impression form it is that it is tailored to a certain taste. That is absolutely fine, but it probably won’t be appreciated much by people who like more non-conventional music.

Songwriting: 7
Memorability: 8
Originality: 5
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1 Take Me
2 Animal
3 My Church
4 Fight Song
5 When the Lights Go Out
6 Smash It Up!
7 When I'm Gone
8 Everything Dies
9 End
10 Hole In the Sky (w/ Linnea Dale)
Lineup:
Jørgen Munkeby – Vocals, Guitar
Håkon Sagen – Guitar
Eirik Tovsrud Knutsen – Keyboards
Tobias Ørnes Andersen – Drums
Ole Vistnes – Bass
Record Label: Spinefarm Records
     


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Edited 15 December 2018
 

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