Shining – The Darkroom Sessions (2004)

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I believe there are only a few who has not come across the Swedish Shining, infamous for their brutal and mazochistic performances. It is true, though, that they have backed off and the „cult leader” band leader Kvarforth’s insanity was also successfully cured by the good album sales statistics. Not taking these facts into account and concentrating only on the music one will soon realise that they are worth the attention. I myself gladly listen to their later albums as well but the object of my present review is one of their older records.

In 2004 they gladdened their, by that time quite large fan base with a Best of – twin release, one of which was The Darkroom Sessions. The record contains six songs all together, however I don’t feel they worth being analysed one by one because the whole album turned out to be pretty tedious. The songs, except the 8:30-minute long Mörda Dig Själv, being around 9-10 minutes long don’t help on this fact but the mostly instrumental pieces make the listener to let the disc spin on. These tracks were not written with the purpose of collective entertainment at all. Each of them has got the features of depressive black metal so the desired atmosphere would come through more successfully if one trys to receive them alone.

In beginning of the track Ett Liv Utan Mening the figuratively speaking brilliant acoustic guitar run made up of only a few notes tears the listener out of the constant, buzzing stream of riffs and has a pleasing and calming effect on the properly tortured ears. Somehow the entire album works at the higher acoustic range and it looks as if the whole lower part was missing, which can be pretty annoying after a while. Luckily the above mentioned „softer” parts can be caught several times on the album. The last song offers some change by giving the opportunity of listening to Kvarforth’s wailing vocal which crowns this far from perfect but by all means well selected collection from the early works of Shining.

The content of the record as well as its outlook turned out literally grey as well. There is nothing in the cover but the singer’s wasted face who is trying to threaten us with a knife but it makes him look rather ridiculous than serious.

To sum it up, they managed to make a rather good compilation. Those who know mainly the band’s recently released albums but would like to know more about heir early style I can recommend listening to this record to get acquainted with the authentic Shining atmosphere.

Tracklist:

A1 Mörda Dig Själv 8:30
A2 Fields Of Faceless 10:04
A3 Ett Liv Utan Mening 9:01
B1 Svart Industriell Olycka 9:04
B2 Självdestruktivitetens Emissarie 8:24
B3 Ännu Ett Steg Närmare Total Utfrysning 9:30
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