Shining: International Blackjazz Society

Latest album from Norwegian crossover merchants.

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Founded by saxophonist, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Jorgen Munkeby, Shining claim to have invented a whole new musical form, which they have dubbed “Blackjazz”, a form of eclectic, progressive metal.

In fact it’s about 90 per cent metal, with a few avant garde knobs attached. The opening track, Admittance, sounds like a 60s free jazz troupe falling through the ceiling while jamming with The Who, while the concluding Need is a toxic emission of ambient, vocals sounding like the last-ever radio transmission from a dying planet. Both are tellingly brief, however.

In between are expedient, breakneck outings of regular metal, garnished with free sax as on The Last Stand or Thousand Eyes, while Last Day has a machine-like feel about its metallic motions.

It cuts and blazes and works well live in all its kinetic abandon but, if Shining really want to lay claim to a new genre, they need to integrate their progressive elements into the mix rather than add them as a side option.

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David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.