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Shining: International Blackjazz Society

Industrial-leaning effort from jazz-meets-metal Scandinavian quartet.

Prog has a long, illustrious relationship with jazz; its improvisational tendencies and adventurous licks are fertile ground for experimentation. But blackjazz?

The term is used to describe the ear-catching sound of Norwegian dynamos Shining, who blend prog and metal with jazz and avant-garde, and their seventh full-lengther follows suit. Led by multi-instrumentalist and former Jaga Jazzist man Jørgen Munkeby, the energetic and explorative Shining don’t just tread the left-field path. For every off-kilter tune, such as the wild, sax-led roller-coaster intro Admittance or the marauding House Of Warship, there are industrial rock chops heavily indebted to Nine Inch Nails or nu-metal-but-better angst-ridden blasts. While this will entice outside listeners, some proggers who get their kicks from the 1970s may feel ostracised. Look beyond the contemporary metal nods, though, and there’s still a treasure trove of treats waiting to be unearthed. The eclectic Thousand Eyes dips into warped drum and sax solos, while closer Need crawls with jagged, spiky riffs and off-timings. It’s not quite always prog as we know it, but it certainly seems blackjazz – and that ain’t no bad thing at all.

A writer for Prog magazine since 2014, armed with a particular taste for the darker side of rock. The dayjob is local news, so writing about the music on the side keeps things exciting - especially when Chris is based in the wild norths of Scotland. Previous bylines include national newspapers and magazines.