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Shining: International Blackjazz Society

Norway’s sax attackers hone their havoc

It took Jørgen Munkeby and Shining nearly a decade to solidify their now familiar ‘Blackjazz’ style.

That the Norwegians have stuck solidly with the Blackjazz formula through their previous two records – Blackjazz and 2013’s One One One – then, could easily lead to fears of diminishing returns, especially considering that the Norwegians have deviated little from the formula on their Spinefarm debut, International Blackjazz Society.

But that’s missing the point. Continuing the more direct, song-based approach of One…, International… feels more of a call to arms than indulgent jazz metal odyssey. Shining have pulled off some of the heaviest, most intense and frantic avant-metal around while convincing us it’s straightforward and digestible.

So, while the fist-pumping riffs of Last Day and the stabbing, ascending march of Thousand Eyes might seem expectedly wild, the freeform sax-led recklessness of House Of Warship and the nuanced, noise-riddled melodies of House Of Control will blow your fucking mind.