Shining is the Norwegian band that is known as the pioneers of the genre “blackjazz”.  Their music had unconventional time signatures, and it the music had elements of black metal, yet had those numbers on occasion that had that jazz feel to it.  Shining had some form of art and that unconventional wisdom to their music.  Now, Shining sounds like they want to throw the biggest birthday party on the planet as they throw a knuckleball to their fanbase that was expecting a fastball right down the middle with their latest offering entitled “Animal”.

This offering reminds me of when Sonic Syndicate went all party rock with a bit of pop elements, and a lot of people were taken aback by it.  However, I’m going to remind the listener to really try to open up their minds about the new direction that Shining is taking in their music.

Gone are the sinister guitar riffs with the unconventional time signatures and here is Shining with a party rock album entitled “Animal”.  The opening track entitled “Take Me” has some new wave synths going on that are commonplace in the Scandinavian metal genre that you might have heard in the likes of Sonic Syndicate and The Unguided, and here comes Shining startling their fans.

I can picture it now, these longtime Shining fans screaming “what in the actual hell” upon first listen.  There is some of that trademark screaming in “Take Me”, however, the synths and ambiance sound like it belongs on a Grand Theft Auto video game.  In this track, the guitars pack a punch, however, it makes the listener forget that they are listening to Shining because it almost sounds unrecognizable with how much they have changed.  If you’re looking for the saxophone/avant garde sound in this record, forget it, you won’t find it.

I certainly appreciate the sound of the wolf howling in the title track, “Animal”.  This track is a fist pumping anthem that will get the listener out of their seats.  Shining fans, please open up your mind, with this band, you should expect the completely unexpected.  I was a bit taken aback by the guitar riff in “My Church”, which sounded eerily similar to “Burn It To The Ground” by Nickelback, I was waiting for Monday Night Raw to come on when I heard that intro.

Overall, you have a decent rocker of a record with “Animal”.  If you’re not that familiar with Shining or stumbled upon this band, you will really enjoy this record.  However, if you’ve spent your years devoted to listening to the music of Shining, you could be taken aback, however I want to encourage you to give it a few listens before you pass judgments.  Shining is the Rowdy Roddy Piper of the metal world, just when you think you have the answers, here comes Shining changing the questions.  Honestly, this feels like a cash grab and a desperate attempt for mainstream success, yet they do mainstream rock better than most American bands out there.  Madness To Creation rates this a 7 out of 10 stars for the polarizing effect that Shining will have upon its fanbase for this record.  Here is the track listing below.

  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)

Shining will be touring Europe in support of “Animal”.  Check out tour dates below.

Fri. 10/19- Hulen in Bergen in Bergenhus, Norway

Sat. 10/20- Hovleriet in Haugesund, Norway

Thu. 10/25- Tou Scene in Stavanger, Norway

Fri. 10/26- Ostsia in Kristiansand, Norway

Sat. 10/27- Parkteatret Scene in Oslo, Norway

Sun. 11/4- Satan’s Hollow in Manchester, United Kingdom

Mon. 11/5- The Underworld Camden in Greater London, United Kingdom

Wed. 11/7- Le Botanique in Saint-josse-ten-noode, Belgium

Thu. 11/8- Le Ferrailleur in Nantes, France

Sun. 11/11- Rex Toulouse in Toulouse, France

Mon. 11/12- Sala Caracol in Madrid, Spain

Tue. 11/13- Sala Boveda in Barcelona, Spain

Fri. 11/16- Legend Club in Milano, Italy

Sat. 11/17- Traffic Club in Roma, Italy

Sun. 11/18- Cycle Club in Calenzano, Italy

Mon. 11/19- Viper Room in Wien, Austria

Tue. 11/20- Reflektor Venue in Timisoara, Romania

Wed. 11/21- Fabrica Club in Bucuresti, Romania

Thu. 11/22- Form Space in Cluj-napoca, Romania

Sun. 11/25- Logo in Hamburg, Germany

Mon. 11/26- cassiopeia Club in Berlin, Germany

Tue. 11/27- DAS BETT- Live Musik Club in Frankfurt Am Main, Germany

Wed. 11/28- Backstage Concerts GmbH in Munchen, Germany

Thu. 11/29- Durer Kert in Budapest, Hungary

Sat. 12/1- Winter Metal Days in Bohinjska Bistrica, Slovenia

For tickets and further information on any of the shows listed above, click here.

Fans can find Shining at the following locations:

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