SHINING — I: Within Deep Dark Chambers — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of

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3.75 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2000


1. Reflecting In Solitude (8:41)
2. Stonelands (8:54)
3. Vita Detestabilis (7:33)
4. Ren Djävla Ngest (6:44)
5. Inisis (8:08)
6. And Only Silence Remains... (10:50)

Total Time 50:51


- Niklas Kvarforth / Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
- Andreas Classen / Vocals
- Tusk / Bass
- Ted Wedebrand / Drums

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siLLy puPPy
There are some people who are just born to be unhappy despite living in the most fortunate of circumstances. For some reason, Scandinavia has plenty of unhappy souls despite having one of the highest standards of living in the world. Such is the case with young Niklas Kvarforth who started his depressive black metal band SHINING (the Swedish band, not the Norwegian jazz-metal group of the same name) at the tender age of 12. Depressive black metal set itself apart early on in the 90s distinguishing itself other black metal in that it doesn’t focus on misanthropy or Satanic themes but rather on self-destruction and all the negative emotions associated with suicide and self hatred. WITHIN DEEP DARK CHAMBERS is the full debut album by Kvarforth who contributes vocals, guitar and keyboard with his lineup of other sickened souls: Tusk on bass, Ted Wedebrand on drums and additional disturbed vocalizations by Andreas Classen.

This debut album is pretty much in line with the depressive black metal scene of the 90s in that it utilizes an overall repetitive, hypnotic and monotonous feel that incorporates the wall of sound guitar frenzy with atmospheric keys, occasional chimes and midstream drums meaning that blastbeats are uncommon and the drums lazily accompany the fuzz feed frenzy. Perhaps the most “depressive” aspect of SHINING’s first album is not only the uncompromising fury of the music but mostly of Kvarforth’s anguished and tortured vocals above all else. This is one of those albums that simply excels in distressed fury and keeps me on pins and needles wondering if dude isn’t gonna do himself in on the final track just to have a musical place in history. Fortunately not so as i like future SHINING albums better than this one. But wow. This definitely fits the depressive black metal bill. Not recommended as music for grandma’s funeral.

While this album excels at keeping every shimmer of light from entering the boarded up windows and screams a razor blade, case of aspirin with vodka and carbon monoxide party, the music is fairly straight forward as this was before SHINING started experimenting with more progressive elements as to add more sophistication to self-hating pity party. The music here has the regular black metal buzzsaw grunge, where the guitars and bass are one and the raspy vocals wax and wane between traumatic black metal tantrums about how horrible the world is with utter resignation to the life sucks affirmations. The weakness here is the percussion as it is as languid as a salamander in the arctic and merely keeps the beat and not much else. Overall, this is a decent slice of depressive black metal but some of the tracks which hint towards progressiveness such as “Stonelands” and “And Only Silence Remains…” tend to meander for far too long, however the inclusion of church bells and slow parts in the latter does make it a bit more interesting at times.
Shining's debut album mashes up Burzumesque black metal with gloomy, doomy riffs and subject matter to create a sonic journey down into the deepest vaults of depression. There's a certain lifelessness to the album which would be a detriment to most circumstances but works well to evoke the misery they are aiming for - this is music which has to make a conscious effort just to get out of bed and face the day, and is always half-tempted to grab a handful of sleeping pills and not get up at all. Niklas Kvarforth is, of course, still with us (the unspeakably silly Ghoul incident notwithstanding) so clearly the process of making this music is therapeutic to a certain extent, and when I'm in the right mood it's an intriguing and maudlin experience, though I wouldn't want to listen to it too much if I were actually in a major grump.

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  • Lynx33
  • Wilytank
  • (De)progressive

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