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SHINING - IV: The Eerie Cold cover
4.08 | 13 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2005


1. I Och Med Insikt Skall Du Förgå (7:31)
2. Vemodets Arkitektur (7:52)
3. Någonting Är Jävligt Fel (6:19)
4. Eradication Of The Condition (6:57)
5. The Eerie Cold (Samvetskvalens Ballad) (5:51)
6. Claws Of Perdition (6:18)

Total Time 40:51


- Niklas Kvarforth / Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
- John Doe / Guitars
- Phil A. Cirone / Bass, Keyboards
- Hellhammer / Drums

About this release

March 16th, 2005
Avantgarde Music

Thanks to Vehemency, Prog Geo, Lynx33 for the updates


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With some of its calmer tracks approaching post-rock territory (complete with found audio snippets a la Godspeed You Black Emperor), Shining's fourth album is a confident application of what had by this point become a tightly optimised blueprint. It's a solid work, though it still doesn't quite represent a major creative breakthrough in the band's music; if anything, it risks creating the impression that the band were stuck in a rut at this point and only just about manages to avoid this. You have to wonder whether Kvarforth's infamous "Ghoul" stunt that followed the release of this album wasn't at least in part motivated by a desire to shake off the cobwebs and do something a little different.
Conor Fynes
'IV: The Eerie Cold' - Shining (9/10)

Shining are a band that are consistent, if anything. Although I was not too keen on their debut, this band has gone on to release some of the most powerful and unique black metal out there. Often labelled as a 'suicidal black metal' band, Shining are a far cry from anything warm or cheerful, and while their music's tone is almost unrelentingly bleak and negative, they have managed to stir some profound emotions in me. 'IV: The Eerie Cold' is arguably the album where the band starts taking hold of their more progressive tendencies, a move that would thrust them into the highest echelon of modern Scandinavian black metal.

Much of the knowledge of this band surrounds the unending black metal shenadigans of frontman Niklas 'Kvarforth' Olsson, a man who I would have dismissed as a petty attention whore, were it not for the brilliance of his music. From self-inflicting harm, to advocating suicide to faking his own death, don't let Kvarforth's behavior trick you into thinking that Shining is merely a gimmick band attempting to cash in on the notoriety of black metal. The idiosyncratic behavior has undoubtedly introduced some to the band's music, but Shining's work stands above the context. 'IV: The Eerie Cold' is a less refined work than what they would later do with the excellent albums 'V: Halmstad' and 'VI: Klagopsalmer', but it is equally as powerful and emotionally stirring. The music is rooted in an emotionally volatile breed of black metal labeled as 'depressive black metal', gearing the atmosphere of the music to reproduce feelings of total desolation and despair. Atmosphere is Kvarforth's main aim here, but there are some guitar riffs that pack alot of punch. Kvarforth's vocals have not yet achieved the distinct sound they would have on 'Halmstad' and beyond, but they are grim and diverse, ranging from a soft whisper to a maniacal howl.

As would be the case with 'V: Halmstad', the aspect of the songwriting that really stands out as being incredible are the band's more laid back sections. 'The Eerie Cold' is rife with spoken word samples, one monologue most notably taken from the film American Psycho. Incidentally, Christian Bale can now proudly declare he has offered guest vocals on a black metal album. In seriousness, these spoken word pieces could have been handled horribly, but the music never feels cheesy, and Kvarforth is clever enough to pick source dialogue that was powerful to begin with. When a woman heard towards the end of 'Nagonting Ar Javligt Fel' says she's going to slit her throat, there are no smirks or ironic laughter, and especially within the first listen, these sections come across as profoundly disturbing.

Even for black metal fans, Shining's music is not recommended to all. They will not be fast enough for some people, and on the other hand, they may be too heavy for the atmospheric crowd. Shining have become one of my favourite black metal bands for the fact that unlike so many black metal acts out there, they have managed to find a unique sound. 'IV: The Eerie Cold' is a perfect introduction for a listener looking to find out what this band is about; a powerful combination of their progressive latter era material and more straightforward early work.
The Swedish progressive black band Shining is an extreme shock-horror experience. On their fourth album and onwards, their music has become more then the harsh aggression of the previous albums. If you can stand the extravagant vocals you will find an intricate progressive metal riff galore, imaginative song writing and hard-hitting intensity.

After 2 and a half minutes of cynical audience bashing, Shining dive into a glorious ride through 6 progressive black metal epics. The sound has been fleshed out with new guitarist (John Doe ...) who adds great soloing and razor-sharp riffing that has both the chromatic style of Voivod and the typical punkish urge of Black Metal. On the instrumental parts, Shining can be compared with the sound of Enslaved on albums like Below The Lights and ISA. Also Satyricon and later Darkthrone albums come to mind. Due to the bandleader Kvarforth's unique vocal stand there's no way mistaking Shining for any other band. This man can twist his voice to beastly agony like no other. Completely over the top for some, chilling for others.

With The Eerie Cold, Shining have matured towards a truly personal style that I would recommend highly for fans of Enslaved, Satyricon and probably Agalloch. I don't hear much Opeth similarities but it might of course attract people that are into Opeth's 90's albums.

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