"IX – Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends" is the 9th full-length studio album by Swedish extreme metal act Shining. The album was released through Season of Mist in April 2015. While there are 3 years between this one and it´s predecessor "Redefining Darkness (2012)", Shining has kept busy in the intermediate years with the release of the "8 ½ – Feberdrömmar i vaket tillstånd (2013)" album, which is an album with re-recordings of earlier material, and the release of a couple of splits/EPs. There have been a couple of lineup changes since the last album too as Rainer Tuomikanto has replaced Ludwig Witt as the band´s new drummer, and Euge Valovirta has been added to the lineup has second guitarist. The usual suspects are Niklas Kvarforth (vocals, guitars), Peter Huss (guitars), and Christian Larsson (bass).
Stylistically the music on "IX – Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends" is pretty much Shining as we know them (in recent years). The depressive Swedish language lyrics are performed passionately by frontman Niklas Kvarforth who successfully combines anger and despair when he sings both his raw and clean vocals. You never quite know where you have him. One moment it sounds like he is ready to cut your throat and the next he sounds like he is about to slash his own wrists. The guitars pump out meaty heavy riffs, but also atmospheric riffs and acoustic sections, and lead themes and solos. The well playing rhythm section glues it all together.
The material is well written and while it´s based in black metal, there are also elements of death, thrash, doom, and progressive metal in the music. Acoustic sections have been a part of Shining´s material for years, and that trend continues on "IX – Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends". This time even to the extent where they are occasionally leaving metal territory and entering depressive rock territory. Not completely unlike the Norwegians in Seigmen, which is an act main composer Kvarforth has admired for years, and who Shining even did a cover of on "VI: Klagopsalmer (2009)". So the material is quite varied, and occasionally even a bit quirky (both "Människotankens vägglösa rum" and "Inga broar kvar att bränna" fit that description).
"IX – Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends" is well produced, featuring a powerful, clear, and professional sounding production, which suits the music well. So upon conclusion it´s another high quality release by Shining. I don´t think it´s their strongest output in recent years, but both new listeners and fans should still be able to have a blast with this one. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.