SHINING — The Darkroom Sessions (review)

SHINING — The Darkroom Sessions album cover Boxset / Compilation · 2004 · Depressive Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
2/5 ·
Conor Fynes
'The Darkroom Sessions' - Shining (4/10)

'The Darkroom Sessions' is a rare compilation from Shining, a band who are definitely at the top of my favourites list when it comes to suicidal, misanthropic Swedish progressive black metal. Barring the darkly eccentric nature of their frontman Niklas Kvarforth, the band has made some incredible music. Although it is a compilation, 'The Darkroom Sessions' is not a best-of, or even a collection of unreleased tracks,as was the case with their earlier 'Through Years Of Oppression'. Instead, this compilation offers alternate takes of tracks from their early albums, specifically instrumental renditions. Likely used as demos to sharpen up the instrumental quality of the compositions, these demos show the songs in a (more) raw form, but the lack of anything really fresh or new makes the album feel somewhat unnecessary.

The only real perk that 'The Darkroom Sessions' has over other releases is the lack of Kvarforth's vocals, an aspect of the band which helped distinguish them as a whole. To be fair, these longwinded compositions are functional without the human element, and parts of this- particularly the epic 'Svart Industriell Olycka'- work even better in the instrumental format. However, in general, 'The Darkroom Sessions' does not offer a listener much more than a sombre, tedious listening experience. Keeping in mind that I was not a big fan of Shining's early material to begin with, the compilation does little to augment my appreciation for the work. 'The Darkroom Sessions' is easy to sit through, and enjoyable at times, but it would sooner send me to sleep than haunt my dreams.
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