Shining

Grindstone (Rune Grammofon)

Shining
Norway burns brightly in the ears of American listeners, thanks to two vibrant scenes there: the improv set and, well, all that black metal. Shining operates somewhere in the middle. Over four albums, the group has welded metal's tough skeleton to fanciful jazz-rock (think Miles Davis' electric era made squeaky-clean) and prog's overblown virtuosity.

The results can evoke the kind of fodder found in fantasy novels: hooded, elfin characters marching through a stand of trees. Hell, Schubert-tinged classical asides even appear, and when the flute hovers over clouds of processed guitar, Shining can be mistaken for a vampire Jethro Tull bearing black fangs instead of dancing jigs.

The group's precision in turning stylistic flips, though, can transform its brutal splatter-attacks into something less progressive and more clinically professional. But undeniably, bits like the blistering "Asa Nisi Masa" just shine. With a neo-Sabbath guitar throwing sparks around a vocoder-laced voice that howls to the moon, the jam is a campfire ritual that will burn the toe-hair off any Hobbit.

Scroll to read more Music News articles
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.