SHINING – V Halmstad

Sweden’s SHINING have been dwelling in only the purest regions of underground metal for their first four albums. With V Halmstad, one of the underground’s best kept secrets is finally exposed to the larger metal scene to witness. The album is just amazing in its scope, both musically and emotionally. V Halmstad exists in the dark, desperate, and blackest parts of the human psyche. This feeling is greatly expressed by the tortured and brilliant soul of vocalist Niklas Kvarforth. You can feel his rage, emptiness, sadness, and madness throughout the album’s journey. Soundwise, the SHINING have a prominent Swedish black/death metal and Norwegian black metal feel. SHINING also incorporate a healthy dose of piano and string sections to enhance the atmosphere. There are plenty of acoustic passages within the songs that come off as sounding like a more evil and dark version of OPETH. And also like OPETH, there is also a strong prog rock influence throughout and well as long, intricate songs. Each song is like a mini-journey within the lifetime of V Halmstad as each song covers so much ground. The rest of the band is not to be overlooked as they contribute their considerable talents in creating such a strong work. One of the best things about V Halmstad is the undeniable feeling that the album is an underground classic, much the way that DISSECTION‘s The Somberlain or OPETH‘s My Arms, Your Hearse gave you the same feeling. There’s also a great sense of purity within the music. It’s obvious that SHINING have not been tainted by any influences of the more popular aspects of the metal underground. V Halmstad is a mandatory album for all the tried and true underground fans and easily ranks as one of 2007’s best albums. (Osmose Productions/The End Records)

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