One of metal’s best returns with its latest chapter of dark, suicidal black metal, VI - Klagopsalmer. As can be expected, the music plays effortlessly as the vast array of memorable riffs, feel, and just the right amount of dynamics makes for a fine record. Nothing is forced and nothing is out of place. Dynamics can be found by way of a healthy blend of heaviness, melodies, those OPETH-like acoustic guitar interludes, pianos, string instruments, blistering guitar solos, and a nice contrast between the ugly/beautiful and heavy/soft. The only discernible differences between VI - Klagopsalmer and V - Halmstad are the absence of thrashier riffs and less in-your-face aggression on the former. Instead, the former is a more somber and melancholic record.
But what gives VI - Klagopsalmer that famous SHINING identity? It’s mainman Niklas Kvarforth’s desperate, dark, and melancholic imprint on the album, whether it be on the instrumentation or his soul baring vocals. His charisma is undeniable and so is his conviction to take you on another journey through his mind, heart, and soul.
Six total songs may not seem like much given the fact that you’re left longing for more after it’s all said and done. In some ways, you’ll feel as if SHINING should have given you more. Whether there is enough meat here is up each individual.
It’s not blasphemous or inaccurate to say that the level of quality that SHINING has achieved with their new album compares with that of the current output of metal stars such as OPETH, IHSAHN, and MAYHEM. Regardless of whether how many payola media sources fail to recognize this record, you unequivocally heard it here. (Season of Mist Records)