Spinefarm Records [Release date 19.10.18]
Shining, who hail from Norway, have previously been known for extreme jazz metal, gaining many rave reviews and plaudits along the way. However, on this new album ‘Animal’, frontman Jørgen Munkeby commented, ”this new record is more Muse than Meshuggah, more Ghost than Gojira, and more Biffy Clyro than Burzum!”
That Muse reference can be heard on the synths on ‘Fight Song’, which has a beast of a melody. This one has an 80′s retro all over it. Despite the often morbid lyrical content, it is party metal overload on ‘Everything Dies’ and ‘End’, and the riffs on these will satisfy the most ardent headbanger.
On ‘My Church’ Jørgen Munkeby unleashes his more aggressive singing style – the rapid swings in musical style on the album are reminiscent of Devin Townsend. In fact, Devin Townsend supported by Shining would be one hell of a rock show! At the other end of his singing range, ‘When The Lights Go Out’ is a rousing melodic rocker, again the synths rise up in the mix and drummer Tobias Ørnes Andersen pummels away on this one.
Linnea Dale guests on ‘Hole In The Sky’ – where the intro owes a little bit to Ultravox’s ‘Vienna’ – again not what you’d expect and it has a superb, uplifting chorus. This one has a serious chance of being a hit on radio airplay/streaming playlists.
Shining may alienate some of their fan base as they go for a more mainstream, melodic route, however this album will draw in a whole new crowd and deservedly so. It is like a metal version of the Night Flight Orchestra, the pop sensibility of Ghost and they have the rock ‘n’ roll nous of Hardcore Superstar. One of the surprise packages of 2018, Shining have an album made for blasting out loud! ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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