Monday, January 23, 2017

Shining - International Blackjazz Society



A good day to you waveriders!  I wonder.  Have you ever experienced this situation?  You're exposed to an album that absolutely rocks your world from someone you've never listened to before.  This previously unknown band or artist quickly establishes a residence inside your mind beside all of your favorites.  Then that newly ensconced band or artist releases their next album and it fails to make the impact you're anticipating.  Well, that is exactly what happened between me and the band Shining.

Back in 2012 I heard Live Blackjazz and I fell head over heels in love with this new combination of sounds I'd discovered.  Shining combines black, death, and industrial metal with jazz to create wonderful concoctions of sound which put an exceedingly broad smile on my face.  I quickly bought the band's other albums, all of which I enjoyed.  Fast forward to 2013.  Shining released an album called One One One and I failed to connect with the music.

Revisiting One One One now I do enjoy the album, but due to that initial disconnect I didn't go out of my way to check out Shining's latest release International Blackjazz Society.  Big mistake.  The love is back waveriders!  This album is monstrously good!  Essentially the band had me at hello.  I put on the introductory track and all of my dormant affection came rushing back like a tidal wave.  It was wonderful!  So what makes International... so much different than One One One?  Good question.

International... brings back the sonic diversity not found on One One One.  Whereas that album was laser focused on delivering the most metallic, noise-filled, bombastic assault possible International... has a dynamic range.  The jazzy elements take center stage on multiple occasions.  Tempos are varied.  The metallic components are stronger than ever yet they succeed in being significantly more memorable thanks to well-balanced usage of clean and gruff vocals along with more melodic instrumentation. 

To sum up waveriders International... takes the listener on a musical roller coaster featuring peaks and valleys, the inclusion of which results in a far more interesting aural journey.  After experiencing this particular journey multiple times I am entirely comfortable stating that this is the best album Shining has released.  Start to finish International... delivers the heavy metal goods.  Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy today!

-Penfold


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