Thursday, June 30, 2011

SHINING - VII: Fodd Forlorare CD review

SHINING - VII: Fodd Forlorare CD
Spinefarm Records
Genre: Black Metal
Rating: 3/5

The main problem I've always had with this Swedish black metal act is that it's founder's antics and stories generated from them always seem to out shine the greatness of the music. It's because of this aspect I once called Niklas Kvarforth, leader and founder of SHINING, the G.G. Allin of black metal and with good reason. The guy is a genius when it comes to the music but his personal life is or, at least from recent reports, was a shambles worthy of tabloid journalism. The guy had a problem with smack, loved self destruction, self mutilation, total despair, then he tried to fake his own death. To say controversy doesn't follow Kvarforth as well as the release of every new SHINING CD is an understatement. Sometimes good things come wrapped poorly. I got into the SHINING late with their fourth full length IV: The Eerie Cold and have been a fan ever since. I picked it up totally not knowing what to expect and I'm thankful for it. While some people (choose one: hipsters, losers, VICE readers, BM fair weather flunkies) just get into them because of Kvarforth's bad boy image, just like before with GORGOROTH and Gaahl. I look at it (and so should YOU!) as music first and music last. Yeah I know I'm speaking in a wind tunnel of hype. By the way the title translates into English as "Born Loser(s)".

If you want irony then the opening cut "Förtvivlan, Min Arvedel" (Despair, My Inheritance) will drown you in it with the opening. The song starts out with a young Swedish girl singing ""Sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy, When skies are grey. You make me realize, How much I love you. Please don't take my sunshine away. " Yes very touching and ironic but once the real music kicks in, which is mid paced BM, we get to the guts of the matter. Except for some mid song acoustics the cut is angry as hell. “Tiden laker inga sar” (Time Heals Nothing) employs more acoustics mixed in with some angry toned BM but it's a melancholy number. The theme is despair, unforgiving and pretty much life is shit. Kvarforth employs plenty of acoustic guitar and clean singing on here which adds to the release's pseudo miserable atmosphere. Unfortunately he employs that on every song which does get old. I thought this was going to be a step back for the SHINING at least back a few releases. I was not a fan of 2009's Klagopsalmer which I thought was an anomolly. Obviously I was wrong since since as much as this is lonely and cold there's a hint of salvation which disgusts me. It's like the false euphoria felt after you leave an NA meeting. I see another pattern being followed.



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