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Shining -VII: Fodd Forlorare/Born Loser cd


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Still sealed digipak

Shining’s seventh album, VII / Fodd Forlorare (‘born loser’ in English) is one of the most musically varied, beautifully written, and superbly executed albums I’ve heard this year. It also may be the most surprising. What I have heard or read over the years — that the band played a mix of black metal and doom, that the lyrics promoted suicide and other forms of self-injury (including drug abuse), that the band’s concerts have turned violent on occasion, and that frontman Niklas Kvarforth mutilates himself on stage. There was also this quote from Kvarforth that I read someplace: ‘Of course we support suicide, SHINING support all that is negative in this bastard world of ours. We have had a couple of cases in the past with people whom have ended their lives under the influence or partially under the influence of our work and of course this is a true blessing indeed, yet we pray for increased numbers of fatalities’. With all that, and a general sense I had that Shining really doesn’t care what anyone thinks of them or their music, I’m not completely sure what I was expecting from the new album, but it wasn’t what I got. What I got was something that defies easy characterization, a mixture of folk music, progressive metal, acoustic ballads, chug-heavy aggression, wonderfully varied vocals, and absolutely blistering guitar solos. The music is rich and often has the feel of something intensely personal. Yes, it’s mostly dark and melancholy, but it didn’t make me feel suicidal at all. The album, recorded over a three-year period, contains six songs. All the music and lyrics (sung exclusively in Swedish) were written by Niklas Kvarforth. Whatever else you may think of him — and I’m sure he really doesn’t give a fuck — there’s no denying he’s extremely talented. Lyrically, the album’s opening track, ‘Fortvivlan, Min Arvedel’ (Despair, My Heritage) is about as bleak and hopeless as it could be, but the music is striking. It’s almost two songs in one — a galvanizing charge of groove-inscribed black-metal catharsis and haunting melodies carried by acoustic guitar and clean singing. Yet those two creations are twined together, the one flowing seamlessly into the other and back again in a way that makes perfect sense. In the last song of the album ‘FFF’, true to form, Kvarforth lyrically curses his parents, himself, and the entire, defective human gene pool that has perverted the Earth. No question, human beings have done a pretty good job fucking up our home and each other (with no real end to that in sight), but as long as human beings can create music as good as what’s to be found on VII / Fodd Forlorare, I think I’ll stick around a while longer. This album also features talented guest appearances by Erik Danielsson (Watain), Chris Amott (Arch Enemy), Nordman and Peter Bjargo of Arcana

Track listing:
1. Fortvivlan Min Arvedel/Despair My Heredity
2. Tiden Laker Inga Sar/Time Heals No Wounds
3. Manniska O Avskyvarda Manniska/Man Oh Despicable Man
4. Tillsammans Ar Vi Allt/Together We Are Everything
5. I Nattens Timma-Landberk cover/In The Hour Of The Night
6. FFF

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The Sinister Initiative Records

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