Shining - X - Varg Utan Flock review




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Reviewer:
8.5

154 users:
7.92
Band: Shining
Album: X - Varg Utan Flock
Release date: January 2018


01. Svart Ostoppbar Eld
02. Gyllene Portarnas Bro
03. Jag Är Din Fiende
04. Han Som Lurar Inom
05. Tolvtusenfyrtioett
06. Mot Aokigahara


Niklas Kvarforth is one of the most controversial figures in the metal scene, but even those who dislike his personality and behaviour - myself included - do admit that Shining's music is most of the time top-tier metal to slash your wrists to. However, X - Varg Utan Flock is so much more than just the depressive/suicidal black metal child of a troubled mind.

The album's title means "wolf without a pack" and this is exactly what it is; a lone wolf, true to his origins, standing out from the rest and leading his own way. While originating from the ashes of Celtic Frost and Bathory, X - Varg Utan Flock is a musical journey taking the listener through icy black metal blizzards, progressive paths and atmospheric musical landscapes with torturing melodies.

This record is the musical equivalent of bipolar disorder in psychiatry, frequently transforming from violent to emotional, from furious to calming, from fast-paced to slow-burning. Its opener, "Svart Ostoppbar Eld", combines thrashy bludgeoning with acoustic mellowness and black 'n' roll grooviness. Another example is "Jag Är Din Fiende", where brutal blackened riffing fades seamlessly into jazzy dreaminess. In between these two, Kvarforth provides one of his signature tormented performances, supported by goosebumps-giving guitar melodies in the borderline blackgaze "Gyllene Portarnas Bro".

The melancholic classical piano of "Tolvtusenfyrtioett" leads to "Mot Aokigahara" a nine-minute ode to suicide, with which X - Varg Utan Flock reaches its end. Aokigahara or the "Sea of Trees" is a forest in Japan, known as the world's second most popular place to take one's life and with a closer like this, Shining have created the perfect soundtrack to listen to when you head out to the perfect place to die. Self-destruction never sounded so appealing.

Despite being bleak and depressive, Shining's tenth full-length album is surprisingly addictive and listenable. It feels real and genuine; a diverse and extreme progressive blend of the new and the old and a gorgeous way to welcome 2018.

"I was born December 1983,
then I died December 2017."


 



Written on 09.01.2018 by I was into this music when you were still in diapers.


Comments

Comments: 10   Visited by: 208 users
09.01.2018 - 23:04
VIG
Viggg
8.5?

No, for me it's more like a 6.5-7
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10.01.2018 - 00:17
Bad English
Masterchief
His personality is all what this is all about, somehow such people maybe fits into Stockholm or Hamstyad but not in quet north, even their music is awesome. I hated this band in the beginning, now I like it, I have not checked this one out yet, but I will.
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Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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10.01.2018 - 05:52
Marcus
Doit Like Bernie
You've got me curious, though I'll say most of Shining's recent releases have been pretty disappointing making me skeptical about this one
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10.01.2018 - 11:29
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by VIG on 09.01.2018 at 23:04

8.5?

No, for me it's more like a 6.5-7

I may have even underrated it
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10.01.2018 - 11:55
X-FrEaK
Written by nikarg on 10.01.2018 at 11:29

Written by VIG on 09.01.2018 at 23:04

8.5?

No, for me it's more like a 6.5-7

I may have even underrated it


Ahaha indeed, a 9 wouldn't be off But the covers are bad, when I'm listening to the album on spotify, everytime Mot Aokigahara ends I instantly start from the beginning.
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10.01.2018 - 12:04
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by X-FrEaK on 10.01.2018 at 11:55

Ahaha indeed, a 9 wouldn't be off But the covers are bad, when I'm listening to the album on spotify, everytime Mot Aokigahara ends I instantly start from the beginning.

Tbh I didn't take them into account when rating the album, because they are special edition bonus tracks. "Cry Little Sister" isn't bad, but I definitely don't find "In The Cold Light Of Morning" very appealing. It is a good Placebo song, but I don't want to listen to it in a Shining album.
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10.01.2018 - 14:26
Kuroboshi
Great review. I agree that it is intensely personal, but also extremely catchy despite its topic. I love it. I would rate it even higher.
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21.01.2018 - 14:57
VIG
Viggg
Never mind what I said, it's a good album. It is for sure better than all of their material since 2007.
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21.01.2018 - 19:06
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Kuroboshi on 10.01.2018 at 14:26

I would rate it even higher.

Me too. I regret that I didn't. I should have given it a 9.
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21.01.2018 - 19:10
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by VIG on 21.01.2018 at 14:57

Never mind what I said, it's a good album. It is for sure better than all of their material since 2007.

Yes, it is. Probably on par with Halmstad.
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