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Shining (NOR) – One One One Album Review

Shining (NOR) – One One One

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Originally posted on Ghost Cult Magazine’s website on 28/05/2013

Masterminding the melding of Jazz and metal has been attempted by many noisemakers but these proponents have often hailed from the metal world. Shining mainman Jørgen Munkeby has travelled a different path hailing from a trad jazz background Munkeby introduced “Black Jazz” to an unsuspecting world three years ago nailing progressive metal to free jazz and harsh electronics it was an uncompromising and experimental record which sat up and slapped the metal scene square in the face.

Fast forward to present day One One One sees Shining condensing and distilling their freeform frenzy into more traditional song structures.For some this would seem like Shining has lost its edge yet what One One One succeeds in doing is compressing these rogue elements and spewing them out in controlled bursts of kinetic energy.

Spanning thirty five minutes this high energy thrill ride is a seemly mesh of all Shining’s musical styles with all the indulgences stripped away leaving only the juicy succulent flesh for the listener to feast upon.The driving percussion and industrial guitars of ‘I Won’t Forget’ kick off this adrenaline ride recalling the manic rush of NIN circa Broken and ‘My Dying Drive’ pulls no punches with its stellar grooves.

What makes this album so inviting is how every instrument is allowed to stand out without being smothered by the rest. The frantic saxophone on ‘How Your Story Ends’ ads to the song without becoming its main focus and the electronic elements are never employed at the expense of the guitars.The album title itself alludes to Munkeby’s desire to create a series of “track one’s” or “hits” and while the songs have shorter running times than the sprawling Black Jazz this is still the bold work of an extreme act hell-bent continually challenging themselves and their listeners.

The corrosive saxophone grind of ‘The Hurting Game’ alone should serve as a vehement denial of the notion that Shining have become a straight metal act. Jørgen’s vocals while mostly screamed still allow for lyrics to be clearly deciphered and while the cold industrial sections complement the harsh guitars there is an organic feel to the songs.

In One One One Munkeby has succeeded in balancing the fine line between indulging his renegade tendencies while simultaneously delivering his most direct and simplistic album yet. While a fine collection of music never before have Shining’s individual songs shone so brightly even when removed from the context of the album. A vital and exhilarating brand of controlled chaos bravely realised and delivered with the meticulous brilliance of a master craftsman.

8/10

Ross Baker

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Audrey Horne Live

Audrey Horne, The Mercy House & Sahg Live

@ NQ Live Manchester, UK

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Originally published on Ghost Cult Magazine’s website 14/07/2013

Following the acclaim Audrey Horne have received following the release of current albumYoungblood it’s a shame that more punters haven’t chosen to venture down to NQ Live for this promising triple bill.

Sahg 1Sahgdon’t let the sight of a half empty venue phase them. The room is sounding huge tonight suiting the bands classic rock tinged doom to a tee. Embellishing opener ‘The Executioner Undead’ with a snippet of the Thin Lizzyclassic ‘The Emerald’ doesn’t hurt either. ‘Firechild’ suggests good things to come from the band’s as yet untitled fourth album with the combined vocals of Olavand bassist Tony providing some spine tingling harmonies which suggest their finest hour could soon be upon us.

Londoners The Mercy House are a recent addition due to Ancient VVisdom needing to pull out a couple of weeks prior to the tour. The quintet’s downtuned guitars recall Loud Love era Soundgarden yet as the set wears on, the lack of varying tempos and the screeching vocals become quite the irritant. A sub standard version of Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Freedom’ does little to help their cause. Singer Drew has a mean vocal range yet when the over the top histrionics are discarded the songs have very little to say for themselves.

Audrey Horne 2Enter sharp dressed headliners Audrey Hornewho possess both stage presence and musicianship in abundance! Every band member is a hive of activity oozing star power from every pore. Numbers from current platter Youngblood are doled out with the crowd cheering and pumping their fists straight from the kick off. The twin guitars of Thomas Tofthagen andEnslaved six stringer Ice Dale are phenomenal and Toschie is impossible to ignore, getting into the front row’s faces and throwing shapes while delivering huge vocal harmonies atop the mountainous fretwork which give songs like ‘It Ends Here’ their kick. ‘Cards For The Devil’ is another with a scything Judas Priest phrasing leading to a dynamic chorus.  The crowd lap up everything the band throws at them with Toschie diving into the audience who fling their arms around him in joyous camaraderie. A constant blur of kinetic energy with an abundance of hooks and personality this may be a small club but it has the feel of a stadium tonight. While their name may refer to a character from mysterious David Lynch film and series Twin Peaks, their music is no high art expressionism just pure modern heavy rock played with a bucket load of heart and soul.

Audrey Horne, The Mercy House & Sahg
NQ Live Manchester
May 1st 2013
Ross Baker
Photos: Fabiola Santini