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'Redefining Darkness'
(Spinefarm Records)
Release Date: 29th October 2012

jools green

Jools Green

shining redefining darkness

One of the more controversial outfits in Metal, Sweden's depressive black Metal band Shining are about to release their eighth studio album, 'Redefining Darkness', the follow up to 2011s 'VII: Född Förlorare'. Regarding the new album, founder and front man Niklas Kvarforth says:

"The use of numbers to describe the albums is no longer something that Shining is interested in doing. The new album is without a doubt the darkest thing I have ever done or heard. People will be upset for sure - and hopefully its divine genius will destroy the lives of thousands."

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It is dark, very dark indeed, but at the same time exciting and exhilarating to listen to. Packed to the brim with harrowing emotion right to its very core, I thought 'VII: Född Förlorare' was excellent but this takes up where that left off and goes way beyond, opening a new chapter on Shining's unique slant on black Metal.

There are, once again six tracks, five of which are over the six minute mark, the other, a three and a half minute instrumental. The opening track 'Du, Mitt Konstverk' (You, My Artwork) hits you full on, no intro to ease you in, full force from the offset, harrowing, vitriolic vocals and an intense barrage of drum and guitar and once those vitriolic and almost dualistic vocals kick in you just know you are set for something pretty exciting.

Only two tracks this time sung in Swedish, the opening track and the third track 'Han Som Hatar Människan' (He Who Hates Humans), an up tempo, catchy, yet harrowing track. I do enjoy the Swedish lyrics, it adds intrigue and a touch of mystery, but at the same time the bonus with the English lyrics is you know instantly exactly what the songs are about.

'The Ghastly Silence' has a drum led opening with melancholic guitars which become blackened as the track builds and develops and a haunting sax adds dark melancholic atmosphere while 'Hail Darkness Hail' has a blackened groove to its construct and a spoken Hispanic segment before taking on very a Latino feel with Spanish guitars and clean vocals.

'Det Stora Grå' (The Great Grey) is a piano based instrumental, melancholic and beautiful, the calm before the final storm.

On the final track, 'For The God Below', the clean opening guitar has a deeply reflective atmosphere before building to a powerfully vitriolic burst from the vocals, an immense, formidable final track which vocally switches from soft and reflective to angry and vitriolic for maximum impact, an impressive end to the album.

The level of musicianship on this album is excellent, with astounding drum work and powerful, emotive guitar solos, all involved have pushed themselves to the very limit of their ability and possibly a bit beyond given the level of emotion expelled from these tracks, particularly with Niklas's vocals.

One of the great things about Shining is you never know quite where the music will take you, such is the extremity of tempo change keeping you enthralled from start to finish. Also there is always such a good balance between the tracks harsh and extreme and the lighter reflective and melancholic elements which is what makes their music so interesting.

So, did it upset me or ruin my life? Oh No! Quite the opposite!

'Redefining Darkness' was produced by King Diamond's Andy LaRocque and was recorded at Sonic Train studios and is released on Monday 29th October on Spinefarm Records.

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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