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Shining - Live Blackjazz Review

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating

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Shining - Live Blackjazz

Shining - Live Blackjazz

Indie Recordings
Shining's Blackjazz was released in early 2010, and received a mostly positive response. The Norwegian band's eclectic style is hard to pigeonhole, utilizing elements of avant-garde, jazz and metal. The writer who reviewed it for this site wasn't a big fan of the album, only giving it 2.5 out of 5 stars, but I personally enjoyed it.

Live Blackjazz captures a live show in the band's home country of Norway, and includes both a CD and DVD. As you'd expect from the title, Blackjazz is strongly represented in the 9 song concert, but there are also tracks from the band's back catalog. Songs from 2007's Grindstone and 2005's In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster are also included.

Shining's musicianship is impressive on CD, and it translates extremely well in a live setting. They are tight with even more urgency and energy. Saxophone solos aren't usually considered metal, but Jorgen Munkeby (also the band's vocalist) gets the crowd moving with his impressive playing. Their music is very challenging with numerous tempo and texture changes and extended instrumental sections, but they keep the audience's attention throughout.

The DVD can be really difficult to watch. Like the band's music, the editing is frantic. During fast sections, it's impossible to focus on the screen because of the strobe lights and lightning-quick cuts. The pace of the editing slows down a little with the song tempos, but the lighting is subdued during most of the concert.

If you enjoyed Blackjazz, you'll definitely want to pick up Live Blackjazz. The music has a different energy, and there are a couple of songs from other albums as well. From the opening notes of “Fisheye” to the last song, a cover of King Crimson's “21st Century Schizoid Man,” Shining delivers a boisterous but extremely tight performance.

(released January 24, 2012 on Indie Recordings)

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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