”A Study in Coordinated Whiplash” wrote The New York Times October 2008, after one of SHINING’s pounding concerts in Manhattan. Norway's NRK Lydverket were equally impressed with SHINING after their performance in Oslo as part of the Øya Festival in the same year, stating that SHINING was "Norway's best band right now".
These typical encounters between unsuspecting (and in recent times, more suspecting) audience and the band’s no-mercy attitude, coupled with four critically acclaimed studio albums, are what has put SHINING in the very forefront of experimental extreme music.
In the years since SHINING's most recent studio album “Grindstone” 3 years ago, a myriad of happenings have been thrust onto the shoulders of ring leader Jørgen Munkeby and his band, comprising some of the best musicians in Norway, who collectively make up one of the most exciting and adventurous musical acts in Europe today.
SHINING have performed at all key industry events such as CMJ festival in NYC, SXSW in Texas, Eurosonic in The Netherlands, The Great Escape in UK and by:Larm in their hometown of Oslo. In addition to the exposure that the band garnered from these key events, the band have toured Europe, USA, China and Japan.
SHINING´s previous two studio outings; 2005´s “In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be A Monster” and 2007´s “Grindstone” (both on the Rune Grammofon label) were wildly lauded by every website, blog, paper and student column under the sun. Both albums won the Alarmprisen (Norwegian grammy award equivalent), Grindstone was picked as the #1 album of the year in Norway´s second largest national newspaper and also the UK based alternative music magazine Rock-A-Rolla, rated “Grindstone” as one of their best 30 albums of 2007. The album was also hailed by such varied media outlets as The New York Times, The Wire, BBC and Terrorizer Magazine amongst others.
SHINING´s shift in musical direction became ever more apparent when they were selected to tour Europe in 2007 with Norwegian black metal pioneers Enslaved and fellow extreme metal hard hitters, Keep Of Kalessin. This tour would result in a mutual musical respect and admiration between Enslaved and SHINING, which would culminate in the two bands composing and performing a one-off special collaboration: A 90-minute written musical extravaganza that saw both bands (10 members) performing together on-stage at the Molde International Jazz Festival. The Armageddon Concerto performance entitled “Nine Nights in Nothingness – Glimpses of Downfall “ was extremely well received and, due to popular demand, will be performed again as the main headlining act for the 2010 Roadburn Festival in The Netherlands (Tilburg, April 17th).
After the intense workload of the Molde concerto, SHINING went to work on what would become Blackjazz. Munkeby himself comments “the compositions are more compact, the arrangements more hard-hitting, and the mood more desperate, sinister, aggressive and violent”.
To match his vision of combined musical aggressiveness and catchiness, Munkeby teamed up with the perfect accomplice for the ominous Blackjazz mission: With his technical prowess and extensive musical knowledge and experience, renowned producer/engineer Sean Beavan (NIN, Marilyn Manson, Slayer) joined forces to further elevate and intensify the new direction of music.
As one last Sin Soldier added to the already impressive list of Blackjazz accomplices, Sean Beavan’s long time co-schemer Tom Baker (NIN, Marilyn Manson, David Lynch etc.) mastered the album at Precision Mastering in Hollywood, and added obliterating and stinging power to the already punishing mixes, thereby putting the final nail in the coffin.
With “Blackjazz” now completed SHINING moves onto the next phase of their already accomplished mission. A new label and another shift in direction means a whole lot more shock and awe.
Said about Blackjazz (January 2010):
"This is one of the most assaultive, addictive albums around." -Allmusic.com
“Yet another gem by a constantly surprising group.” -Popmatters.com
”Blackjazz is nothing short of a progressive metal masterpiece.” -AllAboutJazz.com
"Shining are fucking different, and I like it." -MetalSucks.net
"Blackjazz is fierce and unrelenting, a slavering beast of an album." -Alternative Press
“The acclaimed Norwegian avant-rock band still transcending their influences.” -Pitchfork
"A freak of nature you never before dared cast your eyes upon!" -Terrorizer
“This album is already just about perfect.” -Chartattack: Blackjazz is Danko Jones’ #1 album
”Norway’s Jørgen Munkeby and his cohorts not only pulled off this alchemical fusion, but also did it with elements of terror, experimental audacity, and brilliance.” -AV Club
"Easily the band's heaviest, bleakest and most downright bloody nasty work.” -The Quietus
“It’s a potent closer, and a perfectly damning one.” -The New York Times