Norway's Shining Delivers an Explosion of Jazz and Metal on Blackjazz

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Blackjazz (Indie Recordings)

The old line about music that sounds like a bunch of different stuff thrown in a blender doesn’t work for Blackjazz, the fourth album from the Norwegian jazz/metal/industrial/spazzcore band Shining. What Blackjazz sounds like is the blender. The disc starts with a howl and a Ministry riff, followed by a spasmodic explosion of high-pitched guitar notes and a bruising breakdown. And that’s just the first minute. Over the next hour, Blackjazz maintains the same frenetic pace—nothing lasts for more than a few seconds, and nothing ever happens at less than maximum intensity. The album is officially broken down into songs, but the tiny individual elements of each song—the short, machine-gun riffs, the whiplash time changes, the squalls of saxophone from bandleader Jørgen Munkeby—are the real framework. There’s a progressive, cerebral undercurrent, a downtown avant-garde sensibility that makes you feel as if something important might be happening, but it’s the sheer joy of nasty, rusty, hateful noise that makes Blackjazz such a rush.

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