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Norway's Shining specialize in a genre-hopping prog-jazz style that is equal parts avant-garde jazz, experimental composition, power electronics, progressive rock, and extreme metal. Founded in Oslo by saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, and only constant member Jørgen Munkeby, the band's music and wild theatrical live show evolved toward a genre of the band's own definition: "Blackjazz," named for the title of its 2010 breakthrough album. The band morphed out of the ten-piece Jaga Jazzist ensemble, which Munkeby joined when he was only 16 years old. He also enlisted former Jaga keyboardist Morten Qvenild, drummer Torstein Lofthus and bassist Aslak Hartberg. Shining recorded Sweet Shanghai Devil, its debut long player for Jazzland/Universal, and Where the Ragged People Go for bp Records, before moving to Norway's then-newly formed (and now iconic) Rune Grammophon for 2005's In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster. Shortly after its release, Qvenild left the group, largely to concentrate on new projects with Susanna & the Magical Orchestra, as did Hartberg. Another former Jaga Jazzist keyboardist, Andreas Hessen Schei, and bassist Morten Strøm were recruited for 2007's Grindstone, their second and last offering on Rune Grammophon. In the wake of the set's release, Shining was invited by Enslaved, Norway's legendary prog black metal outfit, to open shows on their tour. The bands played King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man" together to close each gig. After witnessing a video of that performance, The Molde International Jazz Festival (Moldejazz) commissioned an original 90-minute collaboration. In 2008, "Nine Nights in Nothingness: Glimpses of Downfall" (aka "The Armageddon Concerto") was performed at the festival, signaling a profound change in direction for Shining. But there were major personnel changes, too. Schei left and was briefly replaced by Andreas Ulvo before Bernt Moen came aboard; he was replaced by Knut Løchsen in 2008. Strøm also departed and Tor Egil Kreken took over the bass chair. The band signed to Indie Recordings and in 2010, co-headlined the Roadburn Festival with Enslaved (the latter were artists in residence that year). They added guitarist Even Helte Hermansen to free up Munkeby on-stage and became a quintet. Soon afterward, they delivered their studio album Blackjazz, which was heralded internationally and charted all over Europe. With its harsh vocals and extreme guitar and drums wedded to the angular avant-jazz and noise, the band took inspiration from Lars Fredrik Frøislie's unit, In Lingua Morta -- a prog rock-cum-black metal band Munkeby had briefly been a member of during and after his time with Jaga Jazzist -- as well as Enslaved. The set's first single, "Fisheye," was a new take on a piece from "The Armageddon Concerto," but the album was defined by a studio version of "21st Century Schizoid Man" with Enslaved's Grutle Kjellson guesting on lead vocals. The band toured in support with new guitarist Håkon Sagen in place of Hermansen. 2011's live offering, Live: Blackjazz, refiltered their back catalog through their new, more aggressive sound. It was issued as an audio and video package, and was the last album to feature Løchsen. The band issued One One One in 2013. Building on Blackjazz's approach, One One One--mixed by Sean Bevan (Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson)-- was also warmly received by international critics and did well commercially in the band's home country: it placed in Norway's Top 20. This was the last album for Indie Recordings, and for Lofthus and Kreken. Tobias Ørnes Andersen claimed the drum kit, while Eirik Tovsrud Knutsen became the band's fifth keyboardist and Ole Vistnes its bassist. The band recorded a new studio album for Spinefarm and prepped its release with festival tours across Europe. They took it one step further by using helicopters to haul over 4,000 pounds of amplification gear to a Norwegian cliff (with a 700-foot drop) to play a concert for 300 fans. International Blackjazz Society, again mixed by Bevan and mastered in Los Angeles by Tom Baker, was issued in the fall of 2013 during Shining's extended European tour. ~ Thom Jurek
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Albums by

Top Songs by

  1.   Song
  2.   The Madness and the Damage Done
  3.   Paint the Sky Black
  4.   Ett Liv Utan Mening
  5.   Omen
  6.   Svart Industriell Olycka
  7.   Fisheye
  8.   Szabadulj Meg Önmagadtól
  9.   I Won't Forget
  10.   Through Corridors of Oppression
  11.   Need
  12.   Thousand Eyes
  13.   Last Day
  14.   The Last Stand
  15.   The Last Stand
  16.   Blackjazz Rebels
  17.   Inga Broar Kvar Att Bränna
  18.   Människotankens Vägglösa Rum
  19.   Burn It All
  20.   The Hurting Game
  21.   Walk Away
  22.   My Dying Drive
  23.   Besök Från I (Ho) Nom
  24.   Vilja & Dr
  25.   Den Påtvingade Tvåsamheten
  26.   Exit Sun
  27.   Terres Des Anonymes
  28.   Admittance
  29.   Framtidsutsikter
  30.   Selvdestruktivitetens Emissarie
  31.   Healter Skelter
  32.   The One Inside
  33.   21st Century Schizoid Man
  34.   Blackjazz Deathtrance
  35.   House of Control
  36.   Church Of Endurance
  37.   House of Warship
  38.   How Your Story Ends
  39.   Off the Hook
  40.   Today by Julian Beeston
  41.   Last Day
  42.   Goretex Weather Report
  43.   REDRUM
  44.   Romani
  45.   Perdurabo
  46.   Aleister Esplains Everything
  47.   31=300=20 (It is By Will Alone I Set My Mind in Motion)
  48.   Where Death Comes to Cry
  49.   The Smoking Dog
  50.   Magazine RWRK
  51.   You Can Try the Best You Can
  52.   Stalemate Longan Runner
  53.   Psalm
  54.   ... .--.-. ....
  55.   The Red Room
  56.   Moonchild Mindgames
  57.   To Be Proud of Crystal Colors is to Live Again
  58.   Winterreise
  59.   In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster
  61.   Fight Dusk With Dawn
  62.   1:4:9
  63.   Aleister Explains Everything
  64.   RMGAN
  65.   Spooks in the Hall
  66.   The Fool
  67.   Small Steps
  68.   Dalton City
  69.   Randomizer
  70.   Song of a Long Gone Girl
  71.   Hell's Bells

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