Shining may demonstrate musical sections that are black metal in sound, but the four-piece are not and never have been in spirit. Ardently set away from the satanic values that many define the genre by, the Swedes carry a different message – a one of self-destruction and bare-bone, empirical obliteration. Writhing through this tortured yet beautiful entity is Niklas Kvarforth, who if you’re not familiar with, is the controversial frontman and lyricist of the act.
What is most surprising about Fodd Forlorare is its diversification. Shining’s trademark breaks in sound which usually involve some hysterical audio sampling of someone at the peak of a crippling mental breakdown are still present in accordance with the atmospheric grimness it resonates. But to some astonishment, there’s a surprising edge of clean vocals in this record that will no doubt shed a few purists with a full-on shriek-fetish.
Of course, a destructive wrecking ball of classic Shining riffs soon demolish any such notions that the band have suddenly had some gothic epiphany. This experimental, melodic venture is a balanced one, descending into a chaotic sound scape of consistent percussive blastbeats and existential vocal wails on on opener Förtvivlan, Min Arvedel.
Till Sammans Ar Vi Allt is the point in the album where those sticklers will fall, but only to their own peril. It’s a standout nine-minutes of bliss, with guest vocals from Nordman’s Håkan Hemlin, who brings the tuneful dynamic not many would have expected. It’s crushing verses are barked by Kvarforth in his usual blood-vessel-bursting style but Hemlin’s offering genuinely compliments the track, enducing an almost epic side to a song about the admiration of heroin.
An interlude of echoing xylophone and fluttering flute exhibit Shining’s ambient potential, before I Nattens Timma further completes the course of shock-therapy with a (dare I say) Alice-era Tom Waits feel to the shady track.
FFF folds the album with equal devastation and reflection, again showing Shining’s depth as a band that continue to epitomize a controlled brutal sound that verges on the progressive and essentially chases boundaries with an honest yet justified disregard for them.