Shining (2), Blackjazz
Norwegian bop-and-grind scuzzbugs Shining continue to stretch the boundaries of both jazz and metal on their fifth album, Blackjazz, an LP that essentially reviews itself. Over the course of two albums for esteemed art-wonk label Rune Grammofon, Shining walked a dizzy course that seemed to pull from everywhere: the aggro-dissonance of John Coltrane’s Ascension, the gangly freak-punk of Black Flag’s The Process of Weeding Out, the spazzy skronk of John Zorn’s Ornette tribute and the anything-goes splatter-prog of early Zappa. But Blackjazz, their first album for metal label The End, is their most “metal” album to date, the band still crunching in obtuse angles, but attacking them with the savage, streamlined bluster of Converge, Dillinger Escape Plan or Between The Buried And Me. After collaborating with black metal legends Enslaved at the Norwegian Moldejazz Festival, Shining has fallen into metal’s bottomless pit, supplementing their usual sax wreckage and mathy sizzle with throat-shredding Ministry-style acid bark, monstrous riffs, revolting blastbeats, and, in “Exit Sun,” even an honest-to-God “mosh part.” By album’s end, they blort out a sludgy, sickening cover of the original prog-metal monster jam, King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man” with Enslaved’s Grutle Kjellson on vocals and Jørgen Munkebys’ hellacious, skronktastic saxophone contorting in ways Robert Fripp’s guitar never imagined.