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Shining - VII: Född Förlorare CD (album) cover

VII: FÖDD FÖRLORARE

Shining

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.90 | 25 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "VII: Född Förlorare" (translates into "Born Loser") is the 7th full-length studio album by Swedish extreme metal act Shining. The album was released in February 2011 by Indie Recordings. Spinefarm Records released "VII: Född Förlorare" in May 2011. I´m not sure why two different Scandinavian labels are involved.

The music on "VII: Född Förlorare" pretty much continue the misantrophic extreme metal style of "V: Halmstad (2007)" and "VI: Klagopsalmer (2009)". The lyrics are as usual centered about self-loathing, depression and hatred. The suicide theme, which used to be a dominant part of the lyrical themes on older releases, seems to have been toned down a bit on "VII: Född Förlorare". Not that the lyrics are any less extreme because of that. We´re still talking extremely misantrophic and hateful lyrics. Sometimes to the point of being pathetic IMO. While the roots of the music is undeniably black metal tinged, Shining has strayed from the black metal path for a couple of albums now, and I´d much rather call their music extreme metal than black metal. The music features elements from both black, death, thrash and progressive metal. The latter influence is sparse and the influence is rather from 70s progressive rock than from "regular" vanilla progressive metal.

If you wonder if that means, that Shining sounds anything like Opeth, you wouldn´t be completely off the mark. There are notable differences both in the complexity- and sophistication level of the compositions, but maybe more importantly in attitude and worldview, but the heavy riffing and brutal vocals contrasted by mellow acoustic sections and clean vocals are something the two acts have in common. Actually lead vocalist Niklas Kvarforth delivers more clean vocals on this album than on any Shining album before it. The vocals are predominantly raw and aggressive though. They are completely decipherable and delivered with great passion. Niklas Kvarforth is a skilled and varied extreme metal vocalist but his clean vocals are also very enjoyable.

"VII: Född Förlorare" contains 6 tracks distributed over a 41:47 minutes long playing time. 5 tracks are originals while "I Nattens Timma" is a Landberk (Swedish progressive rock act) cover from their debut album "Riktigt Äkta (1992)". And it´s the Swedish language version that Shining covers on "VII: Född Förlorare". Landberk released an english language version of their debut album called "Lonely Land" (also in 1992) where "I Nattens Timma" was given the title "Waltz of the Dark Riddle". The original Swedish language version is probably one of the most beautiful songs I´ve yet encountered, so I was pretty interested to find out how Shining had treated this fantastic song. As it turns out they have treated "I Nattens Timma" with just the right amount of respect without losing integrity and just mindlessly cloning the original. Amongst the general mayhem and misantrophy on the album the very mellow, dark and beautiful "I Nattens Timma" sits as a calm oasis. The remaining tracks are all of high quality too. Monumentally heavy riffing, unsettling atmospheric leads, passionate, aggressive and at times demented vocals and an attention to detail that makes the tracks sound interesting throughout. Song-titles like "Tiden Läker Inga Sår" ("Time Heals No Wounds") and "Människa O'Avskyvärda Människa" ("Man, Oh Despicable Man") perfectly illustrates the misanprophic and hateful lyrical themes mentioned above.

The album was recorded and produced by Rickard Bengtsson at Slaughterhouse Studios, Sweden and Bengtsson has created a powerful sound for the album. It´s not as full and warm as the sound on the two precessesors, but it´s well sounding and suits the tracks perfectly.

While "VI: Klagopsalmer" did in some ways come off as the pale (yet still pretty good) twin to "V: Halmstad", I think "VII: Född Förlorare" comes off sounding a bit more unique and not as intertwined with the celebrated "V: Halmstad". That´s a plus in my book and a sign that Shining are still adventurous and that they are still interested in developing their sound. The misantrophic lyrics and band image will probably always be an aquired taste, but the quality of the band´s music and the generally excellent musicianship on dispay here are undeniable. A 4 star rating is fully deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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