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Studio album by Shining
Released18 January 2010
GenreAvant-garde metal, extreme metal, alternative metal, industrial metal, progressive metal, experimental rock
LabelIndie Recordings
ProducerJørgen Munkeby
Shining chronology
Live Blackjazz

Blackjazz is the fifth studio album by the Norwegian band Shining, released through Indie Recordings on 18 January 2010. It marks a shift into the avant-garde metal genre, with extreme metal, industrial and progressive influences.



As on Shining's two previous albums, the music draws elements from many different genres. The album's title, Blackjazz, is meant to describe the band's sound.[1]

The instrumentation is far simpler than on the two previous albums, with Jørgen Munkeby focusing on guitars and saxophone. This has made the album's sound closer to how they sound live, as songs from previous albums needed to be simplified for live performances.[2]

According to Munkeby, a big inspiration in the development of the Blackjazz genre, was his work with In Lingua Mortua in 2006/2007. To quote Munkeby: “Lars’ refreshing blend of an impressive intellectual display and direct raw power has been a big inspiration for me. Lars is a true pioneer. He was the first person to invite me to play sax in a black metal setting, and in so doing, contributed strongly to SHINING’s later development of the Blackjazz genre.”[3]

Another big influence on Blackjazz is Shining's collaboration with Enslaved,[4] with whom they composed and performed a 90-minute ″Armageddon Concerto″, Nine Nights in Nothingness – Glimpses of Downfall, at Moldejazz 2008. In fact, the concerto's seventh movement is an earlier version of the song Fisheye, and a studio version of the first movement, RMGDN, is a bonus track on the vinyl edition of Blackjazz. The concerto was commissioned by Moldejazz after the programme committee saw a video of the two bands performing a cover of King Crimson's 21st Century Schizoid Man on their 2007 tour.[5] A new version of the same song forms the final track on Blackjazz, featuring guest vocals by Enslaved's Grutle Kjellson.


Shining performed the world premiere of the song "Fisheye" live on Store Studio, a culture talk show on NRK, 10 October 2009. Their performance was later released on YouTube, and as a free mp3 download from NRK.[6]

An extended version of "Fisheye" and the single "The Madness And The Damage Done" were released on iTunes prior to Blackjazz' release. The Singles were well-received, with "Fisheye" named Best song of 2009 by a critic in NRK's Lydverket,[7] and giving Shining a place on Time Out New York's list the Stars of 2010.[8]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[10]
The New York Times(favorable)[12]
Rock Sound(7/10)[13]
The A.V. Club(favorable)[14]
Pitchfork Media(7.7/10) [15]

The album was well received by critics. Notably, it was one of the few new releases ever to get a perfect five-star rating in its initial review by Allmusic, although its rating was later downgraded to four and a half stars.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Jørgen Munkeby except "21st Century Schizoid Man" written by Greg Lake, Ian McDonald, Michael Giles, Peter Sinfield and Robert Fripp.

1."The Madness And The Damage Done"5:20
3."Exit Sun"8:35
4."Exit Sun"0:57
5."Healter Skelter"5:34
6."The Madness And The Damage Done"3:23
7."Blackjazz Deathtrance"10:50
9."21st Century Schizoid Man" (King Crimson cover)8:40
Total length:57:15


Additional musicians


Chart (2010) Peak
Norwegian Albums Chart[16] 9

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog
Norway 18 January 2010 Indie Recordings CD INDIE 045 CD
double LP INDIE 045 LP
Europe 25 January 2010 Indie Recordings CD
United States 2 February 2010 The End Records CD


  1. ^ ""Blackjazz" Out Jan 25th" (PDF) (Press release). Indie Recordings. 2009-12-05. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
  2. ^ Ingmar Wåhlberg (30 April 2009). "Intervju: Shining" [Interview: Shining]. (in Norwegian). Retrieved 16 January 2010.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Ingmar Wåhlberg (30 April 2009). "Intervju: Shining" [Interview: Shining]. (in Norwegian). Retrieved 16 January 2010. Det er klart at samarbeidet med Enslaved har inspirert oss, og det har også påvirket soundet på den nye skiva.
  5. ^ "Enslaved og Shining lager bestillingsverk til Moldejazz 2008!" [Enslaved and Shining makes a commissioned work for Moldejazz 2008!]. (in Norwegian). Retrieved 17 January 2010. Det var etter at programkomiteen i Moldejazz fikk høre et live-opptak av Shining og Enslaveds felles tolkning av King Crimson-låten "21st Century Schizoid Man" at man bestemte seg for å gi banda utfordringen å lage et bestillingsverk til festivalen.
  6. ^ Jørgen Hegstad (30 November 2009). "Last ned ny Shining-singel gratis!" [Download the new Shining single for free!]. Lydverket (in Norwegian). NRK.
  7. ^ Jørgen Hegstad (20 December 2009). "Årets Beste: Jørgen Hegstad" [This Year's Best: Jørgen Hegstad]. Lydverket (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved 16 January 2010.
  8. ^ Sophie Harris; Jay Ruttenberg; Colin St. John; Hank Shteamer (14 January 2010). "The stars of 2010". Time Out New York. Retrieved 16 January 2010.
  9. ^ "Blackjazz reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  10. ^ Freeman, Phil. "Blackjazz review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  11. ^ Begrand, Adrien (3 February 2010). "Blackjazz review". PopMatters. PopMatters Media. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  12. ^ Chinen, Nate (20 January 2010). "Several shades of jazz, some infused with metal". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  13. ^ Burt, Jim (29 January 2010). "Norway's Shining are a unique prospect". Rock Sound. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  14. ^ Pierce, Leonard (10 February 2010). "Blackjazz review". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  15. ^ "Album reviews: Shinging: Blackjazz". Pitchfork Media. 14 May 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
  16. ^ "VG Lista - Album Top 40". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 February 2010.

External links[edit]