(2007, Rune Grammofon)
Norwegian free jazz metal experimentalists Shining have created an ADHD answer to America’s Battles with their 2007 release, Grindstone. Grindstone takes the beauty of what Battles accomplished with Mirrored and thrusts it into more theatrical and compositional areas (but theatrical like in an awesome 80’s movie kind of way rather than a tortured Faun Fables kind of way). I guess, in reality, the two bands have endless differences but there is just something about the feel of each that is requiring me to tie them together. Shining moves far beyond loops, traveling into areas of multi-instrumental indulgence and absurdity that, despite its inherent pitfalls, are actually pleasurable. There is an undoubted air of experimentation (especially after the completion of the stellar openers…and yes, ‘stellar’ is the most appropriate word here) but the ideas with which this experimentation are implemented rarely enters areas where it becomes belabored. Shining has created a gem in Grindstone by force of their incredible ethic and character. Maintaining a certain sense of humor, intense musical passion and superior technical skill, Grindstone is a testament to a crazy-eyed nerve to create as cool a record as its creators can produce with their minds and fingers. I think it is in that way that Shining’s Grindstone is comparable to Battles’ Mirrored (and in my opinion better). An exhilarating listen from beginning to end.