Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Shining - III: Angst - Självdestruktivitetens Emissarie (2002)

Shining is an incredibly overrated band from Sweden, often labeled as Black Metal or even DSBM. By October 2002, with the release of III: Angst - Självdestruktivitetens Emissarie, Kvarforth's vehicle of attention whoring had already strayed quite far from its more underground roots. What one hears with this album is an over-produced, empty and meaningless collection of noises that serve no purpose and are a complete waste of the listener's time.

As if the production of Livets ändhållplats was not already too clear for this type of music, the third Shining record possesses an even cleaner sound that removes what little darkness might have remained with a murkier approach. The bass lines, in particular, are higher in the mix than necessary, and the same can be said for the drums. The vocals are actually buried, somewhat, with the guitars sort of blending into the middle of the rest. Though, with the overall weakness of the songwriting, this is not a real problem as there is nothing lost. No amount of distortion or rawness could have possibly saved this record from its fate.

The compositions are very bland and pointless. Whereas the previous efforts showed a significant influence from early Bethlehem and even some Burzum, Angst - Självdestruktivitetens Emissarie has more of a depressive rock feel that is taking over. The main problem with that description is that there is really nothing depressive about this, other than the severe lack of effort put forth into the writing and recording of this horrid album. Everything from the empty and useless guitar riffs to the overactive percussion just reeks of a band that had nothing to offer and no real point for bothering to waste anyone's time listening to this worthless trash. One is likely to get a headache even trying to comprehend what these guys thought they were attempting to do by even entering a studio when they clearly had not bothered to compose any real songs. The guitar melodies do not flow well and really go nowhere, limping from one ill-conceived idea to the next. There are still some nods to the Black Metal scene that spawned this wretched project, such as the tremolo riffs and fast drums that can be heard on the title track, yet the riffs possess no feeling and none of this accomplishes anything, whatsoever. Even the addition of acoustic bits and silent passages fails to create any sort of atmosphere. In the end, it just shows a very confused group of musicians with no idea what they were doing. The most interesting song, "Submit to Self-Destruction", still manages to fall short of anything from the previous two albums and is actually a re-recorded song from an old E.P.

Angst - Självdestruktivitetens Emissarie is a worthless album that should be avoided, at all costs. Even if you are a fan of the early work of Shining, this really is not worth bothering with. This is such a step down from its predecessors that it makes them seem like brilliant classics, by comparison. It is a shame that Kvarforth didn't kill himself before recording this foul collection of under-developed ideas and passing it off as music. If you see copies of this anywhere, be sure to burn them all, rather than just throwing them in the garbage. The true "angst" of this record is from realizing that the cartoon character known as Kvarforth actually achieved fame based on such talentless releases as this.