Disbelief - _Shine_
by: Matthias Noll (
After reading a report about the work on _Shine_ which left me under the impression that the band was rushed into the studio to have the album ready before the 2002 No Mercy festivals, my alarm bells started ringing. I was not really surprised to find _Shine_ inferior to its brilliant predecessor _Worst Enemy_ [CoC #54]. It's pointless to speculate whether the results would have been better had the band had more time to prepare and record their new tracks. The fact is that both the song material and the production are far less crushing and intense than _Worst Enemy_. Besides the overall less dynamic nature of the songs, this may partially be the fault of a lacklustre drum performance on most tracks. Drummer Kai would be well advised to seek some inspiration on Katatonia's _Last Fair Deal Gone Down_ [CoC #52] for drumming to mid-tempo material in an interesting fashion. Stylistically the band has remained easily recognizable and unique with their Voivod meets Neurosis meets Bolt Thrower approach. It's just the engine, i.e. the Bolt Thrower part of this mixture, which seems to be a bit powerless this time around. Instead of the crushing heaviness which dominated large parts of _Worst Enemy_, _Shine_ sees the inclusion of some lacklustre clean vocal passages and a few tracks which, as far as the instruments are concerned, sound like present day Katatonia. Overall, this record still is far from being a happy affair and even if the approach is slower and less brutal, _Shine_ oozes brooding despair. Singer Jagger deserves a special mention again for his insane vocals, which sound like the death metal equivalent of Count Grishnack's tortured screaming on _Hvis Lysett Tar Oss_. It's a shame that despite all the originality and talent available this is clearly inferior to _Worst Enemy_ and therefore only worth 7 out of 10 for me.
(article published 7/3/2002)
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