Recording information: Rockefeller Music Hall, Oslo, Norway.
Director: Anders Bizrresen.
Editor: Anders Bizrresen.
Photographer: Svein Erindjsdal.
This live companion to Norwegian industrial-jazz-metal act Shining's 2011 release Blackjazz is, somewhat surprisingly, a more immediately palatable release than the studio version. The mix is clearer, less focused on punishing the listener with raw electronic shrillness, and more about showcasing the intricate percussive capabilities of the ensemble, not to mention frontman Jorgen Munkeby's skronky saxophone work, which falls somewhere between James Chance and God leader Kevin Martin. The repertoire at this show encompasses more than just Blackjazz tracks, of course; selections from the two previous Shining albums, Grindstone and In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster, are also featured. It's a ferociously high-energy performance, frequently exploding into outright noise, but always impeccably recorded with enough separation between instruments that you can tell everything that happens is deliberate and considered. The only disappointment is that the 12-minute closing version of King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man" doesn't feature Enslaved's Grutle Kjellson on guest vocals, as the studio take did. Still, it's a totally epic noise-skronk-metal assault that's as reminiscent of Borbetomagus as of Crimson. [This is a CD/DVD set; the DVD features two songs more than the CD, a different running order, and many, many strobe lights.] ~ Phil Freeman