Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Shining - Varg Utan Flock

Shining have long held upheld a reputation as one of the most intense and real bands in the world of black metal. With a long struggle with mental illness defining the bands manic output it's been fascinating to watch them grow. Beyond that though is that they have been able to incorporate a variety of genres into their music, especially with the last few records that touch on the worlds of jazz and classical music into their wonderfully eclectic and surprisingly cohesive sonic assault. You simply can't turn away.

Varg Utan Flock fascinates time and time again because it is full of all sorts off twists and turns but never leavesyou asking 'is this really black metal'? Whereas I think 2015's Everything, Everwhere, Ends was a masterpiece it also felt a little erratic. Varg Utan Flock is a much more driven record and one that inspires a new set of questions. It's a tasty look into what made us fall in love with Shining in the first place whilst simultaneously incorporating all of the magic that made them such a fascinating band to get to be involved with and really sink your teeth into initially. It's a challenging listen at times to be sure, but one you want to be a part of.

The true beauty of Varg Utan Flock is that it provides a strangely potent reference point in a wolrd of struggle. While we find time and time again that we are getting lost in this world of black metal blasphemy there is something comforting about getting to really sink your teeth into a black metal album that personifies what the genre is about and then pushes so much further. It makes this album a masterpiece, but not only that, a record that you are going to find illuminating even the darkest and most twisted paths in the eldritch forests of our lives.

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