Shining Black Featuring Mark Boals & Olaf Thorsen

Shining Black

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Frontiers Music, 2020)

Karakter: 3/6

Shining Black album cover.jpgShining Black is a new musical collaboration between the hugely talented vocalist Mark Boals (Yngwie Malmsteen, Ring of Fire, Royal Hunt) and skilled guitarist Olaf Thorsen (Vision Divine, Labyrinth) where the emphasis is on melodic (power) metal consisting of thick, heavy riffs and a muscular, powerful production.  

First of all, Boals sounds great here and there are some good ideas present on the disc, but this self-titled effort offers neither any surprises nor anything out of the ordinary as such. There is a solid amount of punch and atmosphere to the record and some finely crafted melodies regularly make an appearance, but overall, the album is not all that memorable. It is not that it is directionless; it is rather too uneventful and predictable to really stand out in any way and it lacks dynamics and a cohesive spirit. The highlights are “Just Another Day”, “Where Are Your Gods” and the title track where the riffs are stronger and the vocal hooks better than the remaining cuts on the album, and I do wish that there were more standouts to be found, but sadly, that is not really the case.   

I think this is also one of those cases where my expectations simply were not met and where I expected more from Shining Black simply because I admire these two guys so much, so yeah, I will the first to admit that I wanted something more than what this one offers. Again, it is well-produced, and it all comes across as very professional in terms of its overall presentation and the names involved and all of that, but ultimately it is a little too unremarkable to give you the chills or ignite a sense of excitement. In summing up, this falls somewhere between mediocre and mildly interesting and will not set your world on fire.   


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