Pain is inspiration (A shining view on Black Metal)

Recently, while looking for “new” music for me to discover, I came across Shining, a Swedish Black Metal band. Black Metal from Scandinavia, that’s not too exciting now, is it? No yet but read on. I mainly checked them out because according to several sources, one of their main influences was Strid, a band I covered, among others, just yesterday in an article.

Strid are commonly recognised as the creators of Depressive Black Metal and Shining take that even further. How? Read on after the jump for stories about self-mutilation, hoping for people to committ suicide and more (most probably not safe for work).

The guy in the above picture is Niklas Kvarforth, singer and frontman of Shining. What you see there, isn’t a picture of a homicide but an act of self-mutilation. Self-mutilation isn’t new to the world of Black Metal, as captured in the movie ‘Until the Light takes us’ (a must-watch for those interested in Black Metal, by the way).

Kvarforth doesn’t “just” mutilate himself for relief, for lack of a better word, of his depressions, no, he tortures himself during recording sessions to give his vocals the total expression of pain and suffering. It may seem sick, again for lack of a better word, to you and me but as I view this as an artistic outlet, I can’t deny that I find it extremely interesting.

Others may write or record songs while they’re in love, why not record something when you’re in pain? Especially if your lyrics mostly deal with depression, negativity and suicide. When listening to above song, for example, you can definitely hear the pain and sadness this guy has had to experience, even though, if you’re like me, you don’t understand a single word of Swedish.

Also, if you listen to above song, you will notice that it doesn’t sound like your typical Black Metal song. It’s well produced, the solo is fine as hell and it also includes “normal” singing. According to Kvarforth, he writes and produces his music to appeal to a large audience, so he can make them just as depressive as himself and drive them to suicide or at least mutilate themselves.

“I know that people have mutilated themselves under the influence of my words and music so there’s always motivation to continue.”

After reading some Interviews with him and reading articles about Shining, I can draw obvious comparisons to the late GG Allin but the biggest difference might be that Niklas Kvarforth is a damn talented musician, which Allin wasn’t.

I can’t help but feel sorry for Kvarforth, because depression is no laughing matter, especially if it’s as deep as his, but at the same time be very fascinated by stories about him and, most importantly, his music.

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