Shining (Norwegian rock group)

~ Group


Shining is a Norwegian avant-garde music band from Oslo. Thirteen musicians have been a part of the band's line-up in its history, with singer, guitarist, saxophonist and songwriter Jørgen Munkeby as its leading force and only constant member.

Shining was created in 1999 as an acoustic instrumental jazz quartet consisting of Munkeby, drummer Torstein Lofthus, pianist Morten Qvenild, and double bassist Aslak Hartberg. They released their first albums Where the Ragged People Go and Sweet Shanghai Devil in 2001 and 2003 respectively. Their 2005 album In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster led the band into a more avant-garde, electric, rock-oriented sound, with Qvenild now playing synthesizers and other electronic keyboards, and Hartberg mostly using bass guitar instead of double bass.

Qvenild and Hartberg both left the band before or following the release of the album, being replaced in 2005 by Andreas Hessen Schei and Morten Strøm respectively. Under this line-up, Shining released Grindstone in 2007, an album going into a heavier direction and distancing itself more from jazz, incorporating elements from progressive rock, pop, as well as 19th and 20th century classical music. On the following years, Schei was replaced by Andreas Ulvo who was himself later replaced by Bernt Moen, while Tor Egil Kreken replaced Strøm on bass guitar, and in addition the band included guitarist Even Helte Hermansen as a new member in 2010, expanding into a quintet.

The release of their fifth album Blackjazz in 2010 saw Shining turn into an extreme avant-garde metal band, with the use of growled vocals from Munkeby. The same year, Hermansen was replaced by Sagen. Their first live album Live Blackjazz and their latest album to date, One One One, released in 2013, follow the musical direction initiated in Blackjazz. In the following years, Lofthus (the only original member left aside from Munkeby), Løchsen and Kreken all left the band. The two first were replaced by Tobias Ørnes Andersen and Eirik Tovsrud Knutsen respectively, while Ole Vistnes became the new bassist.

Shining's metal-oriented albums were received with much acclaim from both jazz, heavy metal, and more mainstream critics.

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Year Title RatingReleases
2001 Where the Ragged People Go 1 1
2003 Sweet Shanghai Devil 1 1
2005 In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster 1 1
2007 Grindstone 1 1
2010 Blackjazz 3.65 3
2013 One One One 5 2
2015 International Blackjazz Society 1

Album + Live

Year Title RatingReleases
2011 Live Blackjazz 1

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