SHINING is more than just a band. In fact each release, every concert and interview becomes a bloody battleground, on which Niklas Kvarforth struggles with his inner demons. The frontman and only remaining original member has never been shy to let the world know about his mental afflictions, which seem to complement or even spark his outstanding talent as a composer and musician. His ninth album, ‘IX – Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends’ is another excellent example of Niklas’ genius. Reaching back to their black metal roots, SHINING simultaneously melt eclectic influences from progressive rock, jazz, even pop and more into deeply emotional laments from the dark side of the soul. Niklas’ vocals come in an even greater variety of expressions which few would suspect in a singer coming from the extreme metal scene. Moments of pain and confusion turn into insane outbursts of anger. Despair shifts into melancholy and an eerie sense of timeless beauty permeates all. ‘IX – Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends’ is the sum of Kvarforth’s musical evolution and experience so far. And while nobody expects the Swede to deliver a record to booze and sing along to, the charged word « art » enters the mind unbidden. This masterpiece should interest lovers of music far beyond the narrow confines of extreme metal.