Shining / Funeral Dirge - The sinister alliance CD
Genre: Black metal
Origin: Sweden
Released: 2007
Label: Old Temple
Uploaded: 09.04.08

This is a re-release of two since long sold-out 7�s by Kvarforth, but in addition to Shining�s Submit to selfdestruction EP from �98 and Funeral Dirge�s The silence ebony EP from �99, this also holds three ambience tracks from Mrok. So it�s more of a 3-way split, I guess.
In my younger years I discovered Shining just about the time they released their debut album Within deep dark chambers, and by that time the 7� on here was sold out. So I never got the honor of owning it, just leeching it. But I absolutely loved the cold and depressed tunes of the band, right from the start I was hooked. And over the years their sound has developed and matured, but Submit to selfdestruction is still one absolutely arse-shredding release. Cold and slow riffing, with that absolutely haunting, suffering and angst-filled voice screaming short bits of absolutely no will to live. The drumming might sound just a little bit rigid, but is still rather magnificent. Everything is at a real slow tempo, but without sinking into the doom metal swamp. The guitar leads is of a classic black metal agenda, but with a real bleak sound. It doesn�t matter what Shining album you think is the best, you should own this to know where they come from.
In all honesty I�ve never heard Funeral Dirge before, or at least I don�t think so. Well, ok I guess I have since I was a loyal follower of Selbstmord Services� releases, and this is one of them. But I just can�t remember it, and I guess it�s because I didn�t really like it back then. And to tell you the truth, I�m a bit skeptical right now as well. The black breath starts off quite intriguing, and it makes me really eager to hear what�s coming next. What�s coming is a slow, chilling and semi-industrial black metal tune, with a really killer bass tempo, before the gnarly, screeching vocals sets in. And to tell you the truth it�s the vocals that bother me. It�s so distorted and fucked up it sounds more like and industrial noise than black metal screams. The music is still very interesting, and with some very unconventional twists. But since the vocals are so on top of the music it takes over too much at times, and becomes a tad annoying rather than grim. So I�m a bit split, not knowing whether or not it�s cool and unorthodox black metal, or if it�s annoying and headache inducing.
As I mentioned earlier there are three tracks by Mrok, so I guess I should give them some form of formal review as well. The intro named Prologue sounds like a typical black metal intro, but it also reminds me of an old Amiga game called Moonstone, hehe. Realms of death sounds like it�s taken from a Lucio Fulci flick, which means truly haunting. It�s beautiful and horror at the same time, a really wicked ambience tune. And with the ending Epilogue Mrok seals the deal with yet another typical black outro, taking you back to the days when battlefields were filled with swords and axes, in a head-to-head combat and not lying in a ditch miles away from each other and never seeing the life slip away from your enemy.

01. Prologue
02. Endless solitude
03. Submit to self-destruction
04. Interlude � Realms of death
Funeral Dirge:
05. The black breath
06. Livsleda
07. Epilogue