Sunday, February 27, 2011

Derek Spear- Shine

With Shine Derek Spear has set out to make an entire metal album based around the concept of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (and Stephen King's book under the same title). Unlike Spear's previous work with 237 this album takes a slightly slower approach. Filled with tight playing and an abundant amount of grooves Shine is quite the listening experience.

Musically comparing this to something like Fear Factory wouldn't be too far off. The guitar playing focuses on a groove throughout the majority of the playtime. Most of the tracks on Shine come close to or exceed five minutes. The enchanting grooves keep the listening experience fresh and prevent this forty plus minute album from becoming stagnant. Though there isn't much variation in the playing it fits the style Derek is trying to create quite well. The opening track has some excellent qualities. Aside from being the biggest standout track on the album it also employs some odd effects laced with slow riffing that gives off a very eerie vibe.

The vocal performance used on Shine is fairly clean. The style used here is very reminiscent of the latest Kosmokrater release, a sort of menacing snarl. On occasion some actual straight up, clean vocals will be used and it comes out sounding very similar to Ozzy Osbourne. The cleans fit the style quite well and it would be interesting to see this approach used more often on Shine. Catchy choruses aren't hard to find on Shine. The chorus to "The Bad Thing" will echo in your head for hours after listening. The drums on the record are programmed but unlike many bands that use a machine it actually doesn't come out sounding too bad.

Overall Shine not only features a very interesting concept for an album it also features a sound you don't hear that often. Tracks like "Shine" have a very epic atmosphere while songs like "Darkness Falls" are just simple metal songs that are driven by a constant groove. This album isn't by any means groundbreaking but it does what it sets out to do and does it in an entertaining manner. Fans of heavy metal should definitely give this a listen, while it doesn't feature the speed that was used in Derek's past project 237 it makes up for it with great, memorable songs. Shine on, shine on.

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