Shiningstar – Destiny

Time To Kill Records
November 15th, 2021
Playing time: 01:08:27

There are many Symphonic and Melodic Death Metal bands from Russia. Shiningstar from St. Petersburg mix both styles. And they are new on the scene, founded only in 2020, from members of various other bands. If I read the line-up correctly, Shiningstar are a trio who get reinforcements for live performances. Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Epica or Fleshgod Apocalypse are mentioned as influences. The album debut “Destiny” was released in mid-November.

As is typical for the genre, the album starts with the intro “Harbingers Of Blizzard”, at the beginning synthie(?) strings can be heard. Later, a large orchestra. Doesn’t hurt, but doesn’t necessarily have to be. “Shining Queen Of The North Star” starts melodic but riff and double bass driven. Later, epic choruses are added. Elena sings with a pleasant clear voice at first. But soon Alexey starts with his harsh growls. What at first sounds like the alternating vocals of Beauty and the Beast soon turns into a growling competition. Elena tries to outdo her partner in evilness. And she often succeeds. Otherwise, classic symphonic metal can be heard here. This continues with “At The Edge Of The Universe”. But the speed is stepped up a notch. The clear vocals, however, are somewhat reduced. “Fire. Wind. Water. Earth” first offers Industrial sounds. Later, epic choruses set in. And the synth strings are omnipresent. The growls of both singers nevertheless provide a heavy death metal note. “Night Witches” starts with Russian folklore choruses before this song also really takes off. “Hot Hearts In The Cold Hands” could be called a death middle anthem. Is there such a definition? If not, then the term would have to be reinvented. And the outro “The Calm Before The Storm” is once again a deep bow to Russian folklore. What follows are the five regular songs of the album in an orchestral version. Something for die-hard fans. The bonus track “Carol Of The Bells” follows at the very end. Starting melodically, it is later a pure growl thunderstorm. The vocals become more and more vicious.

On the one hand, “Destiny” offers everything you would expect from a Symphonic Death Metal album. Bombastic orchestrations, Epic choruses, changes between clear vocals and growls, great melodies, and heavy riffs. But there is also more. Two singers who drive each other with their growls. Harsh, partly thrashy guitar parts. But also excursions into Russian folklore again and again. A more than successful debut album by Shiningstar.

Shiningstar – Hot Hearts In The Cold Hands (Official Video):


Alexander Nazin – Bass, Guitars, Keyboards
Alexey Semyonov – Drums, Vocals
Elena “Luka” – Vocals
Andrew Kozlov – Bass (session)

Track list:

  • Harbingers Of Blizzard (intro)
  • Shining Queen Of The North Star
  • At The Edge Of The Universe
  • Fire. Wind. Water. Earth
  • Night Witches
  • Hot Hearts In The Cold Hands
  • The Calm Before the Storm (outro)
  • Shining Queen Of The North Star (orchestral version)
  • At the Edge Of The Universe (orchestral version)
  • Fire. Wind. Water. Earth (orchestral version)
  • Night Witches (orchestral version)
  • Hot Hearts In The Cold Hands (orchestral version)
  • Carol Of The Bells (Metal cover, bonus track)
  • 8/10
    Album - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Cover-Art - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Song Writing - 8/10