Shining Black is a new band featuring vocalist Mark Boals (Yngwie Malmsteen, Ring Of Fire, Royal Hunt) and guitarist Ölaf Thorsen (Labyrinth, Vision Divine). Their upcoming self-titled debut album showcases cutting edge melodic metal songwriting techniques from Thorsen combined with the outstanding vocal abilities of Boals.
Says Thorsen: “It has been a wonderful experience and a great joy to work with Mark. He has always been an icon and an extraordinary singer, but, as I found out during the making of ‘Shining Black’, he is also a nice and humble person. His taste and his melodies fit so easily and perfectly with my music, that when I listen to this album I feel like we’ve been playing together forever. Each time we were exchanging our ideas and sending files, the songs were literally taking off! Every part added something to the songs and it was taking the whole thing to another level. I was incredibly eager to receive Mark’s demos so that I could add more arrangements and send everything back to him, in order to take it a step further. This is one of the most melodic albums I’ve ever written and has some of my best songs ever. I’m definitely looking forward to writing more music with him and Shining Black.”
Boals adds: “This album came about in a more effortless and natural way than anything I have ever worked on. Olaf was fantastic and we got a chemistry going right from the start. He is a great guy and very easy-going, as well as a great musician and writer. I really look forward to working with him and Shining Black for a long time, with a bright future for many more opportunities together!”
The roots of this new metal collaboration go back to 2014 when the Italian power/progressive metal band Labyrinth was faced with the dilemma of moving forward without their long-time singer Roberto Tiranti. They eventually chose to work with Mark Boals and began working on new songs that would have been released on the band’s next album, but his busy schedule did not fit in with the recording plans the group had at the time. After a few years on hiatus, Labyrinth eventually made a new record (‘Architecture of a God’) with Tiranti back on board.
Despite not getting to work together at that time, Boals and Thorsen remained in touch and, when the occasion arose and at the suggestion of Frontiers, the two artists seized the opportunity and the Shining Black project was born. They have subsequently created a fabulous melodic metal record which the Frontiers label is now proud to present to all discerning metal fans.