Never shy about his personal afflictions, SHINING mastermind Niklas Kvarforth is once again baring his tortured soul with 'X - Varg Utan Flock'. His anger, his confusion, his pain, and his torment are all becoming tangible on the tenth album in the band's long history. For a point of reference, the legendary 'V – Halmstad' release probably offers the most appropriate comparison. Yet all the influences SHINING fused into their previous masterpiece, 'IX - Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends' (2015) are also still present. Eclectic influences from progressive rock, jazz, classical music, and even faint traces of pop have left their mark. In addition to the broad musical spectrum on display, Niklas Kvarforth's deeply emotional laments emerging from the dark depths of his twisted mind go beyond the usual scale of metal bands in their great vocal scope and variety. 'X - Varg Utan Flock' is a musical masterpiece far beyond simple genre limitations and a shining tribute to the achievement that a troubled mind is capable of when driven by a passionate will to excel and overcome.