The Norwegian Shining (as opposed to the suicidal Swedish black-metal band of the same name) began their career in 1999 as an acoustic jazz combo, but I first heard them on 2010’s Blackjazz—and at that point the “jazz” elements apparently consisted of front man Jorgen Munkeby occasionally soloing on saxophone. These days Shining play vaguely industrial-sounding metal that balances bloodthirsty pop instincts and neck-breaking grooves against the residual avant-gardisms of their former life—tricky time signatures, rhythmic phasing, intricate high-speed unison riffs, and sprawling, oddball structures. It might sound like I’m being dismissive, but that’s probably just a side effect of my curmudgeonly reflex to mistrust any metal band that clearly wants me to like it. I have to say, I really fucking dig these guys.

This spring Shining released One One One, the sequel to Blackjazz, and Munkeby is pretty up-front about what they were going for: “This time around, the focus was on writing fun songs that are fun to listen to and fun to play,” he says in the album’s press materials. Allow me to translate: “We’re tired of trying to please the NFC contingent of the metal crowd.”

For the new album the band pared their music down to its essential moving parts, and the results are basically stomping, hard-charging, buzz-sawing pop-rock songs, with a few more kinks and left turns than usual—take away the vocals and they could almost pass for the soundtrack to a colorfully dystopian sci-fi video game, with the important fine print that they’re good enough to absorb your entire attention, not just whatever you can spare while trying not to get fragged.

Shining just kicked off a rare North American tour, and they play Reggie’s Rock Club tonight. Doors are at 8 PM, and tickets are $15, $12 in advance. After the jump, the unintentionally silly and intermittently NSFW video for One One One track “I Won’t Forget,” plus some other goodies from the band.

Made for Norwegian TV, this is an unedited one-take video of Shining playing “I Won’t Forget” outside the building where they’ve had their studio and rehearsal rooms for the past seven years—that building, along with several others in the area, is being torn down by developers. The audio comes entirely from one stereo mike on the band and a second mike for vocals and sax.

Shining perform “The One Inside” at last month’s Oya festival in Oslo. If the borderline cybernetic sound on the band’s recent albums has made you suspicious of their ability to render the music convincingly onstage, trouble yourself no more.

Lastly, here’s “The Madness and the Damage Done,” my favorite song from Blackjazz.