When this album was released, Sabbath were really in the doldrums - Dio had been gone for 5 years, Gillan had last 1 LP, Glenn Hughes had joined and then quit on tour, the replacement (Ray Gillen) left during the recording of this, the follow up to "7th Star".
In the circumstances (3 different producers, 2 drummers, 2 bassists and 2 singers) I think the album is really good, it just suffered because it was released during the hair metal years. If this had been released a few years ago it would have got a lot more respect than it did. And it certainly would have had more respect as a Solo Album (like 7th Star should have been until the record company interfered)
The Shining has to stand out as one of the high watermark points of the Tony Martin sabbath era boasting a fantastic riff, lyrics and an awesome solo. Ancient Warrior despite having a terrible name is another great song. As you play the album (i've got the LP) you find yourself wondering why this wasn't a hit...Then you release what was going on behind the scenes...Like getting Terry Chimes to play on the tour and playing Sun City after the manager told them it wasn't in South Africa.
This is one of my favourite Sabbath albums, and it's definately better than most of the Tony Martin records and latter day Ozzy LPs (although that's not difficult)