Review by Greg Maki
If I had to pick a metal band that’s going to break out worldwide in the very near future, I wouldn’t bet against Jinjer. The Ukrainian act has picked up a lot of steam in the past couple years, touring Europe with Arch Enemy and Soilwork, and coming to North America for the first time last year alongside Cradle of Filth. Shows in Latin America, Europe, Japan and South Africa already are on the schedule for 2019. Since 2013, the band has released three full-length albums (with a fourth in the works) and three EPs, the latest of which, “Micro,” seems an easy entry point for new listeners. (I’m one of them.)
Many metal fans might recognize the band itself even if they don’t know any of its music. Jinjer has been something of a social media sensation, due in no small part to striking frontwoman Tatiana Shmailyuk. Don’t dismiss her as just another pretty face, though. Deftly hopping from a demonic, guttural roar to a pleasing melodic tone that delivers some bigtime hooks and back again, she’s a powerful, dynamic force of nature. The band behind her—guitarist Roman Ibramkhalilov, bassist Eugene Abdiukhanov and drummer Vladislav Ulasevich—is just as limber, mixing elements of death metal and nu-metal, along with some progressive flourishes requiring greater technical precision than you might expect.
Since the title track is a short, instrumental, acoustic piece, “Micro” consists of only four “proper” songs. Jinjer makes the most of it, though, packing in more musical twists and turns than most bands do on a full-length effort. It left me eager to explore the back catalog and excited for what’s to come.
(Napalm Records, January 11, 2019)