LIVE PHOTOS: Jinjer, Sumo Cyco, Silence the Requiem
Review by Greg Maki
Early this year, I pegged Jinjer as the next metal band primed for an international breakout. With 2019 featuring a slew of high-profile festival appearances and sold-out headline shows around the world, I’d say that prediction was on the money. The fans were out in force on a Sunday night in Baltimore, selling out Baltimore Soundstage when the Ukrainiian band’s first North American headline tour brought it to town.
The early-arriving crowd had nearly filled the venue by the time Washington, D.C.-based Silence the Requiem kicked off the festivities at 6:45 p.m. The fans came for metal, and this band delivered, playing a pummeling mix of a variety of subgenres, most notably death metal and hardcore.
The touring acts started with Sumo Cyco, an independent four-piece out of Canada that plays an interesting—and catchy—mix of metal, punk and pop. Frontwoman Skye Sweetnam was all over the place—literally—crowdsurfing from one side of the venue to the bar along the opposite wall and taking a ride on guitarist Matt Drake’s shoulders to the center of the pit. The energy the band brought to the stage was infectious, as evidenced by the roars of approval the audience gave each song.
Next up, The Browning kept the energy going with EDM-infused metal that would fit perfectly on a bill with Static-X. The Kansas City, Missouri, act formed in 2005 and has released four albums, but this was my first taste. Plenty in attendance were more familiar with the band than I was, though, and by the end of its 45-minute set, the entire venue was primed for the main event.
It was Jinjer’s second time in Baltimore, after its first visit, in April 2018, became an impromptu headline gig when Cradle of Filth canceled at the last minute. This time, there was no question who everyone was there to see.
Supporting its EP “Micro,” released in January, and upcoming third full-length “Macro,” due Oct. 25, Jinjer launched straight into its more progressive side with “Teacher, Teacher”—a song that showcases nearly every aspect of the band’s sound—groove metal, nu metal, djent (the reggae came later)—serving as a sort of overture for the 75-minute set.
The band—vocalist Tatiana Shmailyuk, guitarist Roman Ibramkhalilov, bassist Eugene Abdiukhanov and drummer Vladislav Ulasevich—was on fire, blasting through a show that included material from all three full-length albums, including two tracks from “Macro,” and all four proper songs from “Micro.” The frenzied crowd responded in kind, with pits raging and crowdsurfers keeping the security staff busy up front.
Highlights of the set included the dynamic “I Speak Astronomy,” the unforgiving “Who’s Gonna Be the One,” “Bad Water,” which gave those in the pit a bit of a breather, and the show-closing “Pisces,” perhaps the best example of Shmailyuk’s wide-ranging, beauty and the beast vocal style.
Just a year and a half after its first foray into North America, Jinjer has climbed high up the metal mountain here. Given the speed of its rise thus far, this feels like it’s only the beginning.
JINJER SET LIST: “Teacher, Teacher,” “Sit Stay Roll Over,” “Ape,” “Judgement (& Punishment),” “I Speak Astronomy,” “Dreadful Moments,” “Who’s Gonna Be the One,” “Retrospection,” “Perennial,” “Captain Clock,” “Bad Water,” “Outlander,” “No Hoard of Value,” “Cloud Factory,” (encore) “Pisces”