Review by Greg Maki
When it comes to Jinjer, the Ukranian sensation that’s been taking the metal world by storm in 2019, fans and critics tend to focus on frontwoman Tatiana Shmaylyuk—and not without reason. Alternating between guttural, demonic growls and soaring melodic tones, she’s nothing short of a force of nature and one of the genre’s most dynamic voices. But the quartet’s latest record, its third full-length effort, “Macro,” makes the greatest case yet for the talents of the entire band.
The nine-song album, which follows the “Micro” EP released in January of this year, showcases a sound that has evolved from metalcore in the band’s early days to a ferocious, progressive groove metal attack. Start with the precision, power and brutality of Lamb of God, add ambitious strong structures and time changes, and Lacuna Coil-style melodic choruses, and you’re on your way to what JInjer is all about. But don’t forget the occasional blast beat or foray into reggae.
Listening to “On the Top,” the opening track of “Macro” and recently released single, it feels almost as if Jinjer builds its songs backward, with guitarist Roman Ibramkhalilov supplying the rhythmic, djenty riffs that hold everything together, while bassist Eugene Abdiukhanov and drummer Vladislav Ulasevich veer off into various technical flourishes. It’s an intense concoction that gives the band a unique flavor in what often seems a cookie cutter music scene.
Standout tracks from “Macro” include the aforementioned “On the Top,” sporting the record’s best chorus; “Judgement (& Punishment),” with its reggae-tinged verses; and the one-two combo of “Retrospection” and “Pausing Death,” showcasing some of the band’s heaviest and most reflective moments. Every song here is a winner, though, and Jinjer’s already impressive live show should only get stronger as more of these numbers find their way into the set list.
“Macro” is a solid slab of modern metal, Jinjer’s best album yet and more than justifying the massive buzz the band has been building around the globe.
October 25, 2019