Jinjer - Micro Album Review
Jinjer is a Ukrainian Metal band with six releases under their belt (including this one). While the band had a sizable following in their home country, their 2016 release, King of Everything, garnered them global attention. This is their first release since King of Everything, excluding a 2018 reissue of their second album, Cloud Factory. The band claim many musical influences and have toured alongside Arch Enemy and Cradle of Filth, among others, over the last few years.
The band waste no time, getting to the heavy as Micro sets sail. The pounding, slap bass and dissonant guitar work spiral through the opener, “Ape,” as the vocals switch back and forth between growls, screams, and Alt Rock vocal melodies. It’s kind of a mindfuck at first, borrowing all the best elements of multiple genres and building something fascinating with it. “Perennial” is similarly heavy, but it’s bounce is a bit slower and the vocals (both the screams and the melodic parts) have a lot more room to breathe. There is even a Jazz-infused break about three-fourths of the way through the song that showcases yet another side of the band. As does the acoustic instrumental title track that brings the EP to a close.
While you may be on the fence about the band’s NuMetal elements (although that’s the easy thing to hear, I would suggest that the band certainly love Faith No More musically), the two stand out tracks for me are the back-to-back “Dreadful Moments” and “Teacher, Teacher.” The former is a beast of a song, featuring a pummeling rhythm and some excellent screaming, it’s the beautiful chorus that gets me though. Vocalist Tatiana Shmailyuk turns this song up a notch with those solitary moments of straightforward singing. The latter tune is a confusing and chaotic five minutes and fifty-two seconds. This is probably the heaviest tune on the EP musically, and, honestly, they hit just about every style of non-traditional Metal music you could hit within its duration. From soaring choruses to blast beats to near raps to machine gun riffing to screaming and growling. I hated this song at first but after a few listens, I was constantly discovering something new every time, which caused me to change my mind over time.
Overall, this is an interesting follow up to King of Everything. The band are much more dynamic here, offering some variance from song to song instead of just within each song. It’s a fine line between “trying to cram too much stuff into one song” and being “innovators,” but on Micro, Jinjer prove that they can walk the line very well. This is a great way to kick off 2019.