Jinjer has got to be right up there when it comes to the busiest bands in all of hard music today. Just examining their 2019 schedule leads me to notice that they kicked things off with the Micro EP, toured Europe, launched their first headlining North American run this Fall and somehow still found studio time to assemble their fourth proper LP Macro (Napalm Records) just in time for another Euro trek. Don’t know how they do it, but nothing but respect for our Ukrainian friends even if our president is a vile pig monster who tried extorting you guys for political gain.
Hey, but thanks for the American tour. In time the world will forgive us, right?
The good news is that if you enjoyed the appetizer combo plate that was Micro (and it was a fun little romp) then Macro like its name suggests just builds off of it. Roman Ibramkhalilov is still slinging down-tuned palm-muted riffs over Eugene Abdukhanov‘s rubbery bass lines while Tatiana Shmailyuk alternates effortlessly between throat-shredding howls and catchy melodic hooks. If you didn’t care for that djent (God, I hate that term) vibes then you’ve probably checked out, but I must warn you that by the looks of things Jinjer isn’t going away anytime soon.
Though Shmailyuk’s vocal talents and infectious energy keep things lively, Jinjer comes alive on numbers like the reggae-tinged ‘Judgement (& Punishment)’ and during the quieter moments of ‘Retrospection.’ Outside of the occasional Soulfly jam I never really thought that metal and reggae would make for an interesting sonic sandwich, but on the former Jinjer find the right balance of staccato bluntness and bouncy vibes. On the latter Jinjer dares to venture even further south and almost go for a Mudvayne circa The End of All Things to Come type Nu-Metal sound yet I was never bored or felt the need to run away from the recording.
So, keep up the energy Jinjer. Even if North America deserves a swift kick in the ass rather than Ukrainian love.
7 / 10