Increasingly popular Ukrainian metalcore/metal band Jinjer have released a new EP called Micro. It was released on the 11th of January via Napalm Records.
Jinjer have really made a splash in the last year or two. After making a name for themselves in their home country, they toured Europe with Arch Enemy. That was followed by a North American tour with Cradle of Filth and the reissue of their 2014 album, Cloud Factory. Those tours really helped to get their names out to the rest of the world and the rest is history. Jinjer are now widely tipped to be “the next big thing” off the back of their catchy riffs, heavy tone and of course their vocals which see frontwoman Tatiana Shmailyuk move from powerful cleans to venomous uncleans at will.
Joining Tatiana, on guitars it’s Roman Ibramkhalilov, on bass it’s Eugene Abdiukhanov and on drums it’s Vladislav Ulasevich.
Obviously all this “next big thing” stuff is nonsense regarding most bands. Generally it is sensationalist headlining to gain clicks and views . All that matters in the quality of the metal you put out and you can go from the “next big thing” to “used to be good” with a single bad or average release. Fans are fickle. Having said that, it is fun to check out bands with a lot of hype to see what the fuss is all about. To see if you agree or not.
So on to Micro then which is a 5 song EP that weighs in at around 20 minutes. Thankfully for them and their fan base, it is a solid EP too. Opening with Ape, a single from last year, they showcase exactly what they are with a crunching metalcore riff, blasting drums and vocals that fly back and forward from guttural to clean, though still with plenty of attitude. Dreadful Moments is similar but with a darker overal tone and a lot of groove. The choruses are almost soothing in tone but it is the slamming bass groove of the verse that you find yourself waiting for. Perennial again goes for groove in the verses and a fuller sound in the chorus with some excellent lead guitar tones and impressive drums.
There is some variety on Micro as well though. The song Micro itself is a short melodic instrumental that is nice to listen to, if pretty basic. While it shows the band aren’t all about the vocals, it is weirdly positioned as the last track and final impression of the EP though.
The most interesting and my personal favourite is called Teacher, Teacher. Despite some cheesy lyrics, it is structurally intriguing with its slightly off kilter riff and flashy drum patterns. Vocals jump back and forward between the heavy and cleans, staying clean for the chorus. There are lots of little breakdowns scattered around and a fade into melody nearing the end. That obviously gives them a chance to build back up into a powerful ending chorus. The song could have ended comfortably there but instead they opt for one more welcome heavy groove section.
Micro is a strong EP from a band still very much in the ascent. Musically they are well rooted in metalcore and historically that genre struggles to really hit the big time but they have plenty of other elements to show off. Lots of groove, melody, good production and of course the vocals. While at first you could be forgiven for thinking they are a novelty. Oh look, a female doing death metal growls, but check out a song and you will see they are much more than that.
Despite me currently singing their praises, Micro is very good. Not great. The instrumental is well played but hardly anything special. It would have served better as an intro over an outro too, I think. Teacher, Teacher is a cracking song but the others don’t really stand out as overly unique. They are good, yes, but there are plenty of good metalcore songs in existence. I don’t hear too much in Ape or Perennial to suggest these are that much better than everyone else. I do hear enough to capture my interest though so look forward to hearing what Jinjer do next. Whether they are the “next big thing” though, time, and their future albums, will tell.
Until then, just enjoy them for what they are. A solid metal band with great production, skilled musicianship and strong vocals creating a nice mix of heavy metal with melodic leanings.
Micro is out now on all the usual streaming services, like Apple Music and Spotify. You can grab a copy from Jinjer’s Bandcamp page, here. Find out more about the band at their website, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Micro by Jinjer (Napalm Records)
The Final Score - 8/10