Release Date: 11/01/2019
Record Label: Napalm Records
For Fans Of: SikTh, Lamb of God, Arch Enemy
Ukranian quartet, Jinjer, have slowly pieced their sound together over the last few years by taking aspects from all the pillars of modern metal; the grooving riffs of Lamb of God, Messhugah’s djenty breakdowns, and even the unusual vocal stylings of SikTh. This all comes together to create a Frankenstein’s monster of a band who deserve much more attention.
Their new EP, Micro, features the band taking a more progressive and experimental approach; riffs now twist and turn rather than simply powering through. ‘Teacher, Teacher’ is the best example of this, as the mood of the song morphs from the more standard caged and mechanical tech metal opening into a much freer, almost dreamlike bridge section. These little flourishes add a completely new dimension to the band, giving them a personality and feeling all of their own.
Most of this personality is really brought about by the range of co-vocalist, Tatiana Shmalliyuk, whose clean vocals have always been present in Jinjer, but on Micro it feels like they are finally being used to their full potential. In ‘Dreadful Moments’ they add a surprising amount of soul, and along with the little flashes of melody, are the key extra layers on top of the brutal breakdowns.
Although lyrics on a tech metal record are rarely the main focus, there’s definitely enough substance behind those on Micro to raise your curiosity. ‘Ape’ is clearly a social commentary on the cruelty of humans and how we are killing the very planet which gave us life, and ‘Teacher, Teacher’ and ‘Dreadful Moments’ both seem to tackle different aspects of childhood trauma. These are dark matters, and although metal lyrics are usually swept under the rug a little, they are definitely worth paying attention to here.
The closing title track is a great example of how this EP shows the band trying to stretch themselves. It’s an acoustic instrumental which barely lasts a minute, yet still manages to cover a range of motions and ideas within that short time. On a full length record, such a track could work well as an interlude however it doesn’t really fit that well here as a closer after 20 minutes of grooving riffing. However it does show that Jinjer aren’t afraid to change things up.
The more I listen to Micro, the more it seems like it could be a teaser for what Jinjer have to offer in the future. It feels like they have spent a lot of time honing their sound down and yet are still open to experimenting with new ideas when appropriate. The grooving and technical aspects of their sound are as good as ever, but the foray into new directions at times are really what makes this EP stand out. If Jinjer can take these experiments and fine-tune them for a full length release, they really could be on to a winner.
Recommended Tracks: ‘Teacher, Teacher’