By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy
The first time I heard Jinjer was when they put out King of Everything in 2016. I remember hearing the venomous shredding of the guitar and I was intrigued. However, Tatiana “Tati” Shmailyuk, the band’s frontwoman is the catalyst that got me hooked into the group. She is a beautiful woman with one of the most ferocious and versatile voices for heavy metal. She can be vicious when she lets the monster out the cage, then she can turn on the sweetness when you hear Jinjer’s jazzy “Beggar’s Dance.” I have been following the Ukrainian metal outfit since then, and they are not slowing down anytime soon. Three albums in with great acclaim, and they look to continue that streak with their fourth release, Wallflower. Djent and metalcore are at their finest when Jinjer comes back around, so let us tune in to see how they evolved on this record.
Wallflower begins with “Call Me a Symbol.” A typical metalcore song where drummer Vlad Ulasevich whammies the shit out of the double bass pedal. Guitarist Roman Ibramkhalilov layers in a nice, juicy riff that tap dances between jazz fusion and progressive metal. Tati continues to cross in between the worlds of ferocity and melodiousness. A good song to kick off the r. “Colossus” is a vicious beast of a tune. Tati really knows how to pull the monster out when it wants to play. Written by bassist Eugene Abdukhanov (who is a rage master on the bass), it is a song about human nature that is surrounded by political firestorms that will not cease. This headbanger makes you want to go and punch something. We now come to the first single, “Vortex.” Vlad and Roman starts out subtle as Tati sings sweet harmonies in the beginning. The buildup to when she lets out a backbiting scream is intense. Jinjer gets creative as they merge djent and metalcore as a cohesive unit with striking palm riffing and bombastic blast beats. “Disclosure!” is an attack on a journalist who, according to Tati, interviewed her and Eugene, turning his questions into political topic. You can hear the anger not only from Tati, but in the music. This is metalcore at its most merciless. I freaking love this tune because it gets my blood boiling thinking about politics and how much it sucks. Excellent all the way through.
“Copycat” brings the djent sound out of its sleep once again. Jinjer wrote a bone-crushing bruiser of a song as the lyrics go after unoriginal thinkers stealing from original thinkers. Tati sinks her teeth into the words with determination while Vlad hammers a tenacious beat. I see this as a future headbanger classic. We come to the halfway point of Wallflower with “Pearls and Swine.” The lyrics are amazingly written as it serves as a warning to smart people not to be around by those who do not understand them because they will bring them down. A very true statement Jinjer puts together. Intense beats and monstrous screams drive the message into our hearts. “Sleep of the Righteous” will invade our dreams as we lay in the dark. Tati screams and hollers with a purpose as she shares her experience with sleep paralysis and the nightmare it brought to her. Roman’s riffs and Eugene’s beats is full of life and anger as they attack each note without hesitation. We are now at the title track, “Wallflower.” In the beginning, Tati is angelic as she filled with romance and love. There are points in the song where she gets beastly, but it is romantic approach that makes this song special. The music is heavy, but the tempo is turned down. I really enjoyed this steady approach.
“Dead Hands Feel No Pain” came to Tati in a dream, then she and her husband brought it to reality. The progressive nature of Jinjer comes out in full force with passionate hooks and sharp pulsations. This is a feel-good tune that every metalhead will feel in the mosh pits. “As I Boil Ice” is Tati coming out of her shell and showing the world what she is all about. I know what that’s like, and Jinjer do an excellent job bringing that subject to the table. I enjoyed the guitar licks Roman plays as it walks the fine line between delicate and extreme. Wallflower closes out with “Mediator.” In true Jinjer fashion, they finish things to the maximum. Vlad goes on the rampage on the drums while Roman and Eugene get brutal and elusive with the riff. Tati really shines on this song as she lets out all her anger and goes savage on the mic. The horrors of the world are real, and she cannot take it anymore.
Just when I thought they topped themselves with 2019’s Macro, this album shows that there is still more to be angry about. Wallflower is probably Jinjer’s finest work to date. It is full of great hooks, intense blast beats, immaculate riffs, and monstrous screams. With the way the world is right now and how politics are interfering with our lives, the darlings of Napalm Records make it okay to be angry and let it out every now and then. To Jinjer, I salute you. Horns up!!!
1. Call Me A Symbol
6. Pearls and Swine
7. Sleep of The Righteous
9. Dead Hands Feel No Pain
10. As I Boil Ice
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