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Jinjer - Wallflower

by Mark Machlay at 05 October 2021, 2:32 AM

For a band that has been around only a little more than a decade and has none of its original members, progressive metalcore/djent band JINJER have had quite a journey getting to their fourth album “Wallflower”. Since vocalist Tatiana “Tati” Shamailyuk joined the group in 2010, replacing original vocalist Maksym Fatullaiev, then relentlessly touring on their own funds to support the self-released EP “Inhale, Do Not Breathe” in 2012, the band has gained increasing attention, even winning “Best Ukrainian Metal Act” in both 2013 and 2016 from the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv’s record label InshaMuzyka. Hungering for more recognition outside of their home country, the band pushed hard to quickly write and release their second album “Cloud Factory” in 2014 and ventured outside of their home country, booking their own shows and forging their own reputation live and in person under their own terms. Their tenacity caught the attention of Napalm Records, who quickly signed the band, leading to the release of their critically acclaimed third album “King of Everything” in 2016. With the help of Youtube and their video for the single “Pisces”, it broke open the door to untapped international adoration and millions of new fans.

JINJER continued their evolutionary and boundary pushing with the help of a major label now backing them. Taking a small break from touring, they managed to crank out a 5-song demo in “Micro” with the appropriately titled full album “Macro” as its companion in 2019. Undeterred by the cancelling of shows due to pandemic, the band soldiered on to work on their fifth full album “Wallflowers”, released this past August 27th. Of the new album Tatiana “Tati” Shamailyuk said, “The sound is pretty brutal. It’s the heaviest we’ve ever recorded and mastered, but there are some vocal parts and lyrics that replace that heaviness.”  Bassist Eugene Abdukhanov elaborates on their originality and do-it-yourself nature, “Growing creatively has always been a major goal for us…We decided to rip apart all possible stylistic boundaries without regard to financial success or competing with our previous albums…\[“Wallflowers is] about our identity as a band, as individuals and a clear statement that we are different from most artists… and that it is OK to do your own thing.” The band has become known breaking every rule in the heavy metal playbook, which well documented in their single for “Vortex”, showcasing their playfulness with rhythm, their signature djenty style, and the beauty and beast vocal majesty that is contained in the one and only Tati.

Ever since I first saw JINJER’s video for their live session of “Pisces” I’ve long been intrigued by the band. “Wallflowers” took several listens for me to appreciate the package they released this time around but the grooves – along with the flawless vocal talent from Tati – started to worm their way into my heart. My first listen through, nothing really stuck out until I arrived at the title track over 2/3rds of the way through the album. The vocals reminded so much of early LACUNA COIL records I almost did a double take. That coupled with the intricate and tight playing with rhythm that the band are masters at, mixed with a good dose of gritty growling and a subject matter I was all too familiar with - being the antisocial introvert that I am - hit harder than any of the previous tracks. On subsequent listens, I started to appreciate the triple threat of the brutal three opening tracks “Call Me a Symbol”, “Colossus”. and the single “Vortex”. I just didn’t feel much innovation as I was expecting from the press release until I got to the interesting guitar riffage on “Copycat” and the smooth, yet slow groove of “Pearls and Swine” that I heard them moving away from an overly djenty IN THIS MOMENT. Overall, I wasn’t disappointed with “Wallflowers”, it was a great addition to the band’s catalog, it just left me hoping for more of a push out of their comfort zones for more of the record.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Call Me a Symbol
2. Colossus
3. Vortex
4. Disclosure
5. Copycat
6. Pearls and Swine
7. Sleep of the Righteous
8. Wallflower
9. Dead Hands Feel No Pain
10. As I Boil Ice
11. Mediator
Tatiana “Tati” Shamailyuk – Vocals
Roman Ibramkhalilov – Guitars
Eugene Abdukhanov – Bass
Vladislav “Vladi” Ulasevich – Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records


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Edited 31 January 2023

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