October 25, 2019 Jinjer – Macro (Album Review)
Originating from Donetsk, Ukraine, Jinjer broke onto the Metal scene back in 2009. Fronted by Tatiana Shmailyuk, with Roman Ibramkhalilov on guitar, Eugene Abdukhanov on bass, and Vladislav Ulasevish behind the drums, the band possess a unique sound that lays somewhere in between Progressive Rock, Death Metal, and Alternative Metal. Gaining attention in part by winning the Best Ukrainian Metal Act Award in 2013, in 2016 they won the award for best music video for the song “I Speak Astronomy.” Additionally, the live session recording of their song “Pisces” has hit over twenty-eight million views in the two years that it has been on YouTube! An exciting band with a ton of potential, they return on October 25th, 2019 with their newest full-length album, Macro, via Napalm Records.
A follow-up to their EP released earlier this year, Micro, and their fourth overall studio album, Marco comes at you with nine new songs. Wasting no time to grab your attention, “On The Top” immediately tears through with a distorted, trembling riff and dynamic percussive work. Continuing with chugging riffs that climb up and across scales in distinctive patterns, thereafter, Shmaylyuk’s broad vocals rise and soar through the chorus as she inquires with lyrics like “Is it lonely on the top? Oh, tell me is there anyone for you?” Moving on, the opening riff in “Retrospection” is patient and echoing as Shmaylyuk murmurs in her native tongue before the tracks is overtaken by a hungering riff, harsh growls, and phantasmic drumming.
Switching to a speedy staccato riff with chaotic picking, “Pausing Death” comes in with drums that pop and spike like firecrackers. Shifting again, it quiets into a spiraling, repetitive melody for a bit before introducing a bouncing rhythm, and Shmaylyuk’s inky singing delves back to brutal snarls. Those who enjoy the burgeoning rhythms undertaken by Jinjer in other songs such as “Cloud Factory” or “Outlander,” will also devour the riff heavy “Noah” complete with a earth-shaking groove and deep growls that give away to a chorus with a softer edge.
Then bringing a slight twist to the typical Jinjer sound, “Home Back” enters with a bold riff before the tempo turns chaotic and then changing again for moment of jazzy melody. Here the breakdown is staggering as Shmaylyuk’s vocals turn Stygian, with lyrics like “Home is not a building, home is liberty. A place where memories live.” Which leads us to the final track The final track “lainnereP” – a strange reversal remix of Jinjer’s song “Perennial.” Winding and clever, it bathes you in a humming atmospheric bubble.
Macro is a fitting follow-up to Micro, but each of the tracks on the aforementioned EP arguably set the bar very high. That said, the outro of “The Prophecy” and the otherworldly tone of the intro to “lainnereP” are some of the most exclusively remarkable moments on this album, yet there are still are quite a few others sprinkled throughout. Additionally, the lyrical content is eloquent and meaningful, just as always. Overall not a let down, Macro is a solid album and that is why Cryptic Rock give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.