Jinjer
Micro EP

When I checked out 2016s King Of Everything promo from this Ukranian act, and the lead single (or at least the video/single that came with the promo) “Words of Wisdom“, I wasn’t overly impressed with the sort of djenty modern groove, nu metal.  But a couple of years later, I started seeing ‘reaction’ videos to a song called “Pisces” from the same album, so eventually, checked out the song, and was actually blown away as the song highlights singer Tatiana Shmailyuk’s true range and delivery, and even a hint of Opeth. Why it wasn’t the lead or first single, is beyond me.

So 3 years later here is a short, 5 track, stop-gap follow up EP, and now that I have a bit more of an appreciation for the band and especially for Shmailyuk’s vocals. Smartly, the band has realized that Shmailyuk should be front and center, and allowed to be more diverse and use more of her stunning clean vocals along with her impressive, Gossow- like bellows. Truly, she is a star in the making.

That said, there isn’t a “Pisces” ish track amid these 5 songs. Standout “Perennial” comes the closest with a nice clean late song break, but isn’t quite as enchanting as “Pisces”. The 0ther 3 songs (closer “Micro” is a short instrumental), are much more of a combination of the band’s now more developed tech, djent, groove metal that’s far more intricate and skillful as well as memorable than before.

There’s a sort of Fallujah meets Taproot,meets Opeth texture that’s truly elevated by Shmailyuk’s evocative croons and powerful death metal growls, that makes tracks like “Ape”, “Dreadful Moments” and “Teacher, Teacher” more than just modern metal, as you wait to see what Shmailyuk will do next (though I could have done without the rap start to “Teacher, Teacher”).

While  bigger bands like Arch Enemy and In This Moment are putting females vocalists front and center, Shmailyuk has the makings of the next great metal front woman that as a similar duality as Courtney Laplate formerly of Iwrestledabearonce, but with an improved, more digestible, palatable metal delivery and could be the next star in the scene.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
March 15th, 2019

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