by Robert Davis CONTRIBUTOR (298 Reviews)
November 28th, 2019 | 16 replies

Release Date: 10/25/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Jinjer may be heading for a brighter future, but they still need to hone their songwriting skills and push forward with that experimental, inspired bravado only a handful of songs have managed to achieve.

Ukraine's Jinjer are on the rise. Sure, they've been growing in popularity over the last couple of years but 2019 seems to have been a real kickstarter of a year for the band. Festival headliner announcements, bigger fanbases, global support-it's all there in the band's favour. The weird thing is, is that their music doesn't immediately give you the impression of a band being as big as Jinjer actually are, but their mission statement is obviously to get to the top. This mix of djenty aggression, Tatiana's unmistakably diverse vocal range and a light scatter of prog renders the band somewhat difficult to categorize, but whatever you make of their existence in the metal field, Jinjer have a big future ahead of them clearly.

If this year's Macro is a marker of the band at their best, it seems we're still seeing faltering footsteps. Most of the album is riddled with djenty, so-so riff work and settled grooves and the aforementioned experimentation comes in hints rather than hitting you full in the face. That's why songs such as “Noah” and “Home Back”, as explosive as they are, ultimately turn out to be forgettable by the end. Sure, the clattering rhythm section is violent enough to incite a few sweaty moshpits, but when you think of songwriting it seems that there's so much more to put in if we're looking at game-changing musicianship. Tatiana's vocal range helps to redeem this and lift the likes of “Retrospection” out of stagnation, but when it's a song that is obviously trying to show off a band's vocalist, the backing musicianship being so passive and seemingly uninspired doesn't bode well for those who want something special. Talented as Tatiana is, Macro is a group effort and her vocals alone can't quite reflect the instrumental performance as an important aspect.

Thankfully, there are moments here where you can finally understand just why Jinjer is getting the hype. Most obvious example would be “Judgement (and Punishment)”, a song initially beginning with menace and velocity, but which takes an outside influence and goes full-on reggae, Tatiana bringing her funky voice amidst an instrumental backdrop of groovy prowess. It's actually quite bizarre, but once the heaviness returns that reggae-influenced beat is maintained to still remain intact. Elsewhere there are parts of several songs that see the band soaring beyond the monotonous djenty chug. Opener “On the Top” is as bare-bones as you'd imagine until its chorus inspires Tatiana to raise her vocal prowess to maximum volume, cleanly sung silhouettes rising above the instrumentation and lifting the song out of first gear. “Pausing Death” gives off a similar impression, though with a few blastbeats and a more epic soundscape in the song's second half. It's arguably the fastest and heaviest song on the album, never allowing the listener to take a breath until that calmer mid-section ensues, inviting Tatiana to soothe everything into a lilting, ambient flow.

The main problem with Macro is that, whilst Jinjer are clearly on the up, their songwriting skills are in dire need of refinement and the experimental, more inspired musical moments seem few and far between. Not just that, but we don't really get more of the effect and impression inspired by “Pausing Death” and “Judgement (and Punishment)”, two songs which really stand out from the rest of the album for unfortunate reasons. Yes they're highlights, but a full album of such excellence would benefit Jinjer in the long run. Instead, what Macro turns out to be is an album of above average djenty metalcore with just a few golden moments.

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user ratings (97)

Comments:Add a Comment 
Contributing Reviewer
November 28th 2019


Album Rating: 3.0

c/c welcome as always.

Digging: Gazpacho - Fireworker

November 28th 2019


Album Rating: 2.0

Good review 👍 This band is nothing more then a novelty with few redeeming quality’s to me. I checked out about half the record most of the songs you mentioned and they are average at best. I don’t get the hype 🤷‍♂️

November 28th 2019


All the hype is mostly a product of the vocalist I think, although their style of progressive metal does seem to accommodate current trends quite well, sounding sort of djenty and all.

November 28th 2019


Album Rating: 3.5

I was more surprised by some moments in Agonist's latest release than this one, but overall, this one is more structured. Seeing them both in a little more than a week

November 28th 2019


Album Rating: 3.0

November 28th 2019


Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

i find this kind of djentlecore completely unengaging.

Digging: Morbid Axe - Grind Up Your Ass

November 28th 2019


Album Rating: 2.0

Band is dull af imo

November 29th 2019


I saw some mimed "live in studio" vid by them and it was ngl pretty boring and devoid of much originality

November 29th 2019


Yeah this sucked

Digging: Disclosure - Energy

November 29th 2019


Great write up as always. Keep up the good work.

Digging: Deftones - Ohms

November 29th 2019


Nice review man.

November 29th 2019


Still need to jam this... The single was good and the Micro EP was a step in the right direction so my expectations are up. KoE was super monotone for the most part, with only a couple exceptions like Pisces, so I'm happy with the direction they seem to be going with now.

December 1st 2019


Album Rating: 3.0

December 4th 2019


Album Rating: 3.5

They killed it last night.

This new album lacks the aggression of the previous couple of albums.

January 22nd 2020


I definitely wouldn't consider this sort of thing to be progressive metal. It's metalcore with a few progressive touches. Definitely not my thing.

February 28th 2020


Album Rating: 3.0

For people who found this mediocre as I did, I found a better way to structure the album; and merge it with the micro EP to make a better whole of each. Make a playlist on spotify or applemusic (whichever app you use) with the tracklisting as follows:

1. Teacher, Teacher!

2. Ape

3. On the Top

4. Pit of Consciousness

5. Judgement (& Punishment)

6. Retrospection

7. Dreadful Moments

8. Noah

9. Perennial

10. Micro

I cut basically all of the second half of Macro because I basically find all of them to be super mediocre, only one I left was Noah. Perennial serves as the perfect closing track to this era of the band. lainnereP is pretty much pointless imo, maybe it could be in a deluxe version of this album (you know how some artists do remixes of songs, kinda like that, definitely shouldn't be part of the album though, way too slow-paced). This is the version of the album I will be listening to for now on, forget the original tracklisting IMO. And in this order, it's as good as King of Everything and Cloud Factory IMO.

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