Live at The Whisky a Go Go
Los Angeles, CA
September 12th, 2019
Review and photos by Travis Baumann
There is something very unique and very powerful on the prowl from the domains of the Ukraine. Jinjer have been here for quite some time but their recent activity has seen them explode on to the global scene as never before, and deservedly so.
Jinjer is currently headlining a massive tour with many dates sold out, including this occasion here in Los Angeles. With their EP, "Micro" having released earlier this year and the follow up full-length release, "Macro" right around the corner next month, they packed the set with all of their latest material but still worked in fan favorites from their last two releases.
Jinjer was founded ten years ago in Donetsk, Ukraine. They really struck out in to the world with the 2014 release of the "Cloud Factory" album (which was actually their sophomore release). It was more so their 2017 release of "King of Everything" on Napalm Records that really saw them hit North America by storm.
Jinjer focuses primarily around the amazing talent of Tatiana Shmailyuk, a dynamic and charismatic front woman in a league of her own. Her abilities are immense including vocal range, variation of musical styles, and depth of her lyrical message, it is absolutely mind blowing at times.
Joining her are three fellows that build an intense wall of chugging, percussive metal. They have a unique blend of styles that punctuates and compliments Tatiana's propensity for moving between musical extremes at the drop of hat.
Roman Ibramkhalilov is on lead guitar to Tatiana's right (at least the three times I have seen them). Eugene Abdiukhanov plays bass guitar, taking up position to her left, and finally, Vladislav Ulasevich sits behind her with his super compressed, but powerful drum kit.
I can show you pictures, and I can say words... but none of that really conveys the actual experience of seeing Jinjer live. Tatiana's charismatic presence blasts out of her and permeates the room.
Every time I have seen Jinjer, I have seen the entire room enthralled. The audience falls in love with her as she weaves her words of wisdom and stories of life entwined with their signature heavy-duty body-moving chaotic groove-metal.
They kicked off the set with "Teacher. Teacher!" from the "Micro" release. A poignant look into the mentality and potential damage of ignorant teachers with prejudices and biases of their own. The song showcases her diversity of musical styles going from a rap style matter-of-fact metal core delivery, growled death metal verse, to a beautiful, melodic conclusion.
They jumped to the previous album, "King of Everything" for "Sit Stay Roll Over". As an extreme metal lover, I am absolutely drawn to her moments of screamed aggression, but the interludes of blues, soul, (and everything else melodic she does) just make these outbursts all the more intense and the more powerful. This song is a perfect example, hedging to the more aggressive side of her repertoire, it is amazing.
They moved back to "Micro" for "Ape" before hitting us up with the first taste of the new album in the form of "Judgement (& Punishment)". This song starts with a very down-tuned, heavy drudge and then suddenly goes into a reggae influenced bridge before slamming back into extreme metal.
Up next was my favorite song of theirs to date and the song I always tell people to check out. "I Speak Astronomy" sums up their individuality, their intelligence, and their talent. Tatiana was wearing NASA socks tonight too!
"Dreadful Moments" was a prelude to the material on "Micro" and quickly became a fan favorite prior to the actual release. "Who's Gonna Be the One" gave way to a brand new song from the forthcoming album with "Retrospection", an exciting look into what is coming.
The half way point of the set pivoted on the sensational, "Perennial" from the "Micro" release before indulging in another fan favorite from "King of Everything" in the form of "Captain Clock".
For the remainder of the set they focused on their 2014 release, "Cloud Factory" with four awesome songs in a row starting off with "Bad Water", then "Outlander" and "No Hoard of Value" which lead up to the finale of the set with the title track from this album.
The Whisky was packed to the ceiling with fans and the air was thick and hot with smoke and sweat from the intense performance but not even a heart beat went by after they exited the stage before the crowd was chanting for one more song.
Jinjer returned to the stage, Tatiana addressing the crowd, "You want one more? There aren't any more". The crowd did not take that for an answer cheering even louder. The band obliged by delivering their breakout hit, "Pisces" for one last track which had the entire venue moving from the first note. The band shook hands at stage edge as the outro played and then escaped into the night.
It was a stellar performance with an amazing set list. I walk away from every show I have seen just in awe of how great these guys truly are. The fact that they went from opening act to selling out venues in such a short time is only proof of their talent and appeal.
I am already looking forward to their next time through and I highly recommend getting out to see Jinjer yourself.
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