If you don’t know Jinjer, you should. Jinjer are a metalcore band from Donetsk, Ukraine. We won’t get into the ins and outs of what metalcore is or isn’t right now. The shifting and nebulous boundaries of genre—especially in heavy music—is a bit too much for me to be tackling this particular Tuesday. Suffice it to say that metalcore is one of the bajillion sub-genres of metal, and it happens to be one that I personally don’t exactly care for that much. I live and breathe heavy metal, but metalcore just isn’t really for me.
As with anything, there are exceptions.
Jinjer are one such exception.
Originally forming in 2009, the band don’t consider their proper form as having manifested until 2010, when two of their current line-up joined. Roman Ibramkhalilov and Tatiana Shmailyuk came in on lead guitar and vocals, respectively; and though they joined a year after the band initially formed they are now—thanks to the oft-tempestuous nature of band memberships—the longest-serving members in Jinjer. The band are notable for combining rock-solid songwriting with a vast array of influences, drawing on—apart from (naturally) the rich vein of heavy music that came before them—soul, hip-hop, funk, jazz, and reggae. They are also stellar musicians, every single one of them.
Each member of Jinjer brings their formidable skillset to the table, but it is vocalist Tatiana who often ends up leaving the strongest impression, especially on first-time listeners. I know heavy music isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m just gonna share a video here that Jinjer released just over a month ago that showcases two things supremely well: Tatiana’s immense skill (and versatility) behind the mic, and the best way—in my humble opinion—to film a musical performance (minimal camera movement, minimal amount of distracting cuts; even though, yes, clearly the camera here is probably as much a result of contextual limitations as it is creative choices). So here, if you fancy it, is Jinjer’s ‘Judgement (& Punishment)’ from their 2019 album, ‘Macro’:
‘We came from the lands
Where kindness equals weakness
Feelings are conditional
And help is something supernatural’
Header Image Source: YouTube