Perhaps owing more to their Manager and Devildriver frontman Dez Farfara’s wish to keep the band on the road while their stock is high and keep building their fanbase outside of Europe, Jinjer have taken the time out to record and release this new EP entitled “Micro”. The band promised it would be a continuation of the more Progressive Metal shown on sophomore album “King of Everything” rather than a return to their heavy end of Metalcore sound on their debut “Cloud Factory”. Singles “Ape”, “Dreadful Moments” and “Perennial” have all appeared in the build up to the release covering off 3 of the 5 tracks.
“Ape” wastes no time in getting things going with some complex Tech-Metal bass and guitar lines. The music itself perhaps shows something of an earlier Mudvayne influence with shades of “Not Falling” in it’s stylings. Tatiana Shmaylyuk’s vocal range on this one is perhaps the biggest surprise. She’s shown her ability previously but not in the same way as it appears here, leaping from her crushing guttural lows to her clean singing and even whispers in a seamless fashion that isn’t something that we’ve heard before. Lyrically, the song is targeted at a know it all character who’s bringing shame to the game. “Dreadful Moments” continues the Progressive Tech-Metal while bringing in some more storytelling on the lyrical side with hints of Nu-Metal talking of memories of fear and dread. As with the opener, it’s a driven tune with a fair amount of bounce and pace to it that will no doubt see a fair amount of pit action. In terms of the mix, Eugene Kostyuk’s bass is fairly predominant and that works really well. “Teacher, Teacher!” has a sort of rap-spoken word vocal introduction that is followed by a rap-scream vocal and some interesting riff interplay Roman Ibarmhalilov. The blast beat breakdown passage around the 2 minute mark is a piece of pummelling joy while the tale of oppression in schools in the Ukraine plays out. It’s very much one that is as thought provoking as it is headbangable, raising the question of if the Teachers are being forced to deliver the oppressors message themselves. It’s the longest cut on the EP at nearly 6 minutes but it’s thoroughly engaging and well put together.
After an atmospheric tone setting spoken word introduction with a melodic backdrop “Perennial” bursts into life with a full on attack of brutal vocals and chugging riffage that blasts out the first verse before turning things down and swirling in wave like passages as the song plays out. Perhaps the most progressive of the tracks, it continues to showcase the bands musicianship and ability to craft some really excellent songs. EP title track “Micro” is a 103 second instrumental that has something of the folk-prog styling that we saw appear with “Beggars Dance” on “King of Everything”. It’s a palette cleanser of sorts which sits perfectly at the end of the EP and rounds out what is a supreme quality offering. Jinjer are a band with a lot to offer and Ukraine’s finest export will no doubt continue to move in the direction that “King of Everything” set them on [8/10]