Prior to Saturday evening, I can honestly say that I have never attended a heavy metal show, despite having been to hundreds of concerts in my lifetime. To date myself, in the past month alone I have seen two 50th anniversary shows…Dweezil Zappa playing his father’s legendary “Hot Rats” album live in its entirety, and King Crimson at the historic Ryman Auditorium.
Both of these bands have been tagged as “Progressive”, so when my trusted friend turned me on to a Progressive Metal band called Jinjer, I was intrigued. Quick research revealed that the band was on a steep upward trajectory and had developed an impressive following in Europe that was quickly translating into huge “buzz” among rock and metal fans in the USA.
Hailing from Donetsk in the Ukraine, and two-time winner of Best Ukrainian Metal Band, Jinjer are a self-described four-piece Progressive Groove metal wrecking machine. They are fronted by the incredibly talented and dynamic vocalist, Tatiana Schmailyuk with equally talented Roman Ibramkhalilov on guitars, Eugene Abdukhanov on bass and Vladislav Ulasevish on the kit.
Watching videos and listening to their music, it was clear that the band have worked hard to hone their skills. So it was with great anticipation that I joined a large throng of Jinjer t-shirt wearing metal fans (they bring and sell a ton of merch) at Riverfront Live during their first North American headlining tour in support of their upcoming release “Macro” featuring the brand new single “On The Top”.
Simply stated, there’s no question that Jinjer is ready for prime time. They took the stage to enthusiastic applause and immediately took command of the crowd with their relentless playing. Tatiana is a commanding presence up front and effortlessly transitioned from delightful clean vocals that reminded me of Gwen Stefani (including the reggae/ska beat) to a most intense guttural growl. She prowled the stage throughout the set as her backing band laid down one throbbing groove after another including perfectly timed signature changes that exemplified their progressive label. The band was remarkably tight given the heaviness of the music and Tatiana’s moves and grooves were in perfect sequence. Fans couldn’t get enough.
Set highlights included “I Speak Astronomy” the live debut of “On The Top” and encore “Pisces” which has over 27 million views on YouTube.
Look for Jinjer to be in much larger type font on future music festival lineups. They are well on their way to headliner status.