It’s fair to say that progressive metal heavyweights Jinjer have witnessed somewhat of a meteoric rise in recent times.
Upon the announcement of the band’s eagerly-anticipated Tyneside debut at Think Tank in Newcastle the venue was immediately upgraded due to unprecedented demand. Tonight’s show at the Newcastle University Student’s Union is somewhat three times the size of the originally scheduled venue, but yet it is still almost a complete sell-out.
Tonight’s follows closely behind the rest of the shows on this run, with all but two dates being sold out. An impressive achievement for the Ukrainian outfit who up until today have never played in the North East of England, and are currently on their second UK tour ever.
And with the anticipation inside of the room at fever pitch, a three-minute warning countdown clock ticks away the impending seconds before the quartet hits the stage.
Exploding onto the stage with much energy and enthusiasm the group immediately unleashes a pair of tracks from their recent EP by way of Teacher, Teacher and Ape. And unlike the name of the aforementioned release, which is Micro, each of these tracks sound anything but small. With their pulsating rhythms, crunchy guitar riffs, and fierce vocals each song sounds completely huge in this packed out live environment.
Crowd surfers immediately make their way to the front of the stage. Whilst a sea of devil horns can be seen across the room throughout. Tonight the packed out Geordie crowd is more than up for the occasion.
With a new album under their belt in the shape of Macro, the group are keen to showcase their latest offering. The first track to feature in the set is Judgement (& Punishment), which highlights just how far the band has pushed their creative boundaries on this record. The track has reggae undertones, which certainly makes it stand out as being a bit different from the rest of the group’s repertoire but it hits the spot.
Several other tracks from Macro feature including the likes of the rather sinister Retrospection, recent single Pit of Consciousness along with On The Top. Each of these songs sits seamlessly alongside a multitude of tracks from the band’s 2016 album King Of Everything. This includes the likes of the somewhat melodic I Speak Astronomy along with Sit Stay Rollover.
Lead vocalist Tatiana Shmailyuk commands the crowd, often towering over the audience from risers positioned at the front of the stage. She effortlessly switches gears between clean and growling vocals all night long. Whilst also sinking all of her energy into her passionate performance. Tatiana spurs on the crowd with frequent headbanging into the band’s atmospheric lighting.
For the old school Jinjer fans in attendance, Who’s Gonna Be The One is a welcome addition to the setlist. But like all good things, the night must come to an end and the band’s fourteen song setlist comes to its conclusion with an encore airing of Pisces. And after what has been an incredible first live Jinjer experience for many in attendance, the crowd is left wanting more.
Whilst tonight in Tyneside the local hard rock faithful may well have been torn between a choice of two high profile shows to attend, with progressive metal legends Queensryche appearing just down the road at the Riverside Newcastle. This evening the locals in attendance certainly made the right choice, with Shmailyuk and company proving that they are indeed the future of this beloved genre.
Having formed back in 2009 it may well have taken Jinjer ten years to arrive in the North East of England but it was worth the wait.