Jinjer - King of EverythingOn my nineteenth birthday, I spent the night going to London’s various downtown bars with some friends. At one point in the night, I turned my back on one of them for about five seconds and heard a thud. I looked over, and saw my friend hobbling and grabbing his knee near a shallow pit in a construction zone. “It’s not too bad now, but this is going to really hurt in the morning” he said. I’ve still got no idea what his intention was or what glory he thought he could achieve by doing whatever it is he did, but the aftermath was confusing and a little bit funny nonetheless. Apply this to music, and you’ve got the essence of King of Everything, the second record by Ukraine’s Jinjer.

Jinjer play a combination of groove metal, metalcore, and nu metal. Vocalist Tatiana Shmailyuk does some screams, growls, aggressive spoken-word poetry, and clean vocals over top of it. If Issues didn’t try to be the combination of metalcore, Flo-Rida, and R Kelly that they are and instead were just another metalcore band, they’d probably sound like Jinjer. There’s some Memphis May Fire in here, but Jinjer seems to go out of their way to be less catchy than those guys. Old Parkway Drive with less discount brand Gothenburg influences is another fine comparison, but again, King of Everything isn’t as catchy. Essentially, you can expect some simple modern nu-djent chugging, some arbitrary techy parts, some poppy metalcore parts, and some knockoff Devildriver1 groove riffs.

With the above in mind, I feel obliged to point out that Shmailyuk has an impressive set of pipes when she puts them to proper use. “Beggar’s Dance” is the best example of this and the best track on King of Everything. In a confounding turn of events, it’s essentially a slightly restrained samba track that has nothing to do with the rest of the record, replete with a Santana style solo and scat vocals. Intro track “Prologue” isn’t awful, revolving around a simple but somewhat catchy vocal line. “Captain Clock” wisely lets Shmailyuk’s clean vocals take the lead around the 3:30 mark, and it’s the best proper (read: not samba) moment on the record. Her vocals are almost strong enough to carry the largely uninteresting chugging part underneath, so it ends up being less lugubrious than the rest of the material.

Jinjer 2016

The negative aspects here are legion. I haven’t the foggiest idea who King of Everything is intended for, unless there’s some horrible underground nu-metal fan club that wants to be the scintillating combination of eyes-glazed-over bored and quietly enraged while having a crippling existential crisis knowing that they’re edging ever closer to death listening to something so tepid that it gives warm Corona2 a run for its money. There’s almost no sense in naming particular songs, because they uniformly follow a pattern of rote djent-lite staccato chugging, bass intrusions somewhere between Mudvayne and Korn in style, and choruses that seem to go out of their way to be as unmemorable as possible (the latter being possibly the most avant-garde approach to metal I’ve ever heard). “Words of Wisdom” is an example of this, sporting a chorus that sounds like the excellent one in “Nevermore” from Symphony X’s Underworld sans everything that made it great. At a downright torturous six minutes in length, “I Speak Astronomy” sees Shmailyuk delivering some quality pop vocals in the middle over a riff so bad that this compositional choice could be aptly described as wanton self-sabotage. “Pisces” begins as a bland but fairly tolerable ballad, but proceeds to gleefully drive itself off a cliff, Thelma and Louise style, when it switches to being “heavy” instead. This “heavy” bit uses ostensibly the same riff, but without the nice guitar effects and with Shmailyuk using her maladroit harsh vocals instead of her solid clean vocals it becomes clear how boring the whole ordeal is, especially when it’s content to switch between these two modes for five minutes straight and do nothing else.

I have nothing else to say about King of Everything, because it’s so inessential, so boring, and so forgettable that even writing about it is a chore. I could mention the production, I guess; clean but not sterile, essentially brickwalled, overtly present bass, factory-setting distorted guitar. Every time I hit play on any Jinjer track on my laptop, it would freeze for a few seconds. As this only happened when listening to Jinjer, it leads me to believe my laptop gained sentience and became worried about me, thinking that the audial self-harm I was perpetrating would make Kvarforth, on one of his edgier days, a bit concerned. I trust that you, dear reader, are sentient; make the right choice.

Rating: 1.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Napalm Records
Websites: jinjer-metalband.com | facebook.com/jinjer
Releases Worldwide: July 29th, 2016

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Think flea market, bootleg CD, Driver of the Devils – The Kind Words of Last type stuff.
  2. If anyone employed by Anheuser-Busch InBev is reading, please don’t sue me for libel over this.
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  • I do not enjoy this song.

  • Dion Ka

    I listened to the song just reading the score to get a mostly uninfluenced opinion and i have to say that the screaming and chugging is ok. Not special and quite boring but ok. The “clean singing” absolutely kills it. It’s ridiculous. Just no.

    • Morrowind542

      I agree completely. If this was just the chugging and growling, it would come off as OK, nothing we haven’t seen 1000 times before, but competently executed. But then the clean vocals hit, and my only reaction is ‘nope’.

      And this is coming from someone that prefers clean vocals.

      • Dion Ka

        It depends for me. I love some clean vocals for example from Leprous or A Swarm of the Sun last year. I don’t normally listen to Clean Vocals, listening mostly to Black and Doom Metal, but they can be even better than a dude screaming out his lungs. The Rifts from A Swarm of the Sun would not have worked with screamed vocals. It was a reason why this was my favourite album last year.

        • Morrowind542

          It also depends for me – Unearth, Lamb of God, or Ne Obliviscaris wouldn’t work with clean vocals. However, I tend to be very picky with vocals, both clean and growled/screamed. I can’t stand Black Metal because I hate the rasp, and the only Doom band I like is Darkest Era because I don’t think the Doom sound works with growled vocals.(If you know anymore doom bands with clean vocals, I’d love to hear about them!)

          My favorite vocal sound for most metal is actually the metalcore sound from bands like Avenged Sevenfold, All That Remains, or Bullet for My Valentine. Be’Lakor would be my second favorite band if they had a (subjectively) better vocalist; I think if they had a vocalist similar to All That Remains circa The Fall of Ideals they’d be my platonic ideal of a melo-death band.

  • aaron bergman

    So bad Fred Durst could have improved it.

    • Alexandre Barata

      At least with him there would be some comic relief!

      • Oscar Albretsen

        C’mon now, let’s not start saying somewhat positive things about Fred Durst (even if they are just jokes). Well, I’m at least gonna have a special form of hatred for him and Limp Bizkit for the rest of my life.

  • Alexandre Barata

    Dear sir Diabolus, you must be deaf as this is both great and groundbreaking!!! Just kidding, it’s pure crap. And, if it’s bad with the guy’s “growls”, the female “I’m an edgier Sandra Nasić” makes it complete rubbish

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      “I’m an edgier Sandra Nasić” is gold. Had no idea who she was, looked her up, and it’s 100% accurate.

      • RuySan

        I think only Portugal remembers the Guano Apes.

        • Jukka Alanen

          Also Finland!

    • Jack Kelly

      The female (Tatiana) does all vocals. There is no male vocalist

  • William Hebblewhite

    The 90’s called, even they don’t want this shit and told us we could keep it.

  • I wonder if the band will read this review on Youtube.

    • Hulksteraus

      I wonder if they are part of a new Russian plan, after conquering Ukraine, to bore the west into submission. If so, they have provably read the review and we will soon be drinking polonium tea….

      • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

        The KGB being behind this is certainly a possibility. We’ll have to wait until the next WikiLeaks dump to find out for certain.

      • Reese Burns

        There was a news story about Fred Durst being invited to live in Ukraine recently. Is Putin using the Nu Metal Revival as his secret superweapon?

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      I’m not sure, I’m an ASL (Astronomy as a Second Language) student in an online course, and my Astronomy in this review wasn’t too clear.

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    After learning about the abomination that was Tetragrammacide, I proceeded to use the band’s name as a security answer on a couple of websites, the question being “Worst musical export?”

    Jinjer is considerably easier to spell. Hmmmm.

    • Syn

      Easier to brute-force, too.

    • Hulksteraus

      Thanks for the cash…. Mwahahaha

    • Reese Burns

      I’d listen to Tetragramacide over this any day.

      • Grymm

        I would, too, and I reviewed that damn thing.

        • AlphaBetaFoxface

          I propose a new rating system:

          5.0 – HAH, your jokes are killing me. Wait, you aren’t kidding?
          4.0 – Higher chance of appearing on AOTY lists than any 5.0.
          3.0 – I already spent money on a 3.5, so this can wait.
          2.0 – This is what a shrug sounds like.
          1.0 – I prefer Tetragrammacide.

          • [not a Dr]

            “2.0 – This is what a shrug sounds like.”

  • madhare

    This is one of those horrible moments when you are either totally right and it’s just crap, or you’re simply too old to understand this amazing piece of youth culture. Maybe this is the next big thing? Let’s pray to all the forces of chaos that the former option is correct.

    • Berit Dogg

      Youth culture? Pah!

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      Luckily for us I played this for an infant as an experiment sponsored by Leuven’s psychology institute (I have a friend there) and his first words were “I’m too old for this malarkey”. His parents hoped they would be “mama” or “papa” but no such luck.

      • Reese Burns

        I think that counts as child abuse.

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Too bad, the first two records had a couple of good songs each – making Jinjer the only band playing groove/nu/core thing I enjoyed even slightly.
    This is just bad.

  • AngryMetalBird

    Bad albums used to be just bad. These days I can at least come to AMG to have a good laugh… Good review!

  • Oscar Albretsen

    This album title “King of Everything” has been used by at least a dozen other bands. Even that’s derivative. Of course, I just had to listen to it and see if it was as bad as you said. My expectations were quite low, and the somg was even worse. 1.0, a pretty accurate score for this garbage (review was well-written and fun to read, though).

  • Grymm

    That video… Drop-Q tuning, many chugs, and “This space foam is so delicious…” Just… Wow.

    Also, “If Issues didn’t try to be the combination of metalcore, Flo-Rida, and R Kelly that they are and instead were just another metalcore band, they’d probably sound like Jinjer.” I laughed my beverage out my nose reading that. Awesome write-up.

    • Diego Molero

      I used to like Issues’ EP, Black Diamond, don’t know what was wrong with me.

  • RobbinBri

    Ginger? That was my neighbors dog’s name lol.
    Nice Gingy!!!!!

  • sssgadget

    I disapprove of this band.

  • Reese Burns

    Oh my god this is bad. Mudvayne’s name doesn’t belong on the same page as this junk.

  • their name makes me irrationally upset. it makes my inner IMN boil with rage.

  • Adjudant

    Shocking album but I do like the cover, sort of the opposite of my impression of the Eerie record

  • OzanCan

    Siktir bu ne ya? Kötüymüş gerçekten… >:/

  • JohnC

    Wasted talent with the harsh vocals, because everything else is an abomination. She’d do fine in a band that actually wrote good music.

  • Alex

    I hope that the nu-djent-core thing doesn’t become a trend.

  • Alex Benedict

    There were actually some decent riffs in the embedded track though

  • Tofu muncher

    anything associated with nu metal kills it for me. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Jack Kelly

    Tbh this album is pretty good. I Speak Astronomy is a REALLY solid song for its riffs, ending as well as lyrics. Song variety isn’t bad and the concept of the album and specific songs really isn’t too hard to figure out if you read the lyrics a few times. If this isn’t your type of music that’s fine, as someone is a fan of this style, I love this album and a majority of reviews agree.

  • Bartek Dębkowski

    wtf? I just can’t believe what I’m reading..
    what a BAD REVIEW!
    It is a GOOD ALBUM! Very good imo… but for sure it is not bad!
    Please don’t write reviews.. You do very bad thing to very good musicians.

  • Joel Plamondon

    First time i disagree with a review here, This is not a masterpiece, but come on !! it’s not a 1.0 either, far from it. The reviewer is off on this one. does this review was rushed ? i cannot understand how no one have at least pointed out that this band have a killer bass player and their singer is a beast, she is up there with the Unleash the Archers girl has metal’s new goddesses. She deliver growls who are better than the mighty Angela Gossow. And the lady have beautiful and very feminine clean vocal, The singer, the bassman, and some good tracks ( Pisces being the best for me ) make this album go up to a 3.0 for me