Wallflowers: Will Jinjer continue to ride their huge wave of momentum?

Jinjer exploded into the more mainstream metal scene a couple of years ago now after a video of their studio session of the song ‘Pisces’ went viral as it showed off Tatiana’s incredible vocal range. They have toured the world since and released two subsequent albums, growing more and more seemingly by the day. I have to admit I have not checked out as much of the band as I probably should have, but I have enjoyed what I have heard enough to make me happy to listen to their new album, ‘Wallflowers’. Here is the review from that listen!

‘Call me a Symbol’ opens straight into a pretty decent modern metal riff, technical and weird. Tatiana’s harsh screams soon in over the top, adding to the heaviness. It does feel like a bit of an unorganised start but soon heads into a pretty great blast beat from the drums through the verse. I assumed the slightly more open part with the bends from the guitars was the chorus, the vocals being pretty quickly delivered still but were pretty catchy nonetheless. There was a great part just before the two-minute mark where Tatiana’s clean vocals come in behind the scream. It was only for a line, but it added so much to the track and made me like it a lot more.  There’s some insane riffing after this part, the bass being the real highlight as it follows the guitar perfectly. The vocals clean up for a bridge, Tatiana’s voice sounding just as good, effortlessly switching between the two. We then get an awesome outro with both screaming and cleans to finish things off. While this felt a little disjointed at times and it was an odd way to open an album, this song really grew on me, and I was enjoying it by the end!

‘Colossus’ opens on an equally big, heavy riff to the previous song. It slows up a little in the verse, the vocals making it all sound almost evil, some definite black metal in here. It doesn’t take long to speed back up, making the track somehow even heavier. The chorus cleans up vocally, the transition being ridiculously good and clean. It’s pretty catchy too, even if it doesn’t last long before going into screaming again. The riff after the chorus was chuggy awesomeness, and it carries on through the verse too, so win-win. The bridge is nuts, and Tatiana’s scream somehow gets even heavier, low and harsh, even more impressive for a woman to pull off. We then get another final chorus and outro to finish. This was awesome, definitely one of the most enjoyable songs I’ve heard from the band. Playlisted!

The lead single from the album ‘Vortex’, is up next. It is clear they are building on the success of ‘Pisces’, it has a similar stripped back, clean guitar chord progression and snare-heavy drumbeat behind it. Heck, Tatiana even stays in a similar range, vocally. Interestingly though it builds to a clean-vocalled chorus, not a scream like ‘Pisces’. Honestly, I prefer it. As impressive and jarring as the scream was when everyone first saw/heard it, this is simply a better, catchier chorus. I find it hard to admit it isn’t down to the cleans, too. It does get heavy and growly for a pretty great breakdown in the middle, a couple of great riffs from the guitar and Tatiana’s vocals are again impressive through it. It just gets heavier and heavier by the end, and honestly, the structure of this song was all over the place, but then maybe that was the intention? Either way, another impressive song!

‘Disclosure!’ has a pretty entertaining opening, a good riff leading to some catchy vocals right from the offset, and for once the band actually sounds like they are having fun. Even the screamed, heavier second verse has a great aura of fun and enjoyment to it. It almost felt punkier than anything else, or at least a hardcore song. I loved it and it’s another one that makes the playlist!

By ‘Copycat’ I have to admit I was getting a little sick of being slapped in the face with a big, complicated riff straight out of the gate with nearly every song up until now. I don’t imagine it’s going to change either though, so I best learn to accept it! This was an okay song that reminded me a fair bit of the opener. It’s very Jinjer, pretty complex in both instrumentation and structure, crazy heavy in places but also lighter and catchier in others. It was a good showcase of everything they do all rolled into one four-and-a-half-minute track, which is in both parts awesome and odd.

The exact same could be said about the following songs, ‘Pearls and Swine’ and ‘Sleep with the Righteous’. Both were good, enjoyable songs (though a little too all over the place for me at times), but they both encapsulate everything the band does that perfectly that I struggle to talk about just one specific part. It’s all good but similar. As such, there isn’t much I can say that I haven’t already!

The album’s title track (nearly) and the latest single, ‘Wallflower’, opens on a slower, cleaner riff much as ‘Vortex’ did. This one however stays low and stripped back for over half of it though, the chorus even being pretty light even though the guitars have some distortion. We don’t get a scream until after 2:30 minutes, and even then it just adds to the epic feel around the clean vocals, as opposed to overpowering the track. It has more screams too, but they add a great heaviness to the outro. A good song, and one that makes the playlist!

‘Dead Hands…’ explodes into the track so immediately I had to check my Spotify hadn’t messed up. Outside of that unwanted madness, this is another total Jinjer song. I imagine if you like their heavier, proggier side then you’d love it, but for me, it just sounds like a mess of riffs and ideas pushed together into one song.

‘As I Boil Ice’ explodes into the track so immediately I had to check my Spotify hadn’t messed up. Outside of that unwanted madness, this is another total Jinjer song. I imagine if you like their heavier, proggier side then you’d love it, but for me, it just sounds like a mess of riffs and ideas pushed together into one song.

Woah, Deja Vue….

The final track on the album and another single, ‘Mediator’, is good, though surprisingly not memed near as much as I thought it would have been thanks to the ‘stop… go!’ part at the start. However, it is definitely less cringy without the video accompaniment, I have to say. Outside of the opening, it has some of the best riffs on the album, and the slower chorus vocals are catchy and fantastic and the back half of the track as it gets crazy heavy was awesome. A great way to end an album that was equal parts great and odd.

Overall: I enjoyed this about what I was expecting. I’m okay with admitting that I don’t get a lot of new metal, taking influence from prog but doing it to the extreme and making pointlessly complexly structured songs don’t sound good to me, just messy. However, there was still a lot that I liked about this album, even if it wasn’t all of one song or another. This band has a huge cult following and I can see why, they are all massively talented, but now that I have listened to a whole album I still don’t ‘get it’ for the most part.

Score: 7/10

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