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Album Review: Jinjer – Wallflowers

August, 27, Ukrainian metallers Jinjer released their brand new album “Wallflowers”. The record immediately hit high positions in music charts worldwide, getting #1 in USA as Top New Artist Album, #1 in Canada as Hard Music Album and #4 in Finland as Physical. I really loved their previous work, “Macro”, so I was excited about the new release.

“Wallflowers” gives the listener a heavy start with “Call me a Symbol”. Fast and groovy, it gets more melodic to the second part and so do many Jinjer songs. But the meaning of this song is more interesting. “Even If I Spit On The Floor/A Poor Crowd Thinks It Is Gold/If You Were Like Me/Would You Treat Them Differently?” – These words are very relatable! 

The second song, “Colossus”, develops the idea of the famous expression “colossus on clay feet”. There even is a direct phrase: “Here I am now/On my thin feet made of clay”, which shows the weakness of the character under the strong image. The music continues this idea: the track sounds aggressive, but after reading the lyrics the listener can feel more desperation and confusion, than actual anger or power. “Colossus” has almost no clean vocals and this structure reminds me of earlier Jinjer’s work “Words of Wisdom”.

After two heavy songs the calm and melodic intro of “Vortex” gives the listener some rest. The beautiful voice of Tatiana gives some meditative mood and so the extreme part feels fresher. The track becomes heavier and heavier, the tension visibly increases, even the inclusions of cleans don’t weaken this tension. “Vortex” ends with a thick breakdown supported by one of the deepest Tatiana’s growls.

 

 

Comparing to the previous tracks, “Disclosure!” sounds almost like a party song. But the main theme is not that funny. The fourth track of the album tells about total surveillance and hypocrisy of the mass media. This one is one of my favorites on the album. It transmits the anger and confidence like a true rebel anthem.

The intro of “Copycat” is faster and more melodic. The main theme is clear from the title: the song tells a story of a person haunted by the inner demons. The character feels trapped, living a lie. By the middle the song gets faster, but then it slows down again, and gets faster one more time, referring to the mood changes of the character. These constant changes make the listener grasp the insanity of what’s happening.

As “Colossus”, “Pearls and Swine” have a reference to the famous expression. This one sounds like “cast pearls before swine’’. Usually it means “to waste time and effort on someone who’s not worth it”. In the song Jinjer develop this theme, showing the arrogance of the people considering the poorer ones less smart or worthy. The track exudes contempt to the haughty people. The music becomes gloomy; the listener can feel the pain behind it.

But the intro of “Sleep of the Righteous” is filled with even more rage. This track tells about anxiety. Even though the lyrics describe the physical monster, I think it’s the mental state that is in danger here. As “Copycat”, the song transmits fear and wrath.

Similar to “Vortex”, “Wallflower” has a very calm and relaxing beginning. At first sight the meaning of the lyrics seems to be optimistic, but the more the listener reads, the more misery and solitude appear. The context of the previous songs and the riffs getting slower and heavier add the grim mood to the track.

 

 

“Dead Hands Feel No Pain” seem to be the continuation of “Wallflower”. The cheerful melody is outshined by depressive and somber lyrics. The interesting detail is that Tatiana starts playing with words, transforming “happy morning” into “happy mourning”, which adds a bit of dark humor to the situation of the character.

“As I Boil Ice” attacks the listener with the questions. The extreme vocal mixes with the cleans and recitative to tell a story about a person not belonging into modern society. “The Rest Enjoy Hot Bath/And I Boil Ice/They Fly With The Wind/As I Put A Dead Horse To The Cart, Oh God”. The character doesn’t understand the others and doesn’t want to. I love this song for its groove and variety.

The third single, “Mediator”, finishes the album. The intro fits perfectly for a live gig. The first part of the lyrics is pretty optimistic and cheerful as well: the character wishes everyone to be happy. But then the lyrics describe the misery of the world surrounding him. And the last question, “What do we have to do/To get a piece of you?” refers to the first phrase of the previous song. In “As I Boil Ice” the line sounded like: “What Does A Man Have To Do/To Get A Piece Of You?”

As usual, lyrics are a strong part of Jinjer’s music. The themes of inner demons and hypocrisy pierce “Wallflowers”, making it almost as sinister as “Macro”. For Jinjer it’s usually the bass line that sets the tone to the music, but this time it’s more about the vocals and the drums. Dramatic, emotional voice of Tatiana and incredibly fast drums of Vlad give the album more pressure, make the sound tenser corresponding to the lyrics.

These 47 minutes feel way longer because of the atmosphere that feels even without reading and analyzing the lyrics. The music plunges the listener into the grim mood, fascinating him at the same time. The only missing thing I felt was the diversity. “Wallflowers” is way too similar to “Macro” for me. Despite that I would say “Wallflowers” is a work of quality. It was done in 2 years, which is pretty fast in modern realities. Dynamic and thoughtful, it is definitely worth listening!

Release date: August 27, 2021

Label: Napalm Records

Rating: 9/10

Tracks:

1.Call Me a Symbol (04:20)

2.Colossus (03:36)

3.Vortex (04:02)

4.Disclosure! (03:47)

5.Copycat (04:23)

6.Pearls and Swine (05:20)

7.Sleep of the Righteous (04:32)

8.Wallflower (04:17)

9.Dead Hands Feel No Pain (04:09)

10.As I Boil Ice (04:21)

11.Mediator (04:29)

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