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JinjerKulturfabrik, Esch sur Alzette, Luxembourg
19th November 2019
Jinjer - European “Macro” Tour 2019 - Support: Space Of Variations, Khroma, The Agonist

One of the most hyped bands in Metal at the moment performed at the Escher Kulturfabrik on Tuesday. That a band like JINJER would attract a lot of fans was almost predictable. Nevertheless the crowd was bigger than expected: The Kulturfabrik was bursting at the seams. Why? JINJER didn’t only play at Wacken, With Full Force or support bigger bands. No, they are currently on headliner tour and so successful that almost all shows are already sold out. As guests JINJER have packed THE AGONIST, KHROMA and SPACE OF VARIATIONS and promised an evening full of solid sounds.


Space of Variations

SPACE OF VARIATIONS is a Ukrainian Metalcore band formed in 2009 on the top of New Wave Of Modern Heavy Music (NWOMHM). After a rocky start that put them in hiatus after two years, the band reunited in 2015 and became one of the most acclaimed Metal bands in Ukraine after the release of their first music video ‘Gunsight’. 2018 saw the release of their debut long-playing album ‘Mind Darknet’.

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Music & Performance
It all started with SPACE OF VARIATIONS. The Deathcore with electronic influences provided for good mood and also the Kulturfabrik was already well filled at the time of the kick-off and the crowd was gradually brought on operating temperature. Front man Dima convinced with exact and hard growls. The band didn’t spend much time with big announcements, but rather let the music speak for itself. And it was meaningful enough to carry the band confidently over the performance. Unfortunately the Ukrainians played a relatively short set but they definitely won the one or other fan that evening.

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.3 / 10

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Khroma

Established in Helsinki in 2010, the Electro-Metal formation KHROMA conveys the socio-economic decline of our times into an assaulting soundtrack of cinematic atmospheres and ambiences, down-tuned guitar patterns and pulsating trip hop beats. This fusion of influences is further explored lyrically as the band tackles counter-cultural issues of disillusionment, fatalism and despondency. In April 2016, KHROMA released their sophomore album ‘Stasis’. Altogether the band has done 10 European tours and several hundred shows. KHROMA is currently producing the band’s third, yet to be titled, album, due out in spring 2020.

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Music & Performance
As the second band of the evening, KHROMA got ready for the stage. Larded with samples, individual electro elements and guitars tuned to ankle level, the Finns hacked through their set. On the vocalist’s side you could perhaps make out a bit of Trevor Phipps from the American Metalcore band UNEARTH. Musically that was not a big thing. The songs were knitted quite one-dimensional and also the continuously reigning mid-tempo was annoying at some point. The samples and electronic elements varied between “really cool” and “not necessary” and were clearly too present and too highly frequented. You can still like it, but you don’t have to.

Rating
Music: 5
Performance: 5
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 6 / 10

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The Agonist

THE AGONIST is a Canadian Metal band from Montreal, Quebec, formed in 2004. The current line up consists of guitarists Danny Marino and Pascal (Paco) Jobin, bassist Chris Kells, drummer Simon Mckay, and vocalist Vicky Psarakis, who joined in March 2014 following the departure of vocalist and founding member Alissa White-Gluz. Both Psarakis and White-Gluz use growled and clean vocals. Originally known as THE TEMPEST, the band adopted their current moniker upon their signing to Century Media in 2007. To date, THE AGONIST has released six studio albums; the latest, ‘Orphans’, was released in September 2019.

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Music & Performance
After another rather fast break (big compliments to the stage technicians at this point) the co-headliners THE AGONIST were on the menu. The Canadians had to fight with themselves and especially with ex-fronter Alissa White-Gluz. There were some bad words, where it is not clear who is right in the end. After the lost label deal a complete reinvention had to be made and THE AGONIST did a great job. With the new engagement of singer Vicky Psarakis and the successful release of the new record ‘Orphans’ the band is now back in full swing and was really in the mood that night in Esch. This gave the crowd enough energy and started the first circle pit of the evening. The urge to move began to spread throughout the room and rows of horns flew towards the stage. To new songs like ‘In Vertigo’, ‘Burn It All Down’ or the freshly released super hit ‘The Gift of Silence’ singer Vicky conducted the crowd.

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Guitarists Danny Marino and Pascal “Paco” Jobin skilfully played the balls to each other and switched positions, while bassist Chris Kells took over the backing vocals and together with drummer Simon Mckay lay a tough foundation. The final song was ‘As One We Survive’ before THE AGONIST had to say goodbye.

Setlist
01. In Vertigo
02. Panophobia
03. Gates of Horn and Ivory
04. The Gift of Silence
05. Dead Ocean
06. Orphans
07. Burn It All Down
08. As One We Survive

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 9
Light: 6
Total: 7.8 / 10

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Jinjer

A versatile, female-fronted Metalcore unit based out of Ukraine, JINJER have found success both in their Eastern European homeland and abroad with their punitive blend of Post-Hardcore and Death / Progressive / Nu-Metal. Drawing from a wide array of influences, including R&B, Soul, Hip-Hop, and the full spectrum of Heavy Metal, the band formed in 2009 and features a line-up consisting of Tatiana Shmailyuk (vocals), Roman Ibramkhalilov (guitar), Eugene Abdiukhanov (bass), and Vladislav Ulasevich (drums). JINJER issued a pair of EPs, 2010's ‘Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear’ and 2012's ‘Inhale, Do Not Breathe’, before breaking big at home with the release of a full-length version of the latter album in 2013. The group’s sophomore long-player, 2014’s ‘Cloud Factory’, caught the attention of heavy metal institution Napalm, which signed JINJER and released their third full-length effort, ‘King of Everything’, in 2016. The group toured heavily in support of the LP, hitting the European festival circuit and making their presence known overseas as well. In early 2019, the band returned with the ‘Micro’ EP, again on Napalm. By the end of the year, its natural counterpoint, ‘Macro’, arrived.

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Music & Performance
After that pack, it got pretty hot at the Kulturfabrik. After the light was turned off, euphoric applause broke out. The LED walls, which were used for visualisations, let a three minute countdown run down, underlined by ‘lainnereP’, before JINJER started the set brilliantly with ‘Teacher, Teacher!’. The pit, which had set itself in motion at THE AGONIST, was reactivated and promptly doubled in size. The sound was crystal clear and let every nuance come to the fore but the light show, along with the mentioned LED walls, was set up cool but not great for the photographers. But if you've been to a JINJER concert before, you know that and still managed to get some cool pictures. Relatively early in the evening it set the first grenade to kneel down called ‘I Speak Astronomy’. Singer Tatiana Shmailyuk had the crowd firmly under control.

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The vocal performance presented here was completely out of competition. Great action on stage can't be expected from the musicians Eugene, Vladislav and Roman. Because they had to concentrate too much on what they were playing but this was very tight and absolutely good. Tatiana was responsible for everything else and she made that with bravura. The setlist balanced itself quite well between new and older songs and offered variety for everyone. But it was noticeable that more songs were played from the album ‘King of Everything’ then from the new release ‘Macro’. There the fans would have liked to hear one or the other song more, but they still weren’t disappointed because songs like ‘On the Top’, ‘Pit of Consciousness’ or ‘Retrospection’ were played. As the Kulturfabrik became hotter and hotter, the Ukrainians sprinkled a breather before the encore and opened the latter with the song ‘Pisces’.

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In the verses of the song, which are kept calm and quiet, the fans swayed together to the beat of the music, only to give everything in the aggressive chorus. Occasionally there were even crowd-surfers. The stage of the Kulturfabrik offered a very small pit this time where crowd-surfers could not really be caught, but the crowd was imaginative and carried them in a circle through the whole hall. Towards the end, when ‘Captain Clock’ was played, it was difficult to find a single person in the concert hall who didn’t let his hair fly or move in any other way. The intensity of the music and the energy of the band infected the guests and turned them into a raging party mob. After approximately 75 minutes JINJER released their fans home with the feeling that JINJER aren’t just a band that is simply hyped at the moment, but that they do justice to all aspects of this hype. The numerous sold out venues, which are still on the tour schedule, are proof of this.

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Setlist
01. Intro (lainnereP)
02. Teacher, Teacher
03. Sit Stay Roll Over
04. Ape
05. Judgement (& Punishment)
06. I Speak Astronomy
07. Dreadful Moments
08. Who’s Gonna Be the One
09. Retrospection
10. Perennial
11. On the Top
12. Pit of Consciousness
13. Just Another
14. Words of Wisdom
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15. Pisces
16. Captain Clock

Rating
Music: 10
Performance: 9
Sound: 9
Light: 5
Total: 8.3 / 10

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All pictures by Elena Arens
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