Getting Jinjer With It At Jannus Live

By on December 4, 2021
(Photo-Randy Cook)

We metalheads were in for quite the treat on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021 as the Ukrainian metalcore band Jinjer took over Jannus Live in St. Petersburg, FL. I was so excited when this show got announced that I bought my ticket the day they went on sale, as I was certain there was no way this show would not sell out. Supporting Jinjer for their “Coming To America 2021” tour was the ever-crushingly heavy Suicide Silence and a band I was not familiar with All Hail the Yeti.

(Photo-Randy Cook)

Explaining my excitement of seeing this show, my first exposure to Jinjer was hearing them on Sirius/XM in the car one day and not only being blown away by the killer musicianship in this band, I was beyond certain what I was hearing vocally was two different lead singers. Both musically and vocally the song I heard gave way from a soft, peaceful, melodic, almost seraphic female voice to deep male guttural screams that seemed to rise up from the depths of Hell. Holy hell I had to look this band up when I got home! The song I had heard was “Pisces” and later that evening as I watched the video, I recall my jaw dropping when I discovered there was not two vocalists; those two contrasting sounds of angels and demons came from the same person!

(Photo-Randy Cook)

Tatiana Shmailyuk is her name and she is the lead vocalist of Jinjer. She has the most incredible vocal range I have ever heard. To say that I was totally blown away by this band when I first heard them is an understatement, and not just for the vocals, musically they are an incredibly talented band and quickly became a staple in my daily listening rotation. So fascinated by Tatiana I was that I watched many of her interviews and discovered she taught herself to death growl by screaming Mudvayne lyrics at passing cars in the Ukraine as she was growing up. In those interviews I saw, she is very soft-spoken and a self-professed introvert but when she gets behind the microphone it is like she is a whole different person. I seriously could not wait for the show date to get here.

(Photo-Randy Cook)

Opening the show, from Los Angeles, California, was All Hail the Yeti. This was a band I was not familiar with going into the show. With their stage set up I felt like I was at an alter prepared for a sacrifice. It was candle lit, with plants and animal skulls adorning their microphone stands and the band members with ominous face paint matching several members of the audience, a literal feast for the eyes.  Their music is loud and energetic and had the crowd moving instantly from their first note of their heavy metal mixed with groovy riffs.

All Hail the Yeti is Connor Garritty (vocals), Nicholas Diltz (bass/vocals), Dave Vanderlinde (guitars), and Ryan Kittlitz (drums). Holy hell this band freaking rocks live. My favorite part of their set was when they launched into their new single “Bury Your Memory”. With the groovy metallic sounds I was hearing it was purely instinctual to start my neck headbanging to the rhythm. By the end of the song, I felt like I had just finished a quest to slay the demons in my life.  “Funeral Hearts” was also a very killer song, and this band for sure has a new fan.

(Photo-Randy Cook)

Sadly they played almost their entire set in the dark, and my photography skills and equipment did not result in any photos for me to share here. I would love the chance to photo this band under better lighting or during the day. Their look, energy on stage and passion for their music would make for some amazing action shots. 

Hailing from Riverside, California, deathcore quintet Suicide Silence was next and while I was familiar with some of their material, I had not heard anything off of their last two releases. I knew this was going to be all out brutal metal and once that wall of sound hit me from their first note it is impossible not to start headbanging even though I know it is impossible to photo and headbang at the same time. Their aggressive sound and brutally heavy crushing breakdowns makes me wish I was a teenager again so I could join in the fun of the mosh pit that instantly formed the second this band started.

I have been going to this venue since the late 1980s and this was the first time I have ever witnessed a Wall of Death for a show here, but when lead vocalist Eddie Hermida commands for the wall, the crowd was only happy to comply. My friends and I always joked in years past that it is not a real metal show until someone is bleeding and after exiting the photo pit, I did see someone with a head wound and blood was evident! (No worries, he refused any medical treatment and went right back into the pit. That is so metal!)

Rounding out the band is Chris Garza (guitar), Mark Heylmun (guitar), Dan Kenny (bass), and Alex Lopez (drums) and Eddie made several mentions in between songs of being local to our area and familiar with our beaches. Also there was a nod to members of Cannibal Corpse who some of their members were in attendance. I saw many Suicide Silence shirts in the crowd, enough to make you think they were the headliner as it was evident many were here to see these deathcore giants.

Their music is so aggressive and in your face, that once the vocals start, unless you have looked up, read and memorized the lyrics you will not understand a single word which is awesome in its own right for a show like this. They launched into the first minute of Korn’s “Blind”, teasing me with understandable lyrics I say joking, but seriously, this is a kick ass band live and the energy they put forth on stage should make anyone not familiar with them to want to check out their material.

(Photo-Randy Cook)

The moment finally arrives that I been waiting for since May 7th (the day I purchased my ticket to this show). Adrenaline is already flowing knowing my three songs in the photo pit are going to go by in the blink of an eye. After the fact as I write this I realize I am either really bad at math or somehow I blacked out from being mesmerized both musically from the talent on stage and from Tatiana’s expressions and movement because I would swear we only got two songs in the photo pit. This band live was everything that I had hoped and been waiting for for all these months.

(Photo-Randy Cook)

In addition to lead vocalist Tatiana, Jinjer is Roman Ibramkhalilov (guitars), Eugene Ulasevich (bass), and Vladislav Ulasevich (drums) and let me tell you just how technically crisp this band is, I consider them to be the musical masterpiece I had been missing in my life until I discovered them. The intensity of the rhythmic combination of the music mixed with Tatiana’s prowess on stage I would gladly admit this performance was definitely worth waiting for months for, even though I had been dying to see them live since watching the video that first night I mentioned earlier. This band is full of explosive energy throughout the entire show and the crowd was more than receptive to show their pleasure between songs.

(Photo-Randy Cook)

Every song they performed was loud, powerful and aggressive music constructed around the mind-blowing vocal range of Tatiana. She can switch from the soft, sweet, seductiveness of her soul to the brutal, gut-wrenching screams that makes me wonder where she keeps this demon within when not on stage. I noticed it right off the first time I heard it this evening, her very soft, almost whisper quiet ‘thank you’ to us in the crowd after each song break and as the show progressed I moved around in the crowd and I heard several others mention and laugh about the same thing – how can this be the same person whose growls and screams just moments ago would have scared Satan out of Hell!

Their set list touched upon all four of their studio releases and the highlights for me included “Judgement (& Punishment)”, “Vortex”, “Mediator” and “Wallflower”. To me each of these songs are brilliant musically and the ones they did play that I was not familiar with, I soon will be! Accordingly during “Judgement (& Punishment)” the entire crowd joined in at the ‘Booyah!’ moment in the song.

(Photo-Randy Cook)

One thing that I noticed is how little chit-chat there was between songs. Sure, Tatiana acknowledged the crowd many times during the songs, but this is a no-nonsense, we came to rock the f*ck out with you guys and let’s get onto the next song kind of band. Sadly their performance came to a close and as the crowd and I were exiting the venue it was easy to see on people’s faces I do not think a single person left that show disappointed. I know I certainly did not. We metalheads sure did enjoy our treats and I for one already yearn for my next Jinjer show. \m/

(Photo-Randy Cook)

Jinjer’s set list:

Call Me a Symbol
On the Top
Pit of Consciousness
I Speak Astronomy
Judgement (& Punishment)
Sleep of the Righteous
Teacher, Teacher
As I Boil Ice


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