As 2020 draws to a close, many people have reflected on what has been sacrificed in order to maintain people’s health. Whilst the list is extensive, the most common losses are linked to the entertainment industry. With many mourning the loss of live music, Jinjer has taken it upon themselves to attempt to remind us of what we have missed this year and to reassure us that it will return by releasing a live recording of their last show on March 5th, 2020, just before the majority of the planet went into lockdown.
Jinjer presents: Alive in Melbourne. Now, before we continue, I must highlight that I am not a fan of live albums! I love being in attendance at a live show, where all my senses are on fire due to the atmosphere, but placing that into an audio-only experience just doesn’t cut it for me. I yearn to be present at the show where the tunes were recorded. That said, I have discovered a new appreciation for live albums thanks to COVID-19.
Given my feelings outlined above on live albums, I am going to treat this review as if I was in attendance at this show, which does mean I will be engaging a little imagination as to how the show may have been if I was in the audience (although the full set is included above). The intro is almost orchestral in nature, with gothic undertones as the audience cheer Jinjer to the stage before they move into the crowd-pleasing “Teacher, Teacher.” The brutality of the track is complimented by Tatiana Shmailyuk’s incredible ability to move between clean vocals that demonstrate her talents as a singer to roars that would make even the heaviest death metal band shudder! As the tune comes to a close the audience responds with thunderous applause; it’s like they know this would be their last gig for the foreseeable future.
The set is chock full of some of the band’s best, including the technical masterpiece that is “Ape,” the headbang enticing “I Speak Astronomy,” and the astonishingly grove-filled crowd-pleaser that is “Perennial.” It would be easy to give credit solely to Shmailyuk, given that her incredible vocal cords make up the very heart and soul of Jinjer, but without the technical genius of guitarist Roman Ibramkhalilov, the thundering bass lines from Eugene Abdukhanov, and Vladislav Ulasevich controlling the tempo of each tune through his exceptional drumming, that heart and soul would be wondering the planet without a body! If you have missed live music as I have, I would strongly recommend turning the volume up to 11 and ensuring your neighbours start thumping on the wall, trust me, it will add an extra dimension to the live experience we are all craving!
The set played in Melbourne on March 5th, 2020, was a collection of Jinjer’s very best and it emphasizes my disappointment that 2020 robbed me of finally witnessing this incredible band live. Alas, live music will return bigger, badder, and more brutal, so keep the faith and I’ll see you in the mosh pits in 2021!
Alive in Melbourne Track Listing:
1. Intro (Live)
2. Teacher, Teacher (Live)
3. Sit Stay Roll Over (Live)
4. Ape (Live)
5. Judgement (& Punishment) (Live)
6. I Speak Astronomy (Live)
7. Who is Gonna Be the One (Live)
8. Noah (Live)
9. Retrospection (Live)
10. Perennial (Live)
11. On the Top (Live)
12. Pit of Consciousness (Live)
13. Home Back (Live)
14. Words of Wisdom (Live)
15. Pisces (Live)
16. Captain Clock (Live)
17. Outro (Live)
Run Time: 1:19:09
Release Date: November 20, 2020
Record label: Napalm Records