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Jinjer's Roman Ibramkhalilov: "I almost feel sorry for anyone who comes out to our shows, because we are going to smash them"

Jinjer
(Image credit: Oleg Rooz)

Ukranian prog-metalcore foursome Jinjer named their new album Wallflowers, but be warned – the music gathered on it is hardly of the shrinking-violet sort. Rather, explains guitarist Roman Ibramkhalilov of the title, “A wallflower hangs on the wall and is most times overlooked, but it sees everything – the good and the bad in people, and in real life.”

True to that all-encompassing view, the music on Wallflowers, the band’s fifth full-length overall, is some of their most varied – and devastatingly heavy – to date, from the detuned, nu-metal-esque mudslide riffing of opener Call Me a Symbol, to the mellow and moody clean tones of Vortex, the rag-ing, blastbeat-powered rhythms and jazzy excursions of Mediator to the atmospheric tones and textures of the title track.

“We all love both death metal parts with blastbeats, but also the lighter parts,” Ibramkhalilov says about Jinjer’s approach. That said, he adds, “I do think having more time to focus on songwriting led to some of the heaviness on this album.”

Indeed, like many bands, Jinjer, which also includes singer Tatiana Shmailyuk, bassist Eugene Abdukhanov and drummer Vladislav Ulasevich, found themselves grounded this past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which left them with plenty of time to work on new music. 

Whereas the band’s previous full-length, 2019’s Macro, was “written and recorded in three months,” Ibramkhalilov says, “the pandemic helped us, since we had a lot of time for writing and recording. And we did use all our free time to work on Wallflowers – we wanted to make it the best work we’ve ever done. As for the recording sessions, we wanted to get the most ‘live’ sound, but at the same time most powerful sound possible. And I think we got it.”

When it came to those recording sessions, Ibramkhalilov, who employed an OD Venus guitar through a Fender Super-Sonic 100 amp for the sessions, says he had to evolve his approach in the studio given that “most of the songs were written by our drummer, Vlad. So I had to work on them because the playing style and technique in his parts are very different from mine.” 

Even so, he adds, “I already have ideas for future songs. That’s the thing with too much time… I am exploding with new ideas already.”

Until then, Jinjer are preparing to hit stages once again, with a U.S. jaunt along-side Suicide Silence scheduled for October. “I can’t wait for this tour,” Ibramkhalilov says. “After such a long time sitting on our asses, we have so much energy now and just want to move again. I almost feel sorry for anyone who comes out to the shows, because we are going to smash them.”

Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.