Back in March, Ukrainian modern metal juggernauts Jinjer were poised to unleash the shit-kicking fury of the critically acclaimed album Macro upon the world via a global tour starting in Australia. Unbeknownst to the four-piece, their aim to take the world by storm would be cruelly blighted after a mere handful of dates by the now raging COVID-19 pandemic, which makes Alive In Melbourne not only an historical event in the band’s career, but also one of the final metal shows of the year.
Filmed at Max Watt’s House Of Music, this release is the audio output of its previously livestreamed format. Faultless on ferocious opener Teacher, Teacher! and Sit Stay Roll Over, vocalist Tatiana Shmailyuk shines like the proverbial diamond, her enthralling cleans conveying emotion and range while a plethora of unnerving whispers instil a sense of menace as the tempo quickly shifts making way for some groove-laden riffery. It’s a joy to hear the experimental thump of Judgement (& Punishment) offset that coarse-throated rapacity, as its subtle blending of reggae elements sits alongside djent and metalcore-hued verses for a brief sonic detour from the fervent belligerence. The explosive back-to-back brace of On The Top and Pit Of Consciousness goes directly for the jugular, delivered at breakneck speed with zero regard for musical boundaries, before the technical precision of Home Back grips anyone listening like a vice.
The setlist comes largely from Jinjer’s latest and arguably best album to date, but there are sufficient older cuts thrown in too, including the prog-tinged atmospherics of Pisces, which comes complete with a spinetingling crowd singalong, and Captain Clock’s defiant bludgeoning. Alive… provides an eclectic and exhilarating escape from show-less life in 2020.