That a band like Jinjer would attract a lot of fans was almost predictable. After the tickets for the concert originally scheduled at KSET were sold out in record time, the gig was moved to a bigger venue. It’s not such a big surprise since almost all the shows have sold out on their headliner tour with The Agonist, Khroma and Space Of Variations. However the crowd was bigger than expected and the Tvornica kulture was bursting at the seams.
We also made a little trip to see one of the most hyped bands in Metal at the moment. I didn’t know what to expect because I became a reporter for this show accidentally and I didn’t have much time to prepare. It was actually the first time I went to a concert as a reporter. I wanted to make some company to my dear photographer Ivan and I decided to go as a reporter. I usually also take photos so this was a completely new experience for me and I was really excited about the whole thing. We took another friend with us and formed our little crew of the Zagreb roadtrip.
We went earlier to do some shopping because Ivan decided to premiere a new camera lens at the show. First we got stuck in traffic for a little because of the roadworks, then we went to the wrong street so we needed to make a whole circle around the place. We lost some time but everything was fine when Ivan finally bought the new lens and set the camera up to take some badass pics! Even enough time for beer, chill smoke some cigarettes and prepare for the concert.
The show was started at 8:00 pm by Ukrainian metalcore band Space Of Variations. I never heard of the band before even they were formed ten years ago. After a rocky start that put them in hiatus for two years, the band released just one studio album entitled “Mind Darknet”. They were voted as best metal band in their home country a few years back and they have the class to show why.
The Deathcore with electronic influences provided the good mood. The audience unfortunately wasn’t so interested in them but the band kept the amazing atmosphere they were giving. The guys really have an amazing energy and they tried to make the crowd a bit interested but it didn’t work out much. They played their most popular songs such as “Tibet”, “Fuck This Place Up” and “Razorblade”. Unfortunately the Ukrainians played a relatively short set but they made quite a show. I really liked their performance and songs, I would recommend them to anyone who loves metalcore. The guys are really worth of listening!
The Finnish electronic alternative metal band Khroma was the next. It is one of those bands that will provide you with an intense experience. There’s no slowing down of massive impact. They are quite a full force blend of nicely tight guitar work and sheer brutality.
When they came on the stage, I saw guitars, drums, bass and then I saw electro elements. I was a bit confused because I didn’t know what to expect from them. When they started to play the first song I was genuinely amazed. It’s a different sound for sure, bit how they all put together the electro and metal music it sounded truly amazing. I didn’t have words for a second to be honest. The Finns warm things up properly for the next two bands and no doubt gain a few new fans too. These guys really killed with their spooky electronic sounds and bone-smashing riffs and rhythms. I can’t wait to hear their upcoming studio album which will be released in spring 2020.
The turn came to the co-headliners The Agonist. The Canadians finally fought it out with themselves and especially with frontwoman Alissa White-Gluz. So after the lost label deal, a complete reinvention had to be made and they did a great job. Arch Enemy lost a lot of old fans with Alissa that The Agonist has gained since being backed up by powerful vocal abilities of the singer Vicky Psarakis. Both of them use growl and clean vocals, even though Vicky knows better how to use her voice and she actually sounds a lot better.
I didn’t expect that a woman will sing. In the moment I stood shook and amazed by her voice and look at the same time. The songs and the energy that they were bringing to the crowd it was truly amazing. Vicky nudged them to move throughout the hall so rows of horns flew towards the stage with the catalogue of songs from their sixth studio release “Orphans”. Benefitting from a great sound system they rip through a stunning set which is well received by the crowd. Guitarists Danny Marino and Pascal “Paco” Jobin with some world class riffs and the backing vocals of the bassist Chris Kells and drumming skills Simon Mckay made every song enjoyable.
It is not easy to deal with the success Jinjer have experienced. Not so long ago they drove the paths of the Balkans playing up the road of the underground. Now they have almost a venue much much bigger sold out completely. Three albums in and you get the feeling they’ve only just got out of first gear. The band hit the road heavily in support of the natural counterpoint “Macro”.
Three minutes before the start of the Jinjer’s show there was a countdown on the screen. After those three minutes Jinjer came to the stage, first two minutes of the song, or even less the mic wasn’t working so I didn’t hear anything by the singer Tatiana Shmailyuk. Even when the techniques were fixed, they weren’t so energetic as the other bands and to be honest I was a little bit disappointed. The best part was led pattern behind the drummer because of the effects. I really expected a bit more from the finest Ukrainan outfit but they proved that the whole thing was just a big hype.
In the end they said that was their first show in Croatia but actually it was the third. They played Osijek show in 2016 and headlined the first edition of GoatHell Metal Fest in Pula but they were clearly dissatisfied with the response of the audience so they suppressed that fact. It was still better than what Dave Mustaine said after Metal Fest in Zadar, when he dubbed Czech (?!) fans the worst ever. I guess this is why metal bands have their logistics done by someone else, someone who knows a fair bit of geography.
Although beer was better than a headliner, this trip wasn’t a complete waste of time. I went home richer for The Agonist’s discography as well as Ivan for a new lens.