Sometimes you have a plan and things go beyond that. So when we planned to see the shows of Jinjer, The Agonist, Khroma and Space of Variations we never expected to be there three days in a row. But it gave us an opportunity to give an extended view on the tour. Thanks Napalm Records and Khroma for inviting us!
Space of Variations
The band that would open these nights is Space of Variations. They are from Ukraine and seem not to care to fit into one specific genre, picking a bit of whatever suits them. Metalcore with electronic elements. They have been around since 2015 and since then they have been actively releasing music and tour quite a bit.
Seeing them live these three dates we came to the conclusion that they like to start out somewhat timid. In the performance that is, the music is quite heavy from the start. The energy is there but sticking a bit further back it gives the audience the chance to ease into it.
Frontman Dima is going back and forth on the stage, drawing the most attention for the first part of the set but when the band comes toward to the end of the set it is guitarist Alex who makes his appearance. Not only with his riffs but also the vocals which are more clean. The audiences in all these three dates seem to fall for a song like “Perfect Enemy” in which the guys found a good balance of that. Certainly one of the songs that draws the band attention.
Closer of their set is “Fuck This Place Up” which seems the biggest hit in Amsterdam. A bit of moshing has started and it has a certain rage in it that gives the eager guys the attention of the audience.
The band announced an EP to be released in near future and a first music video has already appeared online. The band played the song also live as a teaser of what is ahead and in a way it seems that it concludes all we have seen of them. One final thing that came to notice. Regardless of the fact that we were really digging their music and shows… after day three we still didnt remember their name right away.
Our regular readers are familiar with Khroma for quite a bit by now, but for those who did not know them yet we can make an introduction. The band is from Finland and established in 2010, which you could find also on one of their tshirts at the merch. Musically they are in good line with Space of Variations but perhaps a bit more atmospheric with the electro elements creating a mystic sound. Quite recently the band released a new music video for the song “Kill The Friction” and the band is working on a new album expected to be released next year.
The song is also found in the setlist of this tour, but it starts with some older material. Funny to notice is that at all shows the music seem to lead to inner conflicts with the audience. It’s a tad bit different from the standard and you easily see people ponder… do they like this or not? It has the vehemence they like, the headbanging starts. A small moshpit even in Amsterdam and Eindhoven. Then we are breaking down with some electric elements and they are eagerly seeking what will be next, to be overthrown with a sea of heaviness.
Comparing it to earlier shows the band seem to have chosen an even harsher side of them where the new material connects with strongly. Take the song “The Push” for example. It enrages a wild energy upon the crowd. Amsterdam is digging it most. While we were quite upfront the people behind us could not stand their ground so safe to say that this is where their choice was made.
Every set is ended with “Machinal”, a song that has a slower start, but evolves into an intense message that one can feel themselves into. At the end of it is you are put back upon your feet gently, leaving you with an eagerness for more.
The Agonist has been founded in 2004, first with a different vocalist but since 2014 it is Vicky who fronts the band. This year the band released their second full length with her on vocalduties. The album is called “Orphans” and it is the star of their tour.
Opening their shows as well as their latest album is the track “In Vertigo”. It has the atmospheric sounds as well as a combination of harsh and cleaner vocals, in a balance that showcases Vicky’s capabilities well. Right from the start you know what you are up to. Yet, in the Amsterdam show it seems to not work right away. We wondered if she could hear herself well and that this was also noticed by other people in the venue is something we found out later. But seeing the show of Eindhoven where in general seem to be more people on hand of this band, the start of their performance was working out much better.
But although Vicky is quite the center of attention at first sight the band makes sure that the rest of them is getting their spotlights as well. A proper drumsolo is not something that we see too often but The Agonist incorporated it in their set and it becomes a thing. Drummer Simon sets it there well. Both guitarists seem to have a more calm approach on stage. Kicking here and there but leaving their impact mainly to be musically.
One of the other highlights of the band’s show is the track “Burn It All Down” which is at the end of their set. It is one of the most intense tracks that we have seen of them. There seem to be so much passion in that track. Even the cleaner parts are sung quite heartfelt. The band released an official video of it.
In a way the band is slightly different from the others, appealing to a crowd that has a bit more preference for the cleaner parts as it seems. Yet, the combination with Jinjer seem to be a good match anyway.
Jinjer is the headliner of this tour and with the release of their album “Macro” being still fresh the tour is giving a whole new list. That this band is going for world domination seems clear, you could not have missed them during the past festival season and for next year quite some are already announced. Perhaps they are one of the hardest working bands of this moment.
That the audience is not yet having enough is clear. Many of the dates on this tour are sold out and so are the three shows we were part of. The band is from Ukraine and founded in 2010. What comes to notice is that the band is in this tour really giving their focus on their most recent material. Not much of the older material sees light, but since the growth of this band has been going strongest in the last couple of years it does not seem that fans are yearning for some older songs to reminisce.
Starting the set with
“Teacher, Teacher” they are giving the audience a vehement start.
It is clear right away that the vocal range of Tatiana is far beyond
many others in the genre. She is also charismatic personality. Giving
a no-nonsense vibe she still lures people in.
On earlier shows this season I felt the rest of the band was left behind a bit, taking too few of a spotlight but here in these clubshows they seem to have a bit more balance into it. Having their basement climb onto things and capture his time as well. Still in a modest way, but brings a bit more balance to the performance which is pleasant to see.
Further into the set the band plays “Pit of Consciousness”, a song that stood out to us on the album in such a way that we were curious to see how it would do live. Well, the effect was not different than expected, an energetic response from the audience in all shows confirms that this surely is the crowdpleaser we expected it to be.
Looking at these shows it is clear that Jinjer’s hard work is paying off. The success they have does not seem to end. New shows are ahead for the festival season but first some shows outside of Europe will take place. Does this band ever sleep?