By: Photojournalist Raul Toro
In the United States COVID had all but halted the music scenes. Headliner Jinjer pre-covid was on the cusp of explosion in terms of popularity and thankfully it seems like the wait during COVID only made their explosive return even bigger. In front of a packed house in Saint Petersburg, Florida, Jinjer and special guests Suicide Silence and All Hail The Yeti kick down the doors of Jannus Live and brought back headbanging metal to the Tampa Bay Area.
It was a semi-chilli night in Florida, but it’s all warmly welcomed after being deprived of large metal shows for the last 18 months. It still feels surreal to feel the wall of metal riffs and bass with someone you don’t know next to you. The headbanging faithful and ravenous crowd would provide enough heat for the entire night.
First up was All Hail the Yeti, hailing from Los Angeles, with their heavy metal laced with groovy riffs. Fans will find their stage props geniusly and organically and seamlessly embedded hiding their equipment and providing a pleasing visualization to the contrasting aggressive and hard hitting beats of their metal symphony. They performed some old goodies, along with new tracks. They even did their rendition of “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead”. All Hail the Yeti is Connor Garritty (vocals), Nicholas Diltz (bass/vocals), Dave Vanderlinde (guitars), and Ryan’ Junior’ Kittlitz (drums).
The room was buzzing after All Hail the Yeti’s electric set. The night wasn’t close to over yet, though. This lineup was one of those fantastic combos that equals pure perfection. The lights dim to blackness, all you hear is the cheers of the crowd. Then the guitars and bass hit. Suicide Silence came out energy ablaze and kept it going their entire set. Playing a mix of older hits as well as stuff off their last album and this band was firing on all cylinders. Suicide Silence’s front man Eddie Hermida addressed the crowd that it had been too long. They were all healed up and nobody should move until they told them to move. Then Hermida went right into his dark deep aggressive vocals and then drew on the crowd’s energy and the head banging and hair started flying around. At one point you could hear a hint of Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee– Metal Style. The crowd was treated to a special song “Dying Life”, which was written during the pandemic and was played for the Saint Petersburg crowd ahead of its official release. Suicide Silence is Eddie Hermida (vocals), Chris Garza (guitar), Mark Heylmun (guitar), Dan Kenny (bass), and Alex Lopez (drums).
Closing out the night was the eagerly anticipated band, JINJER. Jinjer live is everything you would expect—loud, aggressive, powerful music built by the perfectly boundless vocal range of Tatiana Shmalyuk that spans from soulful and gentle to intense and brutal. She both commands the stage while also never making it all about herself in a way many could learn from. With an incredible diverse vocal range Tatiana will easily be one of the voices of the genre for a long time to come. Adding to the vocals is immaculate and technical guitars of Roman Ibramkhalilov, the monstrous bass of Eugene Ulasevich, and the complex rhythms of Vladislav Ulasevich on drums. The stage had a build of large LED panels that created an ambiance with multiple lighting patterns and colors that are hypnotizing with the songs, but that didn’t stop the movement and excitement of the fans. Jinjer puts on a complete set of songs that perfectly portrays who they are, With their brand of metalcore infused progressive metal the band ripped through song after song with ease mixing technicality and brutality in one. They really differentiate themselves from the mainstream. It’s clear as day the band is set for massive success and growth and for fans in attendance they got to witness what just might be an intimate show the band won’t have for some time.
All the bands on this tour package are no strangers to the festival circuit worldwide, and it’s easy to see why Jinjer, Suicide Silence, and All Hail the Yeti are always a crowd favorite. The Coming to America tour is one that You don’t want to miss. This heavy metal tour that brings the noise and energy we’ve all craved.