Towards the end of 2020, Ukrainian metal outfit JINJER unleashed a new monster single from their latest album, “Macro.” The single in question is “Home Back” and the accompanying video is visually gripping, to say the least. No wonder it has garnered over 1 million views on YouTube in just a couple of months.
Whoever has listened to such singles as “Pisces,” “Pit of Consciousness,” or “Perennial” knows what to expect from JINJER – killer bass lines, subtle but powerful drumming, groovy guitar melodies, and of course Tatiana Shmailyuk’s signature growls and superb clean singing. And that’s pretty much what you get with “Home Back,” as it starts with distorted bass melodies which are quickly joined by angry screamed vocals. “Angry” is a good adjective to describe not just the mood of the song, but also the lyrics as, at its core, this song is a political anti-war anthem.
What I personally find fascinating about this song is how the lyrics are written, as if the horrors of war are seen through the eyes of children who innocently ask if what they are witnessing is something magical and beautiful, like fireworks or mermaids singing or angels. The juxtaposition with reality is sobering and the video captures this contrast superbly [“Is it an angel watching over us? / It’s an air-fighter making a fuss”]. Half-way through, the song gives way to a jazzy part where the antithesis of everyday life and the harsh truth of battle is developed further – “Morning greetings of a rooster are replaced / With fire in a hole.”
The disintegration of normalcy is evident as the song progresses with Tatiana Shmailyuk shouting firmly that “This house is not our shelter anymore,” supported by a fierce bass line and furious guitars. The final part of the song accents the idea that home is a place for memories and prosperity, but since war demolished buildings, it leaves people homeless. The final lyrics are a disguised plea for peace and sanctuary as Tatiana Shmailyuk growls that “I came back home so I want my home back / Don’t you leave us homeless!” The visuals of the crumbling house are even more meaningful in this context
Chilling and meaningful song about what it is still a day-to-day reality for many people, “Home Back” is inspired by JINJER’s hometown region of Donetsk, Ukraine, and the armed conflicts that happened there. In many ways, this song and video put things into perspective as we get to see the true price of war and makes us wonder if it is all worth it in the end, not just for the soldier following orders, but also for the random citizens who lose their homes in the process. I’m inclined to say “no,” but the lords of war would surely disagree with me as there is profit in chaos.
Tatiana Shmailyuk – vocals
Roman Ibramkhalilov – guitars
Eugene Abdukhanov – bass
Vladislav Ulasevich – drums