The Test Of Time
Review by Chris Pratl on March 23, 2020.
Jenner is Serbia's speedy thrash metal trio that issues its first EP and second official release aptly named The Test of Time. This is actually my first exposure to the band, despite having seen the name bandied about in various forums or social media platforms. It seems I should have paid a bit closer attention to these ladies early on it, because while I'm always a proponent of the “thrash-is-over” sector, occasionally ab and comes and kicks open a door or three. Jenner did that to a solid degree.
First, the production is very full and heavy in all the right spots, which, as a child of the 80's, is about as foreign to me as speaking Swahili in a Mexican restaurant. As production values grew stronger over the years, the true power of thrash and speed metal could be heard with all of the ferocity that it was originally supposed to be heard all along. I do enjoy the ripe, heavy-mix sound Jenner captured here; the bass is nestled nicely in the songs, the guitars are crisp without overstating their presence, and the vocals crest effortlessly over the mix. A winner there, for sure.
Now, the songs...this is thrash with speed elements abound. What I find overly tangible are the galloping riffs, a veritable necessity for thrash metal to be in any way effective. The blueprint of forming a 'wave-riff,' or main riff, to set the pace is well done in each of the songs, but particularly in the second track, 'Test of Time', a true banger if ever there was one. The speed and pacing is genuine and interesting throughout and I couldn't help but dig what I was hearing, even if I've heard the style so much over the last 35-years I'm practically able to dissect it in my sleep. The familiar sonic nuances that make up the core of thrash metal are also found scattered within, by way of riding, galloping verse riffs and chugging bridge cascades (as there's really no avoiding the need for them); but as with any genre, it takes a special band or artist to take an old dog and teach it some new tricks. Jenner manages it pretty damn well.
Guitarist Aleksandra Stamenković has taken over the vocal duties, and she manages to pull it off nicely, shifting between a turbulent growl and a clean, flowing tone so evenly that the seams never show. Her vocal style fits this type of thrash perfectly, and she never comes across like she's trying to embellish or over-compensate, which is always welcome in this house. The right amount of weighty powerhouse delivery whets the palate so well here.
My first foray into these ladies won't be my last; overall, a very palpable slab of speed / thrash that will no doubt lull the masses accordingly.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10563