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Jenner > Prove Them Wrong > Reviews > natrix
Jenner - Prove Them Wrong


natrix, February 10th, 2024

Seven years have passed from when To Live is to Suffer was released, and only Alexandra Stamenković remains of the original line up. Their debut album was tightly played thrash with some added power metal touches for epicness, which is right up my alley, but for whatever reason I wasn't quite ready for them to really blow it out of the water on their sophomore album. I ended up listening to this one for the majority of a long car journey, and chalked up yet another solid entry to the Serbian metal scene.

First off, you can really hear where those seven years paid off in the songwriting department. Each song seems perfectly crafted with just enough twists and turns, be it clever key changes or adding in an unexpected section. There's a great melange of styles, predominately the best thrash with that added epic power metal feel, and but this time there are a few more ingredients.

If I had to make comparisons, I'm talking prime Megadeth, Judas Priest's Painkiller, and a little sprinkling of Possessed riffage. There's even a few chugging/groovy sections that recall perhaps some Arise-era Sepultura and maybe even Power Metal/Cowboys from Hell-era Pantera, most notably on "Not Even You," but never used in excess. The precision of Jenner becomes readily apparent when the power trio locks into tight grooves, galloping sprints, or tornadoes of thrash shrapnel.

Alexandra's vocals have improved by leaps and bounds. On To Live is to Suffer she vocally sometimes sounded a bit nice, or at least more like a power metal vocalist. On Prove them Wrong she actually sounds a bit like a lioness, not in a death metal way, but more in a way that she is going to claw the shit out of your pathetic face. Just listen to that performance on album opener, "No Time for Prayer." Have you ever been slapped by a 25+ pound house cat? It fucking hurts. She's a lioness, or at least a bobcat, so yeah, she's wild, and she's going to do some major damage. I'd place her in the A league of metal frontwomen, alongside Nicole Lee (Znowhite) and Dawn Crosby. Yes, she can still provide a few choice melodic wails that are part-Halford/part-Araya and there are a very good number of catchy choruses and melodic passages (see album highlights "Born for Something More" and "I Saw it All Clear" for vocal as well as musical melody, the latter of which especially excels), but it's that snarl that gives the album the added aggression that a good number of "melodic" albums sorely lack.

Alexandra steals the spotlight on guitar as well with the array of razor sharp riffing at her disposal. She reminds me of Dave Mustaine or a thashier Jon Nodtveidt for the sheer volume of techniques she brings to the table and executes with mastery. Thrash is all about the riffs, and they're everywhere on Prove them Wrong. And solos, both beautiful and wild. Oh, and remember the Possessed type riffing? "Never Say Die" has some of those...and let's not forget that the first two songs are an absolute slaughterhouse before they give you anything resembling a breather. There's certainly a good amount of praise for drummer Selena Simić and bassist Anja Mirković who lay down a rock solid foundation. Their instruments are well mixed with the drums nice and loud and the bass audible, which gives it the feeling of a brick wall slamming into you. I want the rthym section to sound like they are beating the mortal shit out of me with their instruments so I'm relieved that the the sharp edges are still there. I hate it when I can't hear the cymbals or bass--it just takes all the fun and violence out of good metal, like shooting blanks or lip syncing at karaoke, so luckily this album avoids that tendency. Though their debut was no slouch in the great performances, the Jenner of today feels like a veritable thrash power trio.

The production is flawless--modern enough, but with a more traditional thrash mix. Luka Matković's mix sounds super professional, no doubt since he's got quite an impressive resume. I would be really bummed if it just turns out they had some great producer, but it appears Jenner produced it themselves and it stands as testament to their consummate professionalism. I've got high hopes for their third album, and am curious how they'll improve even more. Prove them Wrong is a really, really good album if you like thrash, traditional, or power metal--I don't think you'll find anything to dislike.