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Germ: Wish

Electronica and black metal. If ever there were two genres that were disparate, it is they. But they have much in common, or at least Tim Yatras, the sole member of Australia's Germ, thinks so. Wish is as trippy as trance and as dark as black metal in equal measure and on first plays, the listening experience is one of unending wonder as an array of surprises reveal themselves. There are pop elements juxtaposed with the most agonised of torturous screams, and the most majestic, even cosmic vocals are meshed with rabid and pummelling rhythms. Yet the blend of the dark and the light is only partially successful. For one, Tim's voice – particularly the clean parts – is the album's Achilles' heel. Another vocalist, maybe female, would've served the tracks better. The synths are atmospheric but the trance elements become annoying as they appear time and again throughout Wish, their optimistic sound becoming increasingly glib to the point of tedium. But the attempt at fusion between extreme styles does have more than its fair share of impressive moments. 'Flowers Bloom And Flowers Fall, But I'm Still Waiting' is one of the better tracks here, the lead work sitting well over the multi-layered rhythms and sounds, the harmonies in the vocals and the synth melodies are outstanding. But when you've heard this song, you've heard the rest of them as they follow a similar structure and are dynamically the same.

The album seems to work best when the two genres are more clearly separated. 'Oxygen', 'Gravity', 'Infinity' and the title track are brief, ambient interludes that are atmospheric and, considering the myriad sonic swirls that descend upon the listener, seem to take their inspiration from Vangelis (particularly the BladeRunner soundtrack). In fact, these four tracks would make a good EP of their own. Yet, curiously, the album sounds dated. As an experiment in hybridity, Wish is futuristic but in that clichéd, retro sense and so fails to achieve what it may have done twenty years ago. It's neither trance nor is it metal, and neither is it innovative, original, or as successful as it could've been.

Track Listing:

  1. An Overdose On Cosmic Galaxy
  2. Asteroid Of Sorrow
  3. Oxygen
  4. Breathe In The Sulphur – A Light Meteor Shower
  5. Gravity
  6. Flowers Bloom And Flowers Fall, But I'm Still Waiting For The Spring
  7. Infinity
  8. Your Smile Mirrors The Sun
  9. Wish

Added: March 17th 2012
Reviewer: Jason Guest
Related Link: Germ on Facebook
Hits: 2341
Language: english

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