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Germ: Loss

Listening to this release was like hearing two songs at the same time, both being played poorly. The tracks are all a strange and uninteresting amalgam of various musical styles, none of which work very well. For those unfamiliar with Germ, they began as a solo project by Tim, a member of the band Austere. The project was meant to combine music from styles as diverse as black metal, classical, pop, and electronic music. I can imagine that such an eclectic range of styles and approaches would sound interesting in conversation, could even be made to work under the right circumstances, but the result here is something that I found difficult to enjoy.

My two biggest complaints with this release are the sound of the vocals and the sound of the synthesizers. The vocals, at times, are nothing more than screams or cries that I think are meant to convey some kind of mood. The problem, though, is that they are juxtaposed with some pretty mellow sounds, including a fairly open-sounding strumming guitar. On other tracks, the vocals are cleaner, more conventional and sound even more out of place. As I listened, I couldn't help but ask just what kind of album this is. I realize that there are too many labels and genres and that some musicians just shouldn't be classified. What happens, though, when the failure to classify comes from an unsuccessful attempt to be new and different?

The keyboard parts, the other sore spot for me, sound equally out of place, almost as if they were taken from outtakes from bad 80s albums. Check out, for example, "Cold Grey Dawn (A New Beginning)" to see what I mean. Are these parts meant to be taken so seriously, especially when played alongside that incessant screaming?

I'm sure some listeners will really like this album and will feel disappointed with my one-sided complaining. I can live with that. When I write reviews, I always keep in mind a young man or woman with just enough money to buy one new release. Would this person be happy with this album, purchased, as it was, with hard-earned money? To that question, I can only say "no."

Track Listing:
1. My Only Hope
2. So Lonely, Dead Lonely
3. Only When Every Timepiece in the World is Smashed Part 1
4. Only When Every Timepiece in the World is Smashed Part 2
5. Cold Grey Dawn (A New Beginning)
6. Loss/Acquiescence

Added: November 24th 2012
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1843
Language: english

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