Germ - Wish
Germ is the name of the one-man project of a man known as Tim, who has spent time in notable metal acts such as Austere, Grey Waters and Nazgul. Tim has been kicking this project around off and on for nearly 10 years and, just this year, releases Germ's debut album, Wish. The press release goes to great lengths to detail a fusion of Tim's somewhat polarizing musical inspirations, namely his love for black metal and for electronic pop. Add to that formula a heavy dose of psychadelic, out-of-body atmosphere, an narrative-based, trance-inducing songwriting, and Wish turns out to be more of a cosmic acid trip than a standard collection of tunes.
Opening with the 10-minute epic "An Overdose On Cosmic Galaxy", the plush, ethereal synths merge into a steady, riff-centric groove that slowly builds but never truly hits a crescendo. It could be easily described as one long trip to a planetarium, but that would somehow be a disservice; the atmosphere and energy is truly off the charts and takes up the entire 10 minutes with ease. Tim's vocals are a mix of slightly off-putting but fitting clean singing and a high-pitched, demonic shriek that sends shivers up the spine. This vocal duality is certainly a key aspect in keeping the entire album fresh as it moves along. The real problem with Wish is how formulated it is; songs often take the same shoegazey course with only slight variations in the symphonic/synthetic regions of the sound. Several brief, electronic interludes break up the monotony somewhat, but often feel like incomplete ideas forced into the mix simply for the sake of variety. Beyond the memorable intro track, "Breathe In The Sulfur / A Light Meteor Shower" and the beautiful and haunting "Your Smile Mirrors The Sun" just about warrant the entire album's price tag themselves.
Germ seems to have built a template for cosmic black rock/metal with Wish, an album that defies genre classification but can easily be deconstructed to it's base influences. The TIYL names to the right of this review may sound absolutely bizarre next to one another, but I assure you all of them are found in Germ's cacophony of astral symphonies. Wish was just a couple of steps away from something truly impacting, but has enough in it's ranks to impress those star-gazing metalheads looking for an accompaniment for psychotropic drugs. This is where, I can only imagine, Germ shines brightest.
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