The Germ project has been in some form or another for quite some time yet the first record (Wish) from this Tim Yatras production only saw the light of day this year. It’s surprising then, that an EP should follow Wish quite so quickly, yet here we are with the melancholic yet strangely uplifting sounds of Loss on our hands.
Loss continues in the footsteps of Wish, in that it somehow mixes black metal with tranced out, blissful dance beats. It shouldn’t work, it makes no sense, but Yatras is some kind of evil genius and Loss weaves its magic around fiery rave-like processes and unholy screams. Tim Yatras has had a hand in some of the most magnificent Australian black metal that ever was – Austere, Woods of Desolation and Grey Waters to name but a few – and his style is unmistakably a part of Germ.
Germ turns the black metal blueprint completely on its head here, and the addition of punchy beats only adds to the curious, otherworldly essence of Loss and its sadness. Electronic pulses of light push through the otherwise head-spinning intensity of the darker side of Yatras’ musical landscape and the leading track “My Only Hope” features the pure and clean vocal style that made such a generous appearance on Wish. Here on Loss that vocal is utilised along with the devastating and instantly recognisable scream of Yatras along with a sweetly slow build up towards the break of synthesised song structures and succinctly soaring guitar riffs.
Songs flow between the two base elements and intoxicate with their ingenuity and freshness. This is a new approach to a genre that has seen a massive shift in style in recent times and black metal has never sounded so full of purpose whilst not adhering to the framework laid down so many years ago by the greats. “So Lonely, Dead Lonely” is a forceful piece that imbues it’s unrelenting drum beats with powerful choral arrangements and a deep sense of gloom. Loss is beautiful in it’s morose sensibilities yet is filled with a sublime hope. Lovely.
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