Label: Suspicious Activities PR
Genre: atmospheric black metal
Release Date: October 29th 2013
With Grief, Tim Yatras has released his second album with his solo project Germ. Tim has served many years in the melancholic rock and black metal scene, playing in Austere, Grey Waters, Nazxul and Woods of Desolation – to name a few. In 2012, he started his solo project Germ, with the album Wish and subsequent EP Loss.
While Germ is usually classified as black metal, this music takes us one step further. I thought I had heard it all for 2013 in terms of black metal, but Germ truly came as an unexpected surprise.
The guitars on Grief take a more prominent role than in the previous releases of Germ, and the reference to Tim's black metal roots are clearer than ever, but still this music cannot and should not be simply classified as black metal. Even post black metal does not cover the contents. Germ is groovy and depressing rock music at the same time, floating from metal to rock and back, and with 80s-like synths in the back. The guitars mostly take the front position in the mix, and the vocals are subdued cries of despair. While I usually consider black metal vocals as utterly boring, I was completely captivated by Tim's combination of howling full of emotion, and his clean poppy voice.
One of the pleasant surprises on Grief is the guest appearance of Audrey Sylvain (Amesoeurs, Peste Noire) on two tracks of the album. Her beautiful and frail voice over the tremor of the guitars almost makes a reference to gothic metal. Almost, but not quite like it.
Suspicious Records describes the album as follows: “At 13 tracks and over 69 minutes long, Grief is another journey into Tim’s twisted mind, and definitely one not to be missed.” The album is a journey indeed, and it is so packed with emotion that I got almost thrown off balance by this album.
Considering the emotional load of this album, Grief reminds me in content (not necessarily in sound) to Anathema and Opeth (but with more black metal references), and very much to De Arma.
You might be confused at my describing Grief by Germ as a combination of 80s pop, black metal and depressive rock. If you're ready for a burst of emotion swelling in your chest, check out this album (you can thank me later).
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