Review: Germ – Grief

Overall Impression


Musical Quality


Total Score


Release Date

4 November 2013



Posted November 21, 2021 by

The Review

What’s going on with the Australian metal scene, really? There’s only thirteen reviews posted on this site so far and three of them involve Australian bands. Back in the 90s there was an accumulation of Norwegian Black Metal bands, you know, and thanks to their unique styles you’d recognize most of those bands. Along with some French, Australians seem to be standing out for their work since the 2010s, apparently. There should be some sociological reasons for this and I don’t really know what they would be. They come up with legit authenticity when it comes to metal songs. Ultimately, this is good news for dark music lovers like us.

This band Germ, yet another Australian band, is a one man project by a real talented musician named Tim Yatras. So far they’ve released three full length albums, and in this review I am willing to talk about their second one called “Grief”. I must, however, indicate that this review will involve a lot of personal reflections, some of which are irrelevant to the album itself.

Overall, the album is a very promising one for their prospective ones. It has a lot of uniqueness within and there is especially one song that deserves a lot of credit, which I will mention as we go through this journey.

The album begins with an ambient intro, and there are similarly short, intrumental, ambient/electronic interludes (or rather transitional songs) sprankled among some tracks with lyrics. To be honest, they do reflect the atmospheric mood of the album, but I would not see it as a missed opportunity if they did not contribute to its entirety at all.

However, there are songs that deserve attention and are underrated! Followed by the intro comes the album hit named “Butterfly”. Up-tempo riffs and beutifully woven lyrical passages are just so dreamlike. Of course, for this track, one should begin with giving credit to the contribution of Audrey Sylvain, the singer of the split-up and similarly shoegazing band Amesoeurs. She does not have a voice that would be rated among the (so-called) best, but she definitely has something rebelliously attractive about it. She loads the songs with full emotional stress and her tone is creepily beautiful and soul-touching. Accompanied by some deliberately distorted and emotional howls and screams featured by Yatras, the song becomes an ingeniously constructed, shoegazingly beautiful and authentically captivating piece of melancholia. It gives, indeed, so much goosebumps. Yet, if your “normal” friends hear such howls and cries, they would probably rethink their relationship with you or avoid you eternally.

As the album flows, we get to see some more catchy songs like “The Stain of Past Regrets”, which offers some hypnotic drums and nice clean vocals followed by a guitar solo. The song called “Blue as the Sky, Powerful as the Waves” seems special as well. It is an atmospheric song with harsh and mellow guitar passages which give the visual impression of staring at a mesmerizing horizon at dusk, melodiously. Another song that’s worth to mention is “How Can I?”, a song with clean vocals and keyboard passages. This track is kind of soothing, and is a decent composition for contemplation. “It’s Over”, on the other hand, has some nice drums and delirious screams in it. Before I move on to my favorite track, I must mention the beautifully crafted mellow-guitar-loops in the song named “Withering in Hell”, as well.

And here comes the song which could make it to my beloved playlist right off the bat, as soon as I heard it: “I Can See it in the Stars”. This is, for me, a piece of literature with its composition, melody and mood. It overloads you with a lot of emotions at once: love, grief, helplessness, heartache and joy. I find it very difficult to define the archaic Baudelairesque mode that is described as “spleen”, but I guess this song is one of the mediums that evokes such a feeling (or the one that is the most closely approximated to it). That being said, this is definitely an emotional song that triggers memories and desires within, despite having very limited lyrical contribution. Yet the lyrics might not be poetic enough for a mediocre literature reader, but the text alone does not necessarily matter when musical notes themselves appeal to our senses artistically in some other way. Nonetheless, I do find it pretty agonizing when the singer asks certain short and direct questions such as “are you?” and “will you?”. The sense of hearing and perceiving the emotions through the auditory, turning the notes into the nerves of the electrical and feeling the pleasure of its triggered sensations is indeed priceless. Whenever I listen to this song in a calm mood, my feelings takeover my vision and thoughts, taking me to a roomless realm of desires. I close my eyes, and automatically visualize her exquisite, carefully-sketched face in my mind, causing me to feel butterflies in my stomach. If I hadn’t seen her in reality, I knew I would doubt that light could paint such a gracious painting (it’s light’s fault, not mine). I, then, reluctantly remember the first time I heard her voice reaching out to me, and witnessing the light filtering through the pupils of her radiant eyes. Can’t help but visualize her fragile stare, velvetlike gestures as beautiful as autumn, and delicate movements of her hands (with red-white colored nails) holding a cigarette. At this point, the song offers the most colorful fluid cotton melodies by dint of its nature, helping me to come up with further vision of her, leaving me paralyzed, astounded and nearly helpless of this paragon of beauty. Then the song asks questions and changes its mood, and I realize that I need to be limited, as I am destined to be delusional and self-trapped. The song slowly ends, reminding me to get back to reality. When it finally stops, I hear my uncoordinated breating louder than the silence. Words fail. Melpomene falls off the cliff of desires. Eventually I realize that sometimes, the greatest distance becomes not the light years, not the kilometers, but the distance between two people. This is how I digest this song nowadays 🙂

So, excuse the tedious drudgery at the end, and just enjoy the music Germ offers.




Be the first to comment!

You must log in to post a comment