Much heavier than his past outing Wish, this new album sees Tim Yatras going back to his old days in Austere, but with more of the experimentation offered from a Germ release. As such, we have the floating of keyboards (“The Stain Of Past Regrets”), the humming of electronics (“Departures”), the inclusion of dance grooves (“An End”), and several experiments in musical atmosphere which are too numerous to name. At a certain point in the album, the whole thing starts to envelop into one large and melancholic, yet beautiful atmosphere (“I Can See It In The Stars”) that seems to be too wondrous for words. Whether you like Tim’s shriek-laden vocal approach or not, it’s still going to be very difficult to discredit the musical matter on this album. The appearance of choirs and a female vocalist in Audrey Sylvain (Pestre Noire, Amesoeuers) help this album to digest easier on those who might consider it a bit too much, but there’s no doubting that Germ’s works are anything, if not ambitious.
If nothing else, consider Germ’s work more of a state of being and you’ll absorb it much more than you would a normal record. It is true that some might be thinking “why is that guy screaming in the middle of this song, it’s very annoying” and I cannot blame them there. Some of these tracks do not need vocals at all. They stand alone by themselves. I wouldn’t even put vocals on them if given the chance. Grief is something that must be felt to be understood, whatever kind of art-jabber-nonsense you want to consider that statement. It’s definitely not for everyone and I believe that my score might rank quite a few points lower with other people. But as for me, I enjoyed this album much more than I did Wish and that’s saying something, as I was one of the reviewers who tore Wish apart. If you’re in the mood for something much different than what’s on everyone else’s playlist or is spinning inside everyone else’s stereo, then definitely get ahold of Grief because it’s just the sort of unhinged cocktail that you’ve been waiting all year for. Manic depressives need apply. (Eric May)