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Germ – Escape album review

Influential post-black metallers Gern deepen their gloom with new album

Tim Yatras is a veteran of the black metal scene with time spent in some of Australia’s most well-known projects: Austere, Woods Of Desolation and Grey Waters to name only a few.

Germ’s 2012 debut Wish, released nine years after they formed, incorporated trance-like beats to permeate the walls of guitar. As the project has grown and Yatras has found his way through the music, those elements now complement the darkness even more.

Escape is, at its core, a depressive black metal record, but the small rays of light that shine through lift it into otherworldly stratospheres. The Old Dead Tree moves in gorgeous guitars and harsh, cold vocals with Yatras creating a palette of desolate grey while building layers of keyboards to infuse the atmosphere with oppressive sadness. With The Death Of A Blossoming Flower bursts with symphonic melody and Closer ends the album on exquisite pain. Escape is Germ’s strongest work to date, as well as the most sorrowful, speaking of crawling out of the abyss and leaving behind memories that serve only to haunt.