Eisenwald 2012

Epic synth infused metal drips from the speakers as I absorb Wish from Australian mastermind, Germ.  An Overdose of Cosmic Galaxy drives on like an 80's new wave song on metallic steroids.  A goth beat and hip swaying melodic keyboards set up the clean vocal serenade that follows.  The song is actually quite captivating if you enjoy this style.  The second half of song injects tortured shrieks that bring to mind Xasthur's Malefic.  Asteroid of Sorrow moves in a blackened direction as the guitars become more present and the mood darker.  The synth tone becomes more icy while still remaining the most active instrument within the composition.  Germ's vocals soar like an eagle until settling back into an almost rock style.  Oxygen is a short instrumental that creates astral textures and a sense of cosmic distance.  A bouncy keyboard line sets the tone on Breathe In The Sulphur/A Light Meteor Shower.  And this track is a perfect illustration of the difficulty I have with this album.  It has epic, symphonic passages that sound out of place with the tormented screams of the vocals.  It's a collision of styles that seem opposed and I don't get the conviction from it I need for my ears to buy off on it.  I mean the instrumentation of the track is moving, but the vocals and the intent of the song clash with what is being presented to me.  The song continues on with bombastic, grand riffs and drum accents that create a feeling of gigantic scale but this passage really seems to lack movement to me and finally the track flattens out becomes somewhat unengaging for its second half.  One of my favorite tracks on this album is the second instrumental, Gravity, which reminds me of a dancier Skinny Puppy.  Then we are taken straight into Flowers Bloom And Flowers Fall, But I'm Still Waiting For The Spring.  I almost get the sense of New Order meets Soft Cell with the way the synth lines interplay.  However, once again these are juxtaposed with ghostly shrieks and rolling drum lines.  The guitar solo towards the end of the song is a nice touch.  Overall there is plenty to like with Germ however I am constantly unable to put the opposing styles together for a harmonious union.