|5 (1 votes):|
It’s very seldom a situation in which I find myself disliking an album upon revisiting it. Of course, upon reevaluation of any media, you can find positive and negative aspects you may not have not noticed at first, and I like to think that when I find those aspects, the positive ones stand out more. However, with Germ Bomb’s 4th full length, Gist Sucked Out, my mild optimism was slowly snuffed out in the light of the glaring criticisms I formulated in morose boredom. For context, though this is the Swedes 4th full length, I had not heard any of their previous material, as my knowledge in the thrash/crossover scene is severely limited, mimicking my interest as well. And even though this duo is marketed as a simple thrash/crossover two-piece, the contents of Gist Sucked Out are all the more confusing, combining a typical lyrical theme with a bizarre take on the style itself.
When first presented with this album’s existence, the phrase that had caught my delayed attention was “apocalyptic rock’n’roll”, so I struck myself with the idea of a barrage of intensity and energy, only matched by that of the mighty atom, but soon found that the album was more of a barrage of grid-lock and angst. To be fair, right off the bat, the album presents itself fairly well, as the track “Rasera” sets up, lyrically at least, the tone of the album with ease, with soft Swedish being uttered against a harsh industrial atmosphere, leading into the second track “Siberia Wasteland”. And once again to the album’s credit the following three tracks, although a bit slow, do set up a charming atmosphere, rich with relaxed rock’n’roll melodies filled with punk influence and lyrical warnings of atomic technology and civilized disharmony. The fourth track “Rebellion” even spices things up with stylings of psychedelic rock infused into the song. In fact, in addition to its rock and roll attitude, the album feels heavily influenced by psychedelic rock and more doom like bands, ala Black Sabbath. However, these influencers do have a particularly drab effect on the album, due to the conflicting genre matter as well as lyrical matter.
Compared to their previous albums, Gist Sucked Out likes to take things leisurely and at its own pace. So much so, that after the fourth track, the charm of rock’n’roll wears off, and I’m left sitting and waiting for the album to end. The remaining tracks lack a certain enthusiasm that are imperative for making this style appear lively and energetic, and for the most part I lay that blame in the vocal department. There never feels like any passion is put into them, save for the self-titled album track, which has some pained yells near the end. But for the rest? The angst and repulsion written in the lyrics clashes with the droning yells and lack of variation in the vocal department. For a band that lists its problems with society out in plain day, they seem to have very little ardor in their voices when singing about it. It ends up as coming off as disingenuous and lackluster, rather than ferocious and fierce. The variation isn’t just in the vocal stylings, but in the patterns as well. For the most part, they’re all interchangeable, predictable and lacking in creativity.
And while the other instruments accentuate this lackluster performance, they do have a certain reverb that makes for an apocalyptic setting. It feels more like they’re trying to embellish the impending doom of a harmful society rather than the intense repercussions of its actions, or maybe the radioactive fallout of such, and the world’s slow yet painful end. And for a doomy, gloomy atmosphere, the instruments do a pretty good job at constructing such. It’s just the song writing that doesn’t do these ideas or performances any justice. None of the songs carry any weight or impact to leave any strong impressions, save for maybe “Endless Night”, the fastest track on the album. It all ties back to my initial praise in a way, in that the album opens up with its superior and most energetic tracks first, then meanders on for several more tracks, operating with a firm mix, but with nothing to riff off of. The album ends up boiling down to generic filler with little to no variety or intensity to keep me interested in listening further.
Thrash metal is supposed to, or at least I thought, pack a certain amount of speed, attitude and above all else, fervor. It’s obvious that Germ Bomb has deviated from the traditional thrash/crossover style to a more proto-metal like act with doom and psychedelic influences, as well as the slightest hint of punk. This is all well and good, but the album lacks a certain kick or oomph to really sell itself as genuine or interesting. It’s certainly not a dismal album by any longshot, but with such a mixed bag of songwriting and unenthusiastic performances, I can’t help but be marginally repulsed by this album.