Paramaecium - Exhumed of the Earth by Paramaecium (R.E.X.) 1994
1. The Unnatural Conception"
in two parts (17:00)
This is a masterpiece of epic, orchestrated, death-doom metal. The first song alone is worth the price of admission. The mesmorizingly slow drudge, while simplistic, somehow manages to hold my attention. Female opera vocalist Rosemary Sutton is spell binding on top of the heavily downtuned guitars. The double bass in this opening is slow and steady, which is much more difficult than one might imagine. Speaking of drums, former Mortification drummer Jayson Sherlock has joined the Parameacium ranks just in time to record this awesome disc. Jayson also did the caligraphy for the cover and insert. "Exhumed of the Earth" is one of those discs that has been released several times on several different labels, yet it is still difficult to get. Go figure! If anyone reading this is a fan of symphonic, epic doom metal with death vocals and you do not own this, you are missing out. Not since Believer's spectacular "Trilogy of Knowledge" have I heard an album that combines opera, classical music and grinding metal so well.
Paramæcium - Within the Ancient Forest (independant) 1996
1. "In Exordium"
Another pure masterwork only this time with even more symphonic elements, i.e. flutes, violines, chellos, harpsicords, etc. Another element that adds to the appeal is the outstanding opera vocals of Sue Bock, who has an amazing voice. This particular album is a concept album based on a book, also titled "Within the Ancient Forest" written by bassist/vocalist Andrew Tompkins. The story is of a young man in search of truth in a land where immortals, dragons, magic, and the powers of darkness prevail. I have never read the book, but the music is fabulous, even without the storyline.
Paramæcium-Repentance EP (independant) 1997
1. "Silent Carnage"
This is basically the band's "Silent Carnage" demo tape, plus two re-recorded tracks (tracks 1 & 2) from that demo with 1996 line-up, that included Jayson Sherlock on drums. These two tracks are, of course, the best because they have better production and some smokin' drumming. The songs on this demo are less doomy and more straight forward death metal than everything else the bands has released. This is the only disc released by this band that is out of print and out of circulation.
Around this same time, drummer/songwritter/artist Jayson Sherlock quit to persue an education as a media designer. Jayson also recorded a side project of black metal under the name Horde. The rest of the band soon abandoned Andrew as well. From the ashes Andrew hooked up with former Seventh Angel guitarist Ian Arkley to record:
Paramæcium - A Time To Mourn (independant) 1999
1. "A Moment"
Most people thought that "Ancient Forest" would be the last Paramaecium disc, myself included. But Andrew returned with yet another doom opus. I can't honestly say that this is the masterpiece that I consider the first two discs to be, but I can say this it is still a good doom metal album. The symphonic elements are gone, as are the more complex song structures, but still the slow doomy sludge remains.
Paramaecium - Echoes from the Ground (Veridon) 2004
1. "Night Fears Morning"
"Echoes from the Ground" is a stunning doom metal album. Perhaps I was just in the right mood at the right time when listening to this CD for the first time, but I really think that "Echoes" was a great return to form from Paramaecium, after nearly five years without a release. Each song possesses it's own unique feel, yet the album flows from one song to the next. "Night Fears Morning" features clean, haunting vocals and an eerie violin thoughout the song. This is easily one of my favorite Paramaecium songs. I much prefer the clean, doomy vocals to the death vocals that the band was using in the past. "Over the Seas" returns with the death vocals, mixing them in with some of those hallow sounding clean vocals. It's actually hard to describe in words the sound of the clean vocals here. They almost remind me of some of those monk chants. It's very dark and monotonous sounding, but it works brilliantly. Musically, this songs continues with the epic, super-heavy, funeral dirges. "The Chosen Land" brings back the violins into the mix again. "The Tend to Die" sees the return of the operatic, female vocals that the band had incorporated in past albums. I find the mixture of the heavy guitars, slow tempo and vocals to have this chilling, haunting quality. "My Failing Heart" also incorporates this haunting feeling, mixing together gruff, thrash vocals and those high, operatic female vocals. For some reason, the way it was delivered here, I was reminded of Believer's "Trilogy of Knowledge". "I" is more traditional sounding doom and breaks up the two songs with female vocals. The CD finishes off with yet another haunting dirge that closes out one of Paramaecium's finest albums since "Exhumed of the Earth." While I didn't delve deep into the lyrics yet at the time of writing this, apparently "Echoes from the Ground" is a concept album that tells the story of a nineteenth century traveller as he explores the Holy Lands seeking out a justification for his faith in God.