Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
Paramaecium was formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1991 by a trio of musicians that were enamored with Doom/Death Metal. However, this act had several notable factors that adequately set it apart from other bands around at the time.
First, Paramaecium made formidable use of flutes, cellos, violins, and other more orchestral types of instrumentation. Second, they were one of the all-too few heavier bands that focused on Christian concepts and lyrical themes in their music. By 1991, the trio of bassist/vocalist Andrew Tompkins, guitarist Colin ‘Mosh‘ Mynard, and drummer Steve Palmer recorded and independently released the four-song ‘Silent Carnage’ demo.
The demo did well within tape-trading networks, as the band continued on refining their sound. At one point, they underwent a lineup change that would see Mynard and Palmer exit Paramaecium and incoming guitarist Jason De Ron and drummer Jayson Sherlock come aboard. The trio recorded and self-released their astounding full-length début, ‘Exhumed Of The Earth’, in 1993.
With musical inspirations by the likes of Cathedral, My Dying Bride, and Paradise Lost, interest in the band grew quite quickly. Factor in the presence of positive lyrical themes, alongside flutes, violins, periodic soprano vocals, etc., and Paramaecium were a unique entity like no other at that time.
A fourth member, second guitarist Chris Burton, was added to the lineup in 1995. A year later, Paramaecium released the ultra-ambitious ‘Within The Ancient Forest’. Issued through Pleitegeier Records, this album was much more diverse and technical than its predecessor.
It also involved female vocalists, harpsichord, piano, flute, and cello. Its release coincided with that of a fantasy novel of the same name written by Tompkins. 1996 also saw the exit of Jayson Sherlock from the band.
During 1997, the band self-released the limited edition (500 copies) run of the ‘Repentance’ EP. It contained the four songs from the original ‘Silent Carnage’, with two of them in their earliest rough demo formats tacked on, for a total of six tracks.
A third studio album, ‘A Time To Mourn’, was independently released in 1999, and marked the departure of all previous band members except Tompkins. With no post-release touring lineup, Tompkins utilized guests for live performances, ones such as Ian Arkley (Seventh Angel, Ashen Mortality, My Silent Wake) and Mark Orr.
Paramaecium would go on a five-year hiatus at this time, before resurfacing in 2004 – once again solely with Tompkins. He again utilized Arkley and Orr to record, and then release, what would be the final studio effort from Paramaecium. ‘Echoes From The Ground’ was released that same year via Veridon Records.
In 2005, Tompkins and returning guitarist Jason De Ron began writing new songs. The plan was to record a new album and in 2006, drummer Jayson Sherlock rejoined the band. The trio began regularly playing shows again, as well as a series of concerts in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. This run of shows also included NordicFest in Oslo, Norway.
Unfortunately, the NordicFest appearance (in November 2006) marked the official end of Paramaecium. It was also the official launch of the band under a new name, InExordium. InExordium’s name is derived from a Paramaecium song off of ‘Within The Ancient Forest’. Eventually, InExordium would break up, but not before recording an eponymous titled full-length in 2008.
From there, drummer Jayson Sherlock and InExordium’s guitarist Sheldon D’Costa formed the band Revulsed – which remains active to this day.