Paramaecium - _A Time to Mourn_
(Independent, 1999)
by: Alex Cantwell (7 out of 10)
It is truly "a time to mourn" when I am forced to give a Paramaecium release anything less than a 10, but that time has now come. With this, their fourth release, we find bassist/vocalist/founder Andrew Tompkins still flying the Paramaecium flag of doom, but for the first time without the astounding drumming talents of Jayson Sherlock. However, Ian Arkley (Ashen Mortality, ex-Seventh Angel) on guitar is a welcome addition to the fold. Although there are violins and flutes on some songs, there is something missing from this album, as compared to previous releases, and I think the word for it is "grandiosity". _Within the Ancient Forest_ and _Exhumed of the Earth_, were huge, important doom epics. _ATtM_ falls a bit short in this area. "Betrayed Again" and "Even the Walls" are sadly just plain boring -- they are just too slow, and pointlessly so, dragging butt for seven minutes or so. The first track "A Moment" and the album's closer "Unceasing" tread familiar territory, igniting memories of Paramaecium albums past, playing doomed out death metal in the style that only they can do. I was also disappointed by the absence of the wonderful Rosemary Sutton, who has contributed greatly in the way of vocals on past releases, especially since I had read some months back that she would indeed be on this album. Tracy Bourne does a good job with the female parts on _ATtM_, but it's just not quite the same. Hopefully, Andrew and Ian will form a real and true line-up for the next release, so that it may be more of a band effort, though they must be commended for writing and performing another memorable chapter of the great Paramaecium saga. I would not hesitate to recommend this to any fan of doom, but I would recommend previous albums over this one to the uninitiated.

Contact: Paramaecium, PO Box 46, Forest Hill, 3131, Australia

(article published 19/5/1999)

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