Ice Cream Dreams and such

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ice creme dreamAbout an hour ago, I found myself in a strange and alien parallel world. While having the same outward appearance as the world I normally inhabit, the weather was noticeably cooler than normal, while the sun was out and the people were about, as if this was a balmy spring day. I had to don a heavy jacket.

The people. Oh, the people. They looked like me, they acted like me, and they spoke, emoted and and carried on in typical human fashion like me. Only they weren’t like me.

No, they were different. The biggest indicator being that, unlike my skin, their skin was made of something like a sugar cone, with a layer of milk chocolate on the inside, like a Drumstick cone. And their insides were filled with vanilla ice cream.

These were people who were made of ice cream, with sugar cones for skin.

I don’t know how I got to this world. Transported by some outer force, slipped through a rip in the space/time continuum, some kind of vortex created by whatever coincidental combination of…something; I don’t know. All I do know is, when I was there, I was investigating the murder of one of these…beings’ citizenry.

His body was found, torso ripped open, the sugar cone-y pieces lying by his corpse, and all the ice cream forcibly removed. Since it was cooler there, the bits of his insides that I could see splattered around him weren’t melted and pooling, but the effect was still the same. Face frozen in horror, a giant gaping hole where his chest should have been, and a void where his ice cream innards should have been.

It was hard for me to take this all seriously, I know. But, whether bizarre ice cream beings or not, this still was a murder. I couldn’t let this monster get away.

Problem was, the beings there knew I wasn’t one of them. They sensed that I didn’t really belong in their world. As a result, no one would help me in the investigation. Not one of them would even acknowledge my presence there, when I was asking questions pertaining to the murder. Even when others started turning up murdered in the same heinous way, they turned their back on me.

Why would they do that? Something was killing all of them, and getting away with it, and THEY WON’T LISTEN TO ME. Why? It’s right in front of their faces. Under their noses. They constantly step in the ice creamy guts of their fallen brethren in the streets, willfully ignorant.

THEY’RE ALL GOING TO DIE, AND THEY WON’T LET ME HELP THEM FIND AND CATCH THE THING KILLING THEM.

…it’s horrible.

::END TRANSMISSION::

Music Review: OVERCOME – Immortal Until Their Work Is Done

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overcome - immortal until their work is done
OVERCOME
Immortal Until Their Work Is Done
Facedown Records
1999

First and only full-length studio release for Facedown Records by hardcore / metalcore band Overcome. I remember when this originally came out, there were outcries from the hardcore community claiming that Overcome “sold out and went metal.” Usually when I was talking to ’em at the youth group, they would say to me, “you’d probably like ’em now, they went metal.” Then my former editor at the Dead ‘Zine, back when I was reviewing for that site, e-mailed me stating that I should really look into reviewing Immortal Until Their Work Is Done, because it was a fine collection of metal. Now, I understand the great catch-all tag of “metal”, but really that could cause a lot of confusion. It did me, because my concept of just “metal” differs to what the kids spout as “metal”. Can’t fault them for having such an inferior grasp of things, really…

To put things in their proper place, Immortal Until Their Work Is Done would fall under the “metalcore” heading — “metal” because of the guitar riffs and pacing, and “core” because of the rhythms and the screaming / shouted vocals. Lyrically, they’re pretty in-thy-face warnings against turning away from God and Jesus, and to be steadfast in the Faith. To be certain, I don’t find this album as annoying as most of the metalcore I’ve come across through the years. The production’s pretty good, especially when compared to the lower production of the Life Of Death EP. But, this also doesn’t really grab my attention, and as such I only listen to this disc once in a great while…

Music Review: OVERCOME – More Than Death

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overcome - more than death
OVERCOME
More Than Death
Facedown
2001

Not so much a best-of collection than really a collection of rarities from this legendary Christian hardcore / metalcore outfit. Collected here are the demo version of “Child’s Dead Innocence”, three songs from their 7-inch (“Amnesty”, “Perish The Wicked”, “Deviant Inveracity”), the entire The Life Of Death EP, and four live cuts (“A Case For Life”, “When Beauty Dies”, “Hebron”, and “Foundation”). Definitely a collector’s item for fans of the band, it makes the hard-to-find stuff easier to get…

Music Review: OVERCOME – The Life Of Death EP

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overcome - the life of death ep
OVERCOME
The Life Of Death EP
Facedown Records
1998

First release Overcome produced after leaving Tooth & Nail records. This five-song EP leans more towards metalcore than the hardcore of their first two albums. Riffs aren’t that bad, really, but the production is a bit weak. The screaming vocals are still kind of annoying, but not as bad as it could have been, really. Still some good spirit-filled ‘core’ going on, and a hard-to-find OOP EP for collectors of that sort of thing…

Music Review: OVERCOME – Blessed Are The Persecuted

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overcome - blessed are the persecuted
OVERCOME
Blessed Are The Persecuted
Tooth & Nail
1995

Blessed Are The Persecuted, Overcome’s first album, is straight-ahead 90s hardcore. I would say further that Blessed Are The Persecuted typifies much of the Christian hardcore glut that Tooth & Nail started churning out at this time- unflinching Christ-centered lyrics screamed at a high monotone and set to a backdrop of uninspired each-riff-sounds-alike guitar and drum pounding. It may be loud, it may be heavy, but so’s a tank. Pass…

Music Review: PARAMAECIUM – Exhumed Of The Earth

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paramaecium - exhumed of the earth
PARAMAECIUM
Exhumed Of The Earth
R. E. X.
1994

Paramaecium, like any other band named after single-celled bacterium, would be classified as, what I’m told, doom metal. Death metal that’s a little slower, almost plod-along, and much more experimental. Death metal to brood to, to coin a phrase. Now, ‘Exhumed Of The Earth’ took me a while to get into, mostly for the afore mentioned experimental edge to it. But, as with all things I had to take time to get used to, this CD is now one of my particular favorites. Take, for example, the opening cut “The Unnatural Conception”. Clocking in at seventeen minutes, and incorporating such exotic musical incorporation as violins, an operatic female singer and keyboards, to say nothing of the gut-wrenching down-tuned guitar riff that churns on for five minutes before shifting, the precise-as-a-Swiss-watch drumming of none other than Jayson Sherlock and the growl vocals. Some listeners with shorter attention spans may be tempted to start skipping around, but believe me, the whole song is very, very satisfying. It’s such a darkly beautiful amalgam of sounds, it shouldn’t be brushed off so soon.

The overall theme of ‘Exhumed Of The Earth’ seems to pretty much deal with the birth of Christ, His death, the persecution of His followers, and the Second Coming. You know, standard death/doom metal topics. Aside from “The Unnatural Conception”, I also gravitate toward “Injudicial”, “Untombed”, “The Voyage Of The Severed” and “The Killing” as far as favored tracks go. This is another CD I listen to in the dark a lot. It’s worth checking out.

Music Review: PARAMAECIUM – Repentance

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paramaecium - repentance
PARAMAECIUM
Repentance
MCD
1997

A collection of early tunes from Australian doom metal outfit Paramaecium, re-recorded after the release of Within The Ancient Forest with Jason Sherlock on the drums. This is really more straight-ahead death metal than the doom metal that the band would evolve into, comparable with just about any other quality death metal band worth it’s weight. Very heavy, very meaty music, and Sherlock can carry a blastbeat without breaking a sweat. An out-of-print gem of early tunes, will appeal more to death metal fans, and straight collectors of the band…

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