Paraxism was an obscure death metal band that recorded and EP and a handful of demos back in the mid-1990s. They were an extremely talented band that shared a good deal in common with Elegy-era Amorphis and early Xysma. Their career was rather unremarkable and the other members of the band went on to do some different things in the music industry. Several members went on to be successful in other groups like Ghost Brigade; others disappeared from the scene. But for a moment in time, they did something magical. Their 1995 EP “.xism Excursion” is magnificent. For three songs, they found a groove that existed on a greater plane then we inhabit. And suddenly, they were gone.
So much of life is luck. Had their EP fallen into the right hands their path might have been different turn. In order to see how things might have been different, yesterday I put myself in a five-hour meditative trance. During this trance, my mind and body were transformed into pure energy and I was transported to another dimensional reality. In this reality, the fate of Paraxism was completely different. Here’s how it looked…
In 1995, Sami Kokko, guitarist from Paraxism, sent a copy of their demo to Marvin “Deathbeard” Collins, A and R specialist from Earache records. A copy of it sat in a pile of ignored tapes on top of the stereo in his living room. His 7-year-old daughter, Marsha, picked through the pile of tapes and put it on because she thought the cover looked cool. Marvin, who was brushing his teeth when the song came on, bolted out of the bathroom and immediately looked at the case. This was the album he had been waiting for. Within a few months, Earache had signed Paraxism and put them on tour with death metal legends Entombed and Morbid Angel.
At first, audiences were confused by the sound. Many of them had come to hear brutal death metal and here were these crazy Fins playing death tainted prog rock. Slowly but surely, they built a following. By 1998, when they released their second full length album “Death Is Forever” they became Earache’s top selling band. Their second single “Burn” became a radio hit and they were on their way to super stardom.
They were booked for a major world tour with Megadeth and were even made an appearance on The Late Show With Conan O’Brien. It was around that time they met Louis Walker. Louis was a musician who really was into their sound and caught them in concert every time he could. He was a creepy little man with a hunchback who wore Bathory shirts all the time. One day, after a show at Madison Square Garden Louis got backstage and met the band. He handed Sami a tape that was labeled “The Song”. He told Sami that if they re-recorded this song they would be the most famous musicians on earth. He also warned him that if they played the song enough a great suffering would befall the earth. It was their choice. Louis told Sami that if he wanted no credit for the song and all royalties would go to Paraxism. With that, Louis disappeared into the crowd.
The band met on the bus the next morning and listened to the song. It was…perfect. Nils Ursin, the band’s bass player was so moved by it he began to cry. They knew right away that this song was the hit they had hoped for all their lives. They had to record it! Sami mentioned the warning he had received, but the band just assumed the guy must be a bit nuts and decided to move forward.
They were right. The song was a hit. An epic, life altering, once in a lifetime smash. It was played at weddings, it was played at proms, its lyrics were written on the back of the notebooks of an entire generation of adolescents. Paraxism was asked to play “The Song” on national television as part of a major prime time concert on NBC in Central Park. They were scheduled to be the headliners and would be playing a short set that culminated with their biggest hit.
As they began to play the song, the sky turned bright orange. A purple rip appeared in the middle of the sea of orange and millions of giant bat like creatures emerged. They flew down and began to eat the nearly 100,000 spectators. The bats then quickly turned their attention on the rest of New York City. Within 25 minutes, most of New York City had been eaten. By 8 the next morning, the population of the United States had been reduced from 300 million to 63 (not 63 million…just 63). The bat creatures began across the Pacific Ocean by 9:30. Asia was next. Paraxism had been spared, but the bloody waste of human life was everywhere around them. Sami remembered the words he had heard when he received the tape. He slumped into a chair and stared blankly.
As I awoke from my trance it had become clear to me that it was really for the best that Paraxism didn’t become world famous. The EP is phenomenal, but sometimes things work out as they should. Blind luck and the avoidance of hunchbacks with life altering propositions can often be the best thing for the survival of the human race.
(If you want to know what Paraxism sounded like in this dimension, check the song Fear out)