St. Paul, Minnesot'as True Metal Record Store (RIP as of Dec. 24, 2015)
Today we’ll touch on PHLEBOTOMIZED, a legendary Dutch band on death metal’s doomy early-1990s esoteric fringe. While they certainly had their share of diligent celebrators in their own day, the band reformed in 2013 and seems intent on their furthering their cult status deep into the new millennium. Preach Eternal Gospels was their first major work following a 7″ EP and assorted demo material, clocking in at the 27-minute mark despite only three adventurous tracks and two short instrumentals.
With seven members, including a full-time keyboardist and violinist, PHLEBOTOMIZED telegraph their exploratory nature right off the bat. Just look at their hair; ‘do diversity is a mandatory precursor to weirdo death metal from the continent and these dudes are no exception.
Thankfully PHLEBOTOMIZED is more than just inexplicable hairstyle choices as they quite convincingly hand over the twisted death/doom goods. Preach Eternal Gospels has what you would hope for from the outset: the vocals and riffs plod with utmost melancholic gravity, traced delicately by the airy strings and keys. The band’s use of tempo is true champion; it defaults to a devastating plod, only to meet almost random challenges from hyper-speed grinding blast. Unlike some of this messy stripe (such as the recently reviewed LUBRICANT), PHLEBOTOMIZED successfully develop and revisit many longer themes and thereby manage, however abstractly, a sense of overriding flow. Mostly.
I struggle with the the common assertion that this material is particularly progressive or avant-garde — texturally unique, certainly, though nothing here is too overtly challenging to death/doom status quo, which should be no problem for any admirers of melancholic, chaotic DM as it was best known in those days. Don’t expect it to be as well-developed as a lot complex death metal, but do expect it to be rather fun for that reason.
There are lines connecting this stuff to acts as disparate as MY DYING BRIDE, DARK MILLENNIUM, TIMEGHOUL and diSEMBOWELMENT, so if those are your bag you’ll most certainly enjoy PHLEBOTOMIZED. We’re working on getting the Hammerheart Records reissue of their two full-lengths in the shop, or you can find a Vic Records dealer to pick up Preach Eternal Gospels packaged with their equally great Devoted to God demo.
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