Phlebotomized - _Skycontact_
(Cyber, 1997)
by: Drew Snow (9 out of 10)
For those not familiar with Phlebotomized, they are the Dutch sextet who released their awesome grindy death/doom debut full-length _Immense, Intense, Suspense_ a year or two back, with some extremely guttural vocals, atmospheric violins, and keyboards, and an all-out heavy, yet sorrowful and melodic release. Now, put that Phlebotomized out of your mind, because the material that the band has put forth on their followup, _Skycontact_, has undergone a -major- musical transformation, and bears almost zero resemblance to _IIS_ at all. The eight tracks and nearly sixty minutes of music present on _Skycontact_ represents a giant metamorphosis, combining several elements, from atmospheric, psychedelic interludes complete with spacey sound effects, to toe-tapping, upbeat guitar riffs, to quiet, ballad-esque sections, and the occasional lapse back to the days of old with double-bass frenzies and guttural vocals. No, _Skycontact_ is definitely -not- for the close-minded listeners out there who shut themselves off into one genre and shun all others, this is open-minded music, for open-minded people, and Phlebotomized pull it off perfectly. I guarantee there was never a period during songwriting when the band came to an impasse because "this riff doesn't fit the style" or something "wasn't extreme enough"; they put their souls into the music with no restraints at all, and it shows. There are just so many different styles, melded perfectly into a one-hour release of pure feeling and emotion, that it's impossible not to give this original, and indeed -brave-, album a very high recommendation.

(article published 9/4/1997)

6/7/1997 D Schinzel Phlebotomized: The More Things Change...
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