Phlebotomized
Pain, Resistance, Suffering EP

For whatever reason, I passed over this Dutch avant garde death/doom act in the mid 90s, when they released most of their discography (mainly the respected of 1994s Immense Intense Suspense and 1997s more commercial, quirky  Skycontact). Maybe I had my fill with Pan-Thy-Monium’s output or Celestial Season’s stringed effort or even Visceral Evisceration’s single album, but either way, I never really gave them much notice.

The band broke up in the 90s and reformed in 2018 to release Deformation of Humanity, which I have not heard, (but snippets seem to indicate a more urgent melodeath direction) but considering my recent obsession with keyboards and orchestral laced metal, I thought it was time I listened to these guys.

So the parts I heard of Deformation of Humanity certainly seem to be the band’s new direction, with much less doom (though still around) on this new EP, though the heavy use of keyboards/strings are still here. I’m reminded of Garden of Shadows Oracle Moon album at times.

The 7 song, 25 minute EP follows the same sound as the last album, the highlight being the heavy use of keyboards and strings backing the deep death/ doom growls of Ben De Graaff. After the intro “It Will Pass”, the first song is the EPs title track, a short burst of At The Gates styled hack ‘n’ slash melo death backed with gregarious keyboards.

“No Surrender” gets back to a more mid-paced, gothic/doom metal trundle and some clean vocals. Then “Beheaded Identity” is a pure doom mope, with gorgeous synths backing the despondent riffs. “You Get the Idea” is another short sharp, aggressive burst before “Collusion Starts Here” enters the fray with a crunchy melodic stomp. Closer “GPS” ends the EP with a mix of surprisingly stern blast beats and big beefy grooves.

I’ve since gone back and grabbed the band’s discography after hearing this EP, as the symphonic elements are excellent, especially when mixed with the doom/death and melo-death and I’m looking forward to future releases from this ambitious and creative Dutch band.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 30th, 2021

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