Phlebotomized - Deformation Of Humanity review




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Band: Phlebotomized
Album: Deformation Of Humanity
Release date: January 2019


01. Premonition (Impending Doom)
02. Chambre Ardente
03. Descend To Deviance
04. Eyes On The Prize
05. Desideratum
06. My Dear,...
07. Proclamation Of A Terrified "Breed"
08. Until The End
09. Deformation Of Humanity
10. Until The End - Reprise
11. Ataraxia II


What was considered innovative, avant-garde or ahead of its time in 1994 does not necessarily mean that it should be seen as such today. But it can still sound pretty damn good.

Phlebotomized is a Dutch death metal act from the '90s whose debut, Immense Intense Suspense, is one of the very important albums of the style having attained cult status and quite rightly so. The follow-up, Skycontact, was unjustly not well-received because of the lack of death metal in it and the band broke up the year of its release. Phlebotomized resurrected in 2013 with almost the same lineup for some live shows until Tom Palms had the idea to create a new album, which in his opinion was necessary to go on. The other members could not invest the time needed and commit to the band so the founding guitarist is now the only one left from the original lineup.

Deformation Of Humanity is the album that Phlebotomized should have released after Immense Intense Suspense. It features this familiarly creepy and nightmarish atmosphere enhanced by the frequent use of keyboards and brings into play melancholic melodies strengthened by piano and violin parts as well as symphonic passages. All these elements dance together in perfect sync to create a gloomy, depressive mood.

The record is mostly doomy and mid-paced but that does not mean that fast and more brutal parts are nowhere to be found. The most bizarre excerpt is "Desideratum" which starts with natural sounds of rain and spoken female vocals, then gradually builds up with doom-laden guitars and spacey, electronic bleeps before turning into a full-on techno blastbeating onslaught. The longer and more progressive tracks, such as "Chambre Ardente", "Descend To Deviance" and the title track seem more carefully crafted and feel more complete, with the latter being sandwiched between two slightly different takes of the same instrumental composition. There are two more instrumentals - the intro and outro of the album - which means that the songs without vocals take up a significant part of this release. That said, Ben De Graaff's voice is among the strengths of Deformation Of Humanity, possessing adequate harshness, brutality and a terrifying aura that contrasts the melodic presence of the music in a thoroughly convincing way.

The production is warm, expressive and clear and it highlights all the positive aspects of the album and there are more than enough of those. I am not sure what we should have expected of Phlebotomized's studio return after 22 years, especially with such an extensive revamp in the lineup, but Deformation Of Humanity sounds invigorating and engaging enough to be considered a successful comeback worthy of the band's reputation.

"Tears of sorrow
Tears of anger
No place to hide
Resistance is futile"


 



Written on 20.02.2019 by I was into this music when you were still in diapers.


Comments

Comments: 7   Visited by: 133 users
20.02.2019 - 14:46
nikarg
Old Nick
For Radu, who has been nagging me non-stop for the past week in order to publish this
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20.02.2019 - 15:34
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by nikarg on 20.02.2019 at 14:46

For Radu, who has been nagging me non-stop for the past week in order to publish this

Finally. I had to stop myself from nagging you more.
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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20.02.2019 - 15:53
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Ben <3 <3
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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23.02.2019 - 01:51
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 20.02.2019 at 15:53

Ben <3 <3

Yeah, he's really good. What do you think about the album?
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23.02.2019 - 05:45
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by nikarg on 23.02.2019 at 01:51

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 20.02.2019 at 15:53

Ben <3 <3

Yeah, he's really good. What do you think about the album?


tbh I am a bit biased when it concerns Ben. Know the guy since 2007

As for the album.... am really enjoying it.
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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26.02.2019 - 23:36
It's always weird when reformed bands release albums with just one of the original members. Just like last year's In The Woods, begs the question whether it should be released under the band name or not.

The album is great, but I don't think it's on par with Immense, Intense, Suspense.
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27.02.2019 - 02:36
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by ConvergeIsMyLife on 26.02.2019 at 23:36

The album is great, but I don't think it's on par with Immense, Intense, Suspense.

Well yes, of course it isn't. Immense Intense Suspense is outstanding and it was light years ahead of its time.
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