PHLEBOTOMIZED - Immense Intense Suspense Digi-CD
”Immense Intense Suspense” was and still is a milestone album within Death Metal, as relevant now as it was in 1994!
What do you get when you put Demilich, At The Gates’ first album/EP and Nocturnus into a blender to transform them into a hulking, abominable monster that makes the major sciences weep and wonder why you created something that defies them so? Well… this. Indeed, this seems to be the only thing that can come close to an auditory form of Cthulhu.
The full length debut for this doom/avant-garde metal act, serves up both originality, and integrity and is seen as a classic album. Phlebotomized started out as a grindcore-ish Death Metal band, releasing their early demos sounding like this. Somewhere along the line, the band decided to change their style, as “Immense, Intense, Suspense” values melodies, and symphonic passages. This did not take away from the evil, depressing mood that swims through the music. This takes what Demilich wrote on ‘Nespithe’ and builds on it. They take what Nocturnus wrote on ‘The Key’, and add their own little twist. It’s got the twisting and amorphous song structures of ‘The Red in the Sky is Our’s’, and then some. They create the atmosphere Portal merely dreams of creating.
The first thing one will notice hovering above the pounding guitar riffs, is the violin and keyboard passages that serve as the rhythm section. Melancholic, yet brutal, the songs present a story, with lyrics wrapped around the theme of religion. The music does not really have one true form. You hear mixtures of clean, and growl vocals, as well as the occasional clean vocal passage. Acoustic guitars open songs, while the violin and keyboards are ever-present. A gloomy atmosphere is placed, while a violin dances with violent, death metal guitar riffs. The melodic breaks throughout the album hinder the progression of the brutal parts, while the violin almost diminishes, and remains in limbo, only to pick up alongside the blasting guitar riffs. Phlebotomized gives homage to their early roots, with much of the heavier parts of the drumming focused on speed and progression. The full band occasionally comes through, yelling lines in unison. The majority of this album is rather doomy and mid-paced, and actually creates a great atmosphere, thereby putting the keyboards (and even a fucking violin!) to proper use. Seriously, listen to ‘Barricade’ the recurring soft section. It sounds very inspiring and atmospheric.
“Immense, Intense, Suspense” seems to have gotten lost somewhere in time. An album that contains so many different elements, from brutal, riff-filled structures, to meloncholic, and bittersweet melodies, is hard to imagine being so unheard of. Perhaps it is just another album ahead of it’s time. This is a death metal album, is it not?” Yes it is! But those of you who needn’t mindlessly bang your head, (as necessary as it is), who can allow things like atmosphere and intelligence to occasionally permeate into your realm will really appreciate this.
For fans of: Nocturnus, Demilich, At The Gates, My Dying Bride