No one would have bet on a comeback by the seminal Phlebotomized, a band that from the remarkable Dutch scene of the early 1990s reached the ears of those who then, as now, were not satisfied with the usual listening, but went into an underground metal scene that even in those years was capable of giving above-average bands and works. Phlebotomized, with their first album titled Immense Intense Suspence, went beyond what was being played then with an ingenious sound that was difficult to categorize and surprisingly ahead of what was being heard in extreme metal. Doom, progressive, brutal, melodic, symphonic death: Immense Intense Suspence was all that and more, difficult to understand but tremendously fascinating as was Skycontact, their second and last work in 1997, which swerved slightly toward a psychedelic atmosphere but still turned out to be another priceless musical gem. Guitarist Tom Palms, the sole survivor of the original lineup, returns with other musicians to revive the glories of those two historic albums with Deformation Of Humanity, a new work licensed by Hammerheart Records that breaks a silence that lasted a full twenty-one years. A lot of music has passed under the bridge, progressive death metal is no longer in the news, as are bands that combine extreme metal with other sounds and nuances, but the quality of this new work is so high that it erases in one fell swoop not only the years that have passed but a large number of colleagues devoted to the genre, far from the brilliant songwriting of the new Phlebotomized. Between the splendid notes of such masterpieces as Chambre Ardente, Descende To Deviance, Proclamation of a Terrified “Breed” and the title track all extreme genres, from the most melodic, to the most brutal, are found in perfect harmony between sudden changes of sound and atmospheres still hard to match today. We do not know what was the driving force that prompted Tom Palms to return to the market under this legendary monicker, the fact remains that listening to music of this level is always a pleasure, so never before should a return to the scene after more than two decades like that of the brilliant Phlebotomized be welcomed.

2018 – Hammerheart Records