Difficult to pigeon-hole, Dutch band Phlebotomized. Rocking the world of death and doom on its very foundations, they have already released a variety of projects, most noteworthy of which are the EP "Preach Eternal Gospels" and the full-length debut, "Immense Intense Suspense". In spring 1997 they released "Skycontact", which is typical Phlebotomized insofar that it is different from its predecessors, highly experimental, and one of those CDs that has to (and does) grow on the listener. Excellently produced, their music contains thrash, death, doom and symphonic elements. Alternately grunting and singing 'clean', the vocalists perfectly complement the varied music on the CD. I can but cry a hearty "hell yeah" in reaction to this disc.

One negative thing, though: The guys have found it necessary to hide an additional song in the 'negative time' at the start of track 1. This means you can only hear it after 'rewinding' the CD right to the beginning. Thankfully, it is not the best track on the CD, for this rewinding is not a procedure you'd wish to repeat every time you play the CD.

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Written September 1997


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