Phlebotomized and Insanity Reigns Supreme @ Little Devil, Tilburg, 20 November 2015

I became aware of this gig only a couple days before. With a bit of effort I could fixed it in my schedule, which as pretty crazy with many gigs and spending a lot of time than I’d like in the car for work. Never the less, I wouldn’t want to miss these two bands, especially as they don’t seem to play live a lot.

Actually, the Belgian Insanity Reigns Supreme played at the Dutch Doom Day festival this year, but I missed that because it coincided with the Deathcrusher tour. It has been quite a while since I saw them, and since they had released two albums which I hadn’t heard yet. This evening they only played songs of those albums. Where they were a lot more doom in the past the new material is much closer to death metal with just some doom influences. They set up the stages with some candles and couple of pentagrams with a small firepit on top, smelling of incense. I actually like this band quite a bit, with the layered guitar melodies. And singer Criz seems to be absorbed in the music. Pretty good gig.

The headlining band is one of the many bands from the 90s that reunited a while back. Phlebotomized made one very good album and one good EP back then and a second album which was much less interesting. No less that 7 guys were on the quite stage, of which the string quartet, 2 guitars, 1 bas and a violin, were all original members, and the rest, vocals, keys and drums where new members. So singer Ben was stuck standing on the edge of the stage. Naturally the focus was on the debut album Immense Intense Suspense. The somehow peculiar arranged death metal songs with prominent violin passages worked quite well in a live setting. And particularly the lead guitarist seemed quite versatile. The album closer “Gone…” was even played with some dedication to the attacks in France. Okay so major chords can work in death metal too. They played one song off Skydancer, which stood out a bit negatively. The set closed with a quite unnecessary cover of Paradise Lost’s Eternal. Other than that quite a very good gig.

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