Cryptic Shift – Visitations From Enceladus

I remember seeing the name Cryptic Shift mentioned by some fellow heads as well as their Bandcamp page attached. I quickly checked them out and was very stoked to hear more. Twan sent me the album, “Visitations From Enceladus”, to review and I’ve jammed this so many times. It’s fucking killer!

Cryptic Shift hails from Leeds, England and formed in 2011. I’m late to this game, since I first heard of them this year. Just gives me more to find and blast.
On to “Visitations From Enceladus”. Well damn, first tune ‘Moonbelt Immolator’ clocks in at just under 26 minutes and is broken into 7 chapters. But this jam flows. Begins a little “Obscura-esque” Gorgutsy. Dissonant notes, jazzy fills, feedback and atmospheric sounds of space intro into some straight up sick metal. Throughout, I am reminded lots of Vektor (Fuck that guy. Once I saw reports of him beating his wife, I stopped listening to them. I can not get behind such kinds of abuse. I have a very hard time separating the art from the artist.), which is a good thing. Ripping tech/death/thrash.

One thing is for certain, these 4 dudes know how to deliver controlled chaos. I would love to hear what bands/musicians influence their writing. From them, not from an aging metalhead that hears shit and guesses. With every listen, I think of (later) Gorguts, Cynic, (later) Death, (later) Pestilence, Blood Incantation and, most of all, Vektor. It’s a ride, man. It has many moods. You can be whisked away in a spacelike hypnosis, then, pow, all 4 dudes ripping. Doing some shit that could be considered manic and all over the place, but is in a perfect thrashy unison. NOTE – I am simply mentioning reminiscent sounds. In no way, is Cryptic Shift biting. These guys have their own sound!

Insert – for weeks I tried to figure out who Xander’s vocals reminded me of. Phillipe from French powerhouse Misanthrope. Decide on your own.
For me, this one track could’ve been enough. But FUCK!!!! We get 3 more songs. All which are straight fucking bangers of technicality, musicianship and outstanding songwriting ability.

‘Planetary Hypnosis’ ends the full length. I will never understand how people can create this kind of magical music. All parts moving freely yet working as a unit. This one begins with a sick, and brief, Atheist style bass/drum part, big thumbs up there! Then you’re slapped across the face with more techy thrashing. I’ll add, for me, there’s a line when tech becomes too much. Cryptic Shift nails it. Tasteful is a nice adjective I’ll use. It’s flash but isn’t wanking. The tempo changes and time signatures add to the excitement and depth. They do not overwhelm. That’s an art!
Xander, John, Ryan and Joe. I thank you for this gift. If you haven’t, check out Cryptic Shift. You won’t be disappointed.

Twan likes for me to list a few stand out tracks, so here ya go. It’s all 4.
‘Moonbelt Immolator’
‘(Petrified In The) Hypogean Gaol’
‘The Arctic Chasm’
‘Planetary Hypnosis’

4.5 / 5 STARS 

Reviewer: Alex Copeland

Aug 20, 2020

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Cryptic Shift – Visitations From Enceladus

review Cryptic Shift - Visitations From Enceladus

1. Moonbelt Imolator
2. (Petrified In The) Hypogean Gaol
3. The Arctic Chasm
4. Planetary Hypnosmis


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