UK death metal deviants Cryptic Shift enter an unhinged new universe

Cryptic Shift promo pic, 2020
(Image credit: Blood Harvest Records)

Long preceding the instrudjentalists who have been noodling away the past few years in search of utopian, if often insipid new worlds, death and thrash metal have been ripping apart and rearranging the seams of reality for over three decades. Whether it’s Voivod’s off-kilter, future-shock visions, the arcane yet cosmic turbulence of Nocturnus or Cynic’s speculative journeys into the unknown, the underground remains the best launch pad for pan-dimensional hyperblasts and mind-melting revisionism of time, space and the general marker points on which all sense of rational yet limited thought so desperately clings.

Even with such a rich legacy, and with a host of newer death metal psychonauts such as Blood Incantation and Imperial Triumphant veering off into bedazzling alternate realities, Visitations From Enceladus, the debut full-length from aptly titled Leeds four-piece Cryptic Shift, feels like a singular, and unfathomably exciting event. Released into this axis-shifted world on May 4 via Blood Harvest Records, it’s  a visionary, fully-realised assault on the senses whose preview tracks released so far have already put the underground’s knickers in a physics-defying twist.

Brazenly starting with the 26-minute astral opus, Moonbelt Immolator, Visitations From Enceladus surfs on interstellar crosswinds, shifts tempos like daredevil timelords on a massive bender and temporarily peels off layers to uncover glistening terrain buried just below the bewilderingly brutal churn.

If this aural equivalent of multiple trepanation sounds like your kind of thing, then rejoice to the clearly high heavens because we’ve reached through the wormhole to bring you a pre-release stream of the album in its gargantuan entirety.

So without futher ado, relinquish yourself from this physical plane, lose yourself in the fractured fever of Visitations From Enceladus below and remember: in space everyone can hear you dream.

Visit Cryptic Shift's Facebook page

Pre-order Visitations From Enceladus from Cryptic Shift's bandcamp page and the Blood Harvest online store

Jonathan Selzer

Having freelanced regularly for the Melody Maker and Kerrang!, and edited the extreme metal monthly, Terrorizer, for seven years, Jonathan is now the overseer of all the album and live reviews in Metal Hammer. Bemoans his obsolete superpower of being invisible to Routemaster bus conductors, finds men without sideburns slightly circumspect, and thinks songs that aren’t about Satan, swords or witches are a bit silly.