"Visitations From Enceladus"

By Dr. Abner Mality

It takes a massive amount of balls to start your album with a song lasting 26 minutes plus. Either that, or insanity. "Moonbelt Immolator" is the titan monstrosity kicking off the first record from Britain's CRYPTIC SHIFT, a space-obsessed tech-death band following in the footsteps of ATHEIST, GORGUTS, VEKTOR and the likes. How exactly do they fare with this galaxy-sized chunk of jazzy prog-death?

It could be better, but it could be worse, too. I never really thought of it as an actual song, since it really sounds like several smaller tunes stitched together and linked with jazzy, melodic CYNIC style explorations or bursts of space music. This is over the top death metal with a cosmic shifts and slithers in all sorts of directions, but the screaming death metal parts are raw and analog in feel. The bass guitar is insanely active throughout the record...almost annoying so. This is one for fans of the late Roger Patterson of ATHEIST. There are some pretty cool riffs and jaw dropping guitar noise on "Moonbelt Immolator" but it never really hangs together as well as it should.

The other three tracks are more in the 7 minute vein, but continue with progressive noodling and frantic riff-mongery. The middle periods of DEATH and PESTILENCE are also touchstones here, but some of the super heavy, dissonant parts will remind one of GORGUTS.

These guys know their niche well and for fans of those bands mentioned above, they are well worth a look. But they are not yet in the same rarefied air as those bands, either.