Photo Gallery and Review – Cryptic Shift – Mechanized – Unburier at Plymouth’s Underground

Tonight, The Underground in Plymouth is set to be treated to a top-notch line up of local thrash and progressive death metal culminating in the mind melting extreme metal of Leeds based quartet Cryptic Shift on their ‘Beneath the Crawling Abysms’ tour.

Kicking off the night are Yeovil’s Unburier who are followed by local Plymouth lads Mechanized who both secured slots at 2022’s Bloodstock and play a blend of thrashened death and death-tinged thrash respectively. The two put on a ferocious show packed with riffs that warm up the rabid head banging and fist pumping audience. Unburier give tribute to the great Chuck Schuldiner with a Death Cover and in memory of the late Riley Gale – Mechanized blast out a fantastic catchy iteration of Power Trips ‘Executioners Tax (Swing of the Axe)’ which both provoke enthused scream alongs. 

It is a blessed second chance to see the acclaimed Cryptic Shift from Leeds after not falling under the spell from the back of the tent at Arctangent and whooo boy what a difference as they are utterly captivating in every way. Aptly dubbed as Phenomenal Technological Astrodeath the Leeds based extreme metal quartet Cryptic Shift have concocted the perfect heady mix of frantic death metal with low and slow drawn out ominous elements of doom. The mature, progressive chord progressions that Mikael Ackerfeldt would be proud of and piercing meandering melodies give way to jazzy discordancy and unearthly growls. It is miasmatical and monstrous but controlled and considered with the backing of thunderous and decorative drum fills with moments of eerie calm like the ominous shallow breathing of a beast about to attack. Playfully experimental with razor sharp precision while veering off into tonal obscurity that leaves the head spinning – especially after the amount of head banging that is going on. 

 Despite the chaos there are moments of being blissfully carried away and completely lost in the galactic soundscape to the point of forgetting where we are until open eyes reveal once again the dingy Underground and that provokes a feeling of how much a privilege it is to witness this unique experience and by the looks of their trajectory, there will not be many chances left in such intimate surroundings.  

Words and Photography: Abi Coulson – Darktones Photography

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