Cryptic Shift / Replicant / Inoculation / Astral Tomb – Split LP (2020)

I’ve had this split knocking about on the to-do list for a while. Initially, for some reason, I thought Blood Incantation were on it, possibly because of the spacey artwork, but I digress.

Side A: Cryptic Shift kick things off with probably the most polished song of the four on display here. Progressive, impossibly technical death metal is the order of the day and the sound is crisp to convey such goings on. Replicant are a little more, dare I say, math-y in their approach to a similar sound, with a slightly more unclear production which is also dryer.

Side B is my favourite, I won’t lie. Inoculation provide us with a glorious blast of noise, but my favourite on this thing has gotta be Astral Tomb. My god, this shit blew me away! Definitely the “worst” production of the four bands, but this matters not. Its dark, drab, moody and absolute carnage to boot. I immediately want to check out more from Astral Tomb, so thats gotta be a good thing!