Album Review – DSKNT / Vacuum γ-Noise Transition (2021)

One of the most unique projects of the Swiss metal scene returns in full force with a reality-destroying album that takes shape as a dark and multidimensional hallucination deep into reality’s most cryptic and terrifying truths.

Fully conceived, recorded, produced and mastered by the band itself within the confines of their own studio, the brand new album by Swiss Black Metal monstrosity DSKNT, the horrific Vacuum γ​-​Noise Transition, can be seen as a devouring nightmare of omnipotent sonic annihilation conceived at the most liminal edges of sanity, pushing the boundaries of Experimental Metal further and further. Formed in 2013 in Sion, a city in the southwestern Swiss canton of Valais, DSKNT first emerged in 2017 out of total obscurity in their native homeland with an unexpected and insanely crushing self-recorded debut album titled PhSPHR Entropy, but it’s now in 2021 that vocalist Quasar and multi-instrumentalist Asknt are ready to pulverize our senses with Vacuum γ​-​Noise Transition, a reality-destroying album that takes shape as a dark and multidimensional hallucination deep into reality’s most cryptic and terrifying truths, embraced by a primeval yet darkly futuristic artwork by AntïGraphic.

Eerie and cryptic from the very first second, the disruptive and atmospheric noises from the intro Spin set the stage for DSKNT to crush our minds in Deconvolution J/ψ [Part I], with Asknt smashing his guitars and drums mercilessly in great Black Metal fashion while Quasar vociferates the song’s otherworldly words manically, sending an austere message to mankind (“Bend the Origins. Destructurate. / Behind the sporadic affliction of Negated, the utter halogenic radiance. / Crawling mechanics of void disturbance. / Degenerating. Ravenous partial reconfiguration of abscond deity.”). After such infernal and experimental start, it’s time for the duo to keep hammering our souls in Transition K0 [Part I], showcasing infernal blast beats and fills, countless breaks and variations and an endless sense of dementia, all spearheaded by the inhumane roars by Quasar in order to make things even more hellish and dissident.

There’s no time to breathe as DSKNT’s thunderous sounds keep permeating the air in the Death and Black Metal extravaganza Θ-Noise – Phase Shift, presenting elements from Avantgarde Black Metal in the piercing riffage blasted by Asknt; whereas an absolute feel of despair impregnates each and every instrument in the also noise-fueled aria Transition Ω- [Part II], where the duo continues to mix the past, present and future of extreme music, resulting in a wicked and fulminating sound that could be labeled as “Apocalyptic Black Metal”. Then get ready for a 9-minute dissonant Black Metal voyage together with DSKNT entitled Deconvolution Ξ*0 [Part II], sounding and feeling noisy and distorted from the very first second, with Quasar’s demonic gnarls walking hand in hand with the hurricane of riffs, bass jabs and beats brought forth by Asknt. Put differently, it couldn’t have sounded more tormenting nor more austere than what it already does, darkly morphing into the vile outro Spore, as dissonant as the album’s intro, putting the perfect “full circle” conclusion to such entertaining album of extreme music.

The music by DSKNT is all around us, and you can experience such distinct metal voyage by purchasing Vacuum γ​-​Noise Transition from a vast array of locations including the band’s own BandCamp page, the Sentient Ruin Laboratories’ BandCamp page or webstore, Apple Music, Season of Mist (CD and cassette), Midheaven Mailorder, Cargo Records, and, or simply stream it as many times as you want on Spotify. Needless to say, you should also start following DSKNT on Facebook and on Instagram to stay up-to-date with all things surrounding this insane project, including new music, new videos and tour dates. And after knowing more about DKSNT and their disturbing creations, you’ll then realize metal music can go much further than the boundaries and limits you’re accustomed to.

Best moments of the album: Θ-Noise – Phase Shift and Deconvolution Ξ*0 [Part II].

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Sentient Ruin Laboratories

Track listing
1. Spin 3:03
2. Deconvolution J/ψ [Part I] 7:38
3. Transition K0 [Part I] 6:39
4. Θ-Noise – Phase Shift 5:59
5. Transition Ω- [Part II] 7:20
6. Deconvolution Ξ*0 [Part II] 9:17
7. Spore 3:23

Band members
Quasar – vocals
Asknt – all instruments

Album Review – Cryptic Shift / Beyond the Celestial Realms EP (2016)

An action-packed voyage through space and time, led by a Sci-Fi Death Metal Assault Squad from the UK eager to conquer the entire universe with their progressive and technical brutality.


btcr-coverAre you ready for a voyage through space and time, a daredevil journey to a parallel universe where you’ll face technology a million light-years beyond our knowledge and where unknown forms of extraterrestrial life coexist, all to the sound of a very progressive and technical fusion of Death and Thrash Metal? This is what you’ll get in Beyond the Celestial Realms, the brand new EP by British Progressive Death/Thrash Metal act Cryptic Shift. If you’re a fan of the hard-hitting and intricate sound of iconic bands such as Death, Obituary and Voivod, lasers will blast from your eyes with excitement while listening to Cryptic Shift.

Formed in 2010 under the name Crÿptic Shift, this Leeds-based group calls itself a “Sci-Fi Death Metal Assault Squad”, a distinct designation that makes total sense as soon as you start listening to their high-quality material. And this blend of extreme music and Sci-Fi led the band to share the stage with renowned acts like Exodus, Hirax and Lost Society, also playing at some up-and-coming festivals in the UK such as Thrashersaurus, Full Thrash Assault and Thrashoholic Fest, all between 2014 and 2015. Beyond the Celestial Realms, which features a “futuristic old school” (if that expression exists) artwork by Nemesis Design, can be considered the “encapsulation” of the band’s short but very active career,  containing revamped versions of some of their original demos mixed with brand new compositions and, of course, a high level of brutality and stamina.

In the cinematic/alien-inspired intro Beyond the Celestial Realms, ominous acoustic lines and a phantom voice inform the listener a dangerous journey is about to begin, entitled Voyage Through Dimensions.  This feast of old school Death and Thrash Metal with a futuristic concept brings forward sheer dexterity and aggressiveness through the guitar riffs by Xander Bradley and Henry Parker, which precisely follow the potent rhythm imposed by drummer Ryan Sheperson. The second half of the song gets groovier thanks to the rumbling sound of the bass guitar by John Riley, adding layers to a song that has all it takes to become the band’s biggest classic in the future.

cryptic-shiftWhen a song is named Deathcrusher, we all know it’s going to be a demonic onrush perfect for breaking your neck headbanging until its apocalyptic ending, with its Slayer-ish riffs being nicely complemented by some traditional Death Metal beats.  In addition to that, Xander and Ryan not only have their kick-ass riffs to provide us, but their solos are also amazing. The following song, Spore, showcases a traditional fast-paced Death Metal rhythm boosted by the piercing guitars by Xander and Ryan, sounding like a fusion of Anthrax and Death, in special the vocal lines by Xander. And after the song’s calm and harmonious break halfway through it, we’re treated to a storm of groovy high-end guitar solos and endless progressiveness. Lastly, the initial peace found in Glacial Reclamation suddenly gives place to an outstanding Thrash Metal extravaganza, with Xander blasting his growls while John keeps delivering his low-tuned punches. All band members display a high level of adroitness with their instruments in this solid and thrilling composition, getting even more progressive than all previous tracks.

The gates to the parallel universe of Death Metal crafted by Cryptic Shift can be found at the band’s Facebook page, YouTube channel, SoundCloud and ReverbNation, and the key to open those gates can be purchased at their official website or BandCamp page, at the Fractured Mind Records’ BandCamp, at the Nightbreaker Productions’ webstore, at the Tictail’s webstore, or at the Blood Harvest’s webstore. Cryptic Shift aim at conquering this universe (and any other existing ones) with their fusion of progressiveness and brutality, and based on the high quality of the music found in Beyond the Celestial Realms, we can say their spaceship of Death Metal is on course without a shadow of a doubt.

Best moments of the album: Voyage Through Dimensions.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Fractured Mind Records/Nightbreaker Productions

Track listing    
1. Beyond the Celestial Realms 1:12
2. Voyage Through Dimensions 5:29
3. Deathcrusher 6:04
4. Spore 5:40
5. Glacial Reclamation 4:40

Band members
Xander Bradley – vocals, guitars
Henry Parker – guitars
John Riley – bass
Ryan Sheperson – drums