For those who’ve been following CYSTIC so far, Palace of Shadows unmistakably sounds like the same band, but there’s a distinct evolution in their songwriting and style here. Effortlessly and unselfconsciously, CYSTIC stay true to their punk roots and retain their characteristic murkiness, but wade deeper into the murk of Palace of Shadows and one will hear clear and palpable growth from their no-less-considerable past. The album comprises nine songs in 36 minutes and actually feels far vaster than that, largely in part to its fully cohesive concept. But even so, CYSTIC keep proceedings urgent, displaying energy even when these songs start feeling “epic.” Likewise, their melodicism has taken on a darker and more emotional edge, supported by nuanced rhythms and flowing grooves, altogether combining for a battering (and mildly blackened) death metal assault that feels classic and fresh in equal measure. To celebrate the release of Palace of Shadows, CYSTIC will perform at this year’s Killtown Deathfest in Copenhagen in September.