Satan
Cruel Magic


4.0
excellent

Review

by posevrlord CONTRIBUTOR (90 Reviews)
September 8th, 2018 | 68 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Devil’s in the Details

Let me be blunt. Cruel Magic has no fucking right to be as good as it is. The lasting cult status and success of Satan themselves is something that will never cease to befuddle me. Not to say that they don’t deserve it, it’s just that traditional heavy metal band formed in 1979 should not still sound this creative and lively. Not even the most trailblazing and important metal bands at the time have been able to keep even nearly the same amount of control and calculation that Satan has. That right there is the key, Satan’s continued caliber doesn’t come from luck or rehashing. It’s painfully obvious that these five men care extensively about their output quality and still have what it takes to create a great album.

Much of what makes Satan stand out is their ability to sell their bombast to you, and this record is no exception to that. Much like Mercyful Fate or Slough Feg, the band has a knack for backing up their own grandeur with outstanding song progressions, ones that weave vibrant, catchy melodies into the high octane compositions, while still giving the songs room to breathe. Despite this, the tracks here feel deceptively simple on first listen, yet it’s undeniable that there’s a subtle ingenious to the way “Morality” and “Who Among Us” unravel and intensify. In a similar fashion, it’s commendable how the ebbs and flows of songs like “The Doomsday Clock” and “Death Knell for a King” sync up to their own over-the-top narratives.

The grandiosity and unabashed campiness is far from unique to this style, but Cruel Magic is still able to sell the admittedly outrageous vibes with a sense of refreshing ernest, without coming off ill-advised or unaware. A lot of this comes down to the pure heart and soul of the performances, with guitarists Steve Ramsey and Russ Tippins giving these blistering solos and complex riffs everything they have. And, while the guitars are the definite standouts, the rest of the band are able to lend structure to the two axe wielders, with special props going to Sean Taylor’s superb percussion work. Everything comes together in a way that reeks of Dungeons and Dragons, Black Sabbath t-shirts, and Diamond Head concerts.

I guess that’s why I have so much trouble believing how great comeback era Satan is, especially Cruel Magic. It’s not an homage, it's not a throwback, it’s not a piece of relived glory - it’s the God damned real thing.



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user ratings (79)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
PsychicChris (4.5)
Cruel Magic keeps the momentum of Satan's reunion era going and stands out for its alternate take on...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
September 7th 2018


2136 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Stream the album here: https://satanuk.bandcamp.com/album/Cruel-magic

Thanks to BBGames and FullofSounds for helping me out. :]



Digging: Daughters - Hell Songs

Casavir
September 7th 2018


2481 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review. Planning on listening to this in full later on today. Top 5 NWOBHM bands for certain.

Digging: Secrecy - Raging Romance

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
September 7th 2018


2136 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

easily one of the best bands in the genre, this won't disappoint

Casavir
September 7th 2018


2481 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Listening to it now. If this keeps up, it could be as great as Life Sentence was.

ramon.
Contributing Reviewer
September 7th 2018


2653 Comments


I love you bloon
This is gonna fucking rule

Casavir
September 7th 2018


2481 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, pretty much just as good as Life Sentence. Potential AOTY material.

Ebola
September 8th 2018


3440 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Really excellent review. All three Satan comeback records have been fantastic

bloc
September 8th 2018


53446 Comments


Hyped as hell to hear this one

Digging: The Presets - Hi Viz

slikphuk
September 8th 2018


412 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sweet album and great review! legions hellbound gives me some 'old school vibes, these guys have been consistent over the years. m/

Digging: Abythic - Beneath Ancient Portals

Jeejee
September 8th 2018


69 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rules. Best of their comeback albums in my opinion.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 8th 2018


11342 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

Dammit Bloon you got me to it. Great review though and these guys are amazing.

ramon.
Contributing Reviewer
September 8th 2018


2653 Comments


I feel so many bands must be jealous of Satan’s discography. Fairly uniform and incredible artwork over multiple decades. Multiple comeback records that all kick ass. Consistent relevance even in a stagnant and arguably dying genre. Dibs on the band name Satan. Fuark man

TheNotrap
September 8th 2018


9433 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

These guys have a cool retro vibe

Digging: Sulphur Aeon - The Scythe Of Cosmic Chaos

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
September 8th 2018


9126 Comments


Tasty review Bloonster.

parksungjoon
September 8th 2018


8901 Comments


woah

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
September 8th 2018


2136 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Satan is one of the best band names to get your hands on, agreed.

parksungjoon
September 8th 2018


8901 Comments


pos'd

Pho3nix
September 8th 2018


558 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Gonna check this out simply because of the cover and name of the band

Spacesh1p
September 8th 2018


7669 Comments


this owns

bloc
September 8th 2018


53446 Comments


Life Sentence is one of the best heavy metal comeback albums of all time



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