Satan - Cruel Magic review



Reviewer:
N/A

63 users:
7.92
Band: Satan
Album: Cruel Magic
Release date: September 2018


01. Into The Mouth Of Eternity
02. Cruel Magic
03. The Doomsday Clock
04. Legions Hellbound
05. Ophidian
06. My Prophetic Soul
07. Death Knell For A King
08. Who Among Us
09. Ghosts Of Monongah
10. Mortality


Innovation is overrated.

Classic heavy metal is making quite a comeback in 2018 and raises its middle finger to all those who thought it was dead. Granted, this comeback mainly originates from grandfathers of the genre but it seems that these old-fart metalheads are still capable of displaying so much more passion, energy and inspiration than bands half their age.

In a bizarre irony of fate Satan have a forty year-old history, yet their studio albums of this decade are now more than what they released during the previous thirty years. While standard bearers of the NWOBHM movement (yes, it is a movement, a period in time and not a subgenre), Satan never quite made it big in the 1980s like Iron Maiden or Def Leppard or even Saxon did. However, their releases after their 2012 reunion have proved that they had much more to offer.

Cruel Magic is an album that sounds simplistic upon first listen and this is mainly due to the production, which is… how can I say it… stripped-down. It sounds as if a veteran band decided to jam at a time when they were most inspired and someone had the fine idea to record the whole process. When everyone is trying to sound flawless, this is a band making a really bold choice, simply because they have the cojones to do so, as well as real confidence in their ability to write excellent songs.

The aforementioned deceptive simplicity is completely wiped out if you carefully listen to the songs unravelling and revealing fantastic song progressions, catchy melodies, riffs similar to those that back in the day inspired the thrash movement, an energy-fuelling rhythm section and a vocal performance by Brian Ross that sits comfortably next to Rob Halford's, Bruce Dickinson's and Ronnie James Dio's greatest moments. The songs often change from slow and raw to speedy and frantic, making Cruel Magic an absolutely charming and engaging listen. There is immense consideration behind each and every track that lies beyond the traditional verses and the retro choruses; the captivating bridges are the ones that add a more progressive feel in the overall experience. And when I say "progressive", I certainly don't imply the aimless meandering of many contemporary acts. Satan have trimmed all fat from this record and this is why I am not going to single out any particular song in this review.

Despite the band's name the lyrical theme has nothing to do with the devil, except maybe in an abstract sense. The lyrics speak about the injustice in the world and in my mind one of the injustices in this world is that Satan are not as popular as their splendid music deserves.

History has a way of looking better than it actually was. Don't get me wrong, Court In The Act is and always will be an iconic album, but Cruel Magic is just as great, if not better.

Satan does indeed have the best tunes.

"Life, death, a prisoner of mortality
Time flies into the mouth of eternity"


 



Written on 16.11.2018 by I was into this music when you were still in diapers.


Comments

Comments: 16   Visited by: 204 users
16.11.2018 - 12:00
Zaph
The Nothingth
"Innovation is overrated. "


Indeed, sometimes an album can succeed solely on good songwriting and great performances. Which is definitely the case with recent Satan albums. As you said, the stripped-down production is important. There is no need for any gimmicks, the quality of the songs speaks for itself. It is just good old heavy metal made by a band that know what they are doing.
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And the tears that we will weep today
Will all be washed away
By the tears that we will weep again tomorrow
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16.11.2018 - 12:18
Ansercanagicus
I agree with this review totally, and I'll add that contrarly to some other bands, Satan managed not to become a parody of themselves, nor just a crappy business act supplying not so great albums to milk the fans. They just happened to make it like it's an authentic NWOBHM classic. It's not as "efficient" as contemporary metal and relies more on a supsend of disbelief than a direct compelling blow, but all the nicely crafted melodies strewn along are worth the ride.
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16.11.2018 - 16:22
Maco
Carnivore
"Innovation is overrated"

@Apothecary
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Anti-PC
Fuck what you think is correct and righteous.
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16.11.2018 - 19:18
Bad English
Masterchief
Did you wrote this whit Marcel, he insists in heavy way that NWOBHM is period of time
Anyway all old farts in last 5 years specially what comne back from the grave , where they were silent 20-30 years put out good albums, active ol farts well not bad as glory days but still.
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Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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16.11.2018 - 21:02
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Bad English on 16.11.2018 at 19:18

Did you wrote this whit Marcel, he insists in heavy way that NWOBHM is period of time

Lol, I didn't but it's true. For example Venom and Tank both belong to this movement but musically they have almost nothing in common
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16.11.2018 - 21:05
Bad English
Masterchief
Written by nikarg on 16.11.2018 at 21:02

Written by Bad English on 16.11.2018 at 19:18

Did you wrote this whit Marcel, he insists in heavy way that NWOBHM is period of time

Lol, I didn't but it's true. For example Venom and Tank both belong to this movement but musically they have almost nothing in common


same as maiden and witchfinder general.
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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16.11.2018 - 21:09
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Bad English on 16.11.2018 at 21:05

Written by nikarg on 16.11.2018 at 21:02

Written by Bad English on 16.11.2018 at 19:18

Did you wrote this whit Marcel, he insists in heavy way that NWOBHM is period of time

Lol, I didn't but it's true. For example Venom and Tank both belong to this movement but musically they have almost nothing in common


same as maiden and witchfinder general.

Exactly.
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19.11.2018 - 04:11
VIG
Viggg
Written by Maco on 16.11.2018 at 16:22

"Innovation is overrated"

@Apothecary

!!!! Yes! haha
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19.11.2018 - 09:45
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by VIG on 19.11.2018 at 04:11

Written by Maco on 16.11.2018 at 16:22

"Innovation is overrated"

@Apothecary

!!!! Yes! haha

Is it sth he has written before first?
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19.11.2018 - 13:25
VIG
Viggg
Written by nikarg on 19.11.2018 at 09:45

Is it sth he has written before first?

No, we are just making fun of the fact that everything Apothecary likes and reviews is weird and experimental, he LOVES innovation. Your review is the opposite lel.
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19.11.2018 - 13:32
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by VIG on 19.11.2018 at 13:25

Written by nikarg on 19.11.2018 at 09:45

Is it sth he has written before first?

No, we are just making fun of the fact that everything Apothecary likes and reviews is weird and experimental, he LOVES innovation. Your review is the opposite lel.

Yeah, I see. My tastes are definitely more "traditional" than Che's but tbh I can't see how anyone into metal cannot enjoy this album
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19.11.2018 - 16:58
Maco
Carnivore
Written by nikarg on 19.11.2018 at 09:45

Is it sth he has written before first?

Him reviewing an album like this one? That would be miraculous.
----
Anti-PC
Fuck what you think is correct and righteous.
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20.11.2018 - 01:21
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Maco on 19.11.2018 at 16:58

Written by nikarg on 19.11.2018 at 09:45

Is it sth he has written before first?

Him reviewing an album like this one? That would be miraculous.

Let's challenge him. Apothecary would you ever review Satan? Or any other heavy metal album for that matter
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20.11.2018 - 02:20
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by nikarg on 20.11.2018 at 01:21

Let's challenge him. Apothecary would you ever review Satan? Or any other heavy metal album for that matter

That little convo got me thinking about what actually is the most conventional sounding album I've ever reviewed. It could be this, sure there are others to mention as well. The idea of "it doesn't have to be original to sound good" is not lost on me

Good review for this one. It's a pretty fun listen and I can definitely tell it's well written. The riffing style just feels overly familiar, very akin to classic Maiden and Mercyful Fate. I think that's part of the problem with more obscure bands still going for a more "traditional" take on metal. Not really anything they're doing wrong themselves, but just the fact that since listeners are often more used to similar sounding material from the more well known names of the genre, it's hard to listen without thinking of those bands first. So the work in turn feels a little less distinct and memorable when it's just reminding you so much of bands you've heard already.
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This is the water, and this is the well
Drink full and descend
The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within
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20.11.2018 - 11:13
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Apothecary on 20.11.2018 at 02:20

Written by nikarg on 20.11.2018 at 01:21

Let's challenge him. Apothecary would you ever review Satan? Or any other heavy metal album for that matter

That little convo got me thinking about what actually is the most conventional sounding album I've ever reviewed. It could be this, sure there are others to mention as well. The idea of "it doesn't have to be original to sound good" is not lost on me

Good review for this one. It's a pretty fun listen and I can definitely tell it's well written. The riffing style just feels overly familiar, very akin to classic Maiden and Mercyful Fate. I think that's part of the problem with more obscure bands still going for a more "traditional" take on metal. Not really anything they're doing wrong themselves, but just the fact that since listeners are often more used to similar sounding material from the more well known names of the genre, it's hard to listen without thinking of those bands first. So the work in turn feels a little less distinct and memorable when it's just reminding you so much of bands you've heard already.

I just read this review of Bloody Hammers (I had no idea this band existed) and it's a great one but, let's face it, the comments are pure gold

As far as Satan are concerned, I strongly believe that they should have achieved the same cult status as Mercyful Fate, they are that good. Iron Maiden are another ballgame of course. For me if a band makes good music, it's enough most of the time. For example, the latest Necrophobic reminds me a lot of Dissection, but that doesn't necessarily prevent it from being one of this year's best albums on my list.

In any case, it's good that reviewers have different tastes, perceptions and preferences. It makes for having a variety of reviews here for almost all different kinds of metal, which is definitely a good thing. I personally enjoy reading certain people's reviews even if the music is not up my alley and it is often that a review had made me listen to something I was initially prejudiced against with a new set of ears.
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20.11.2018 - 19:25
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by nikarg on 20.11.2018 at 11:13

For me if a band makes good music, it's enough most of the time. For example, the latest Necrophobic reminds me a lot of Dissection, but that doesn't necessarily prevent it from being one of this year's best albums on my list.

I can respect that attitude and can't really say I disagree. But for long term memorability, I think the selling factor often comes down a band having a sound that can't easily be compared to other bands. Art that sticks out more tends to draw more attention than that which, while of good quality, aesthetically feels more like "business as usual," at least for me anyway.
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This is the water, and this is the well
Drink full and descend
The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within
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