The story of Satan, British legends of NWOBHM movement, represents one of the finest examples of successful comebacks in the entire history of metal movement. Releasing two cult album in the eighties and then lying dormant for decades, Satan returned out of nothing in 2011 and to be frank the expectations were not that high. But Satan shut our collective nagging mouths with 2013’s Life Sentence, one of the best HM albums of the entire decade, and then equally strong 2015’s Atom by Atom followed suit. Satan are not now seen as useless relics of time long gone, like many of their peers who came back, but rather legitimate force to be reckoned with so Metal Blade obviously jumped to opportunity to have these warrior under their belt. Third album after the reformation entitled Cruel Magic is about to be released and I must admit I have waited for it with bated breath: are Satan able to continue their winning streak? After all, the band is comprised of people well in their sixties, it is hard to keep the level of quality for that long… but it turned out that I had nothing to fear about. Ladies and gentlemen, I am happy to inform you that Satan has returned with one more album filled to the brim with highest quality HM music. It is hard to believe when you listen to Cruel Magic that you are not facing some lost forgotten gem of NWOBHM era that is now unearthed, and rustic production enhances that feeling. While we are at it, it must be said that the sound picture is maybe the most ‘’retro’’ out of the 3 reformation era’s albums and maybe it will turn some people off, but in my opinion it kind of adds to that beautifully ancient atmosphere of traditional HM. I also like the fact that Satan did not try to fill the length of CD to the brim with unnecessary songs, but rather go for pure quality: Cruel Magic consists of 10 songs which clocks around 50 minutes and every song has something good to offer, with personal favorites being title track, Doomsday Clock and Who Among Us, but as I have already said none of the tracks are throwaway garbage. Maybe the biggest star of the album for me is singer Brian Ross who shows all the signs of Dio syndrome, that is being better and better with age – his deliverance is simply astounding especially when you have in mind that the man is 64 years old, he doesn’t let up one bit! To conclude, Satan is back once more with magnificent album that will for sure get on various top 10 lists at the end of the year and here’s to hoping that Metal Blade will help them to get their good name even further. I just wish we will get as much albums like this from them in the future, hail Satan!
- Metal Blade Records CD
- Trifunovic Slobodan (9)