CD review SATAN ‘Cruel Magic’

(9/10) One of the bands that transferred the spirit of the NWOBHM best to the here and now is metal veterans Satan. The guys started back in 1979 in Newcastle, UK and released with ‚Court in the Act‘ and ‚Suspended Sentence‘ two exquisite longplayers, which made them to real underground heroes. Unfortunately things came to an end far too early and it took many years before Satan returned to the scene. It was in 2012 when some touring activities started a second era of these metal legends, a success story that‘s still ongoing. 

Two longplayers followed the revival of Satan and it‘s the 2018 release ‚Cruel Magic‘ that shows again why the quintet from Newcastle belongs to the spearhead of traditional metal. Satan these days is no less than Steve Ramsey, Russ Tippins, Sean Taylor, Brian Ross and Graeme English. This quintet can build on so much experience that it‘s not a surprising news that ‚Cruel Magic‘ is another milestone in the band‘s history, but also in metal in general. 

‚Cruel Magic‘ forges a bridge from the early days of metal to the modern days of heavy music. The record spreads an vintage metal vibe with each of the ten songs spreading an oldschool atmosphere. It‘s a warm and organic sound that you don‘t get that often these days. Instead of an overdone and almost sterile production. this album spreads a lively and dynamic sound that also allows mistakes. This is one of the secrets of giving ‚Cruel Magic‘ the authentic spirit.  

When it comes to songs on the album I can recommend to listen to all of them and my experience is to do that with headphones on. It just makes things even more exciting. Tracks like the galloping title track and the faster ‚Legions Hellbound‘ start to unveil their beauty step by step. You will like each of the songs on ‚Cruel Magic‘ right away and it‘s the details and twists that you will slowly discover with every additional round.  

Another stunning song is entitled ‚Ophidian‘. In contrary to many other tunes on the album these one comes with a reduced level of speed. It‘s a stately song with a blistering solo part and Brian Ross‘ narrative way of singing that makes ‚Ophidian‘ to a special moment.  

The release of a Satan album is always thrilling. The quintet never released a bad or weak album and their fifth strike is no exception. The quintet has inhaled the spirit of metal in the early 80‘s and they still have it in their veins. ‚Cruel Magic‘ is a perfect example for how to transfer traditional metal into the present. The legend is alive. 





  1. Into the Mouth of Eternity 
  2. Cruel Magic 
  3. The Doomsday Clock 
  4. Legions Hellbound 
  5. Ophidian  
  6. My Prophetic Soul 
  7. Death Knell For a King 
  8. Who Among Us 
  9. Ghost of Monongah 
  10. Mortality 


Label: Metal Blade 

Genre: Heavy Metal 

Release Date EU: September 7th, 2018

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