Satan Credit: Stefan Rosic

Satan formed in 1979 and went on to become one of the biggest names of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. The band brought a meaner, faster sound to the movement than their peers, operating closer to the vein that thrash bands would come to dominate in the metal world a short time later. Satan broke up and got back together a couple times following their initial ten-year run—at different stretches they even transformed into the bands Blind Fury and Pariah—but since officially reuniting in 2011, they’ve maintained the same lineup that recorded their 1983 debut, Court in the Act, and throughout this decade they’ve been releasing a steady stream of totally great records. Last month’s Cruel Magic (Metal Blade) is a heavy-hitting classic-metal masterpiece that brims with all the over-the-top delights of the band’s early days: joyous choruses that praise the Prince of Darkness, double-timed drums galloping along, harmonized guitar leads, and crushing riffs. Cruel Magic has to be one of the most epic, perfectly evil, and beautifully timeless records ever put together by a resurrected metal giant. Nostalgia be damned—Satan are forever the real thing. —   v

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