Monday, January 10, 2011

Cruel Force - The Rise of Satanic Might

Cruel Force
The Rise of Satanic Might
2010 Heavy Forces Records

It seems that more often than not these days, that I stumble across some killer metal that I would not have found out about if I hadn't been looking through someone's distro
list. Such is the case with Cruel Force, a German band of deathly thrash metal that features members of Nocturnal and Old. The Witches Brew label had this album in their distro, and the name more or less forced me to go check out some tracks on their Myspace page. I immediately put the album on the list of things I was buying from WB at that time, and when I got this disc, I was not disappointed in the least. I guess that reading through distros is the new version of reading through thankslists in order to find killer bands. It used to be that if you read the thankslist on an album, you were more or less guaranteed to find at least one new band you were previously unfamiliar with, but were destined to become a fan of. Same thing here. I just found a label that puts out things I like to listen to, checked out their distro list, and BAM! I got hit over the head with Cruel Force. They're more or less in the same style as Hellish Crossfire, Desaster, Witchburner or Ketzer (and no, I don't think it's a coincidence that all of those bands are also from Germany). A couple of things make Cruel Force stand out though. First off, the vocals of Carnivore are heavier than those of most other bands in the sub-genre. Second, the production that this quartet of rockin' cadavers got here is stunning. I really can't think of the last time I heard a debut album that had this good of a production sound. Nothing drowns out anything else. None of the band members is higher in the mix than the others, and every single aspect of the music is practically crystal clear. Obviously, some serious time, consideration and (probably) money were put into the creation of this album. I've heard a lot of albums from very established bands that don't even come close to the sonic perfection we've got here. I would say that I hope to hear even more from Cruel Force soon, but I'd rather that they do what they did here and take their time to put out another quality album that shows the same kind of effort and love for metal that we hear on "The Rise of Satanic Might."

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