Cruel Force - Official Website

Across The Styx

Germany Country of Origin: Germany

1. Across The Styx
2. Hollywood (Down On Your Luck)

Review by Felix on February 16, 2023.

Sometimes strange things happen that one did not not expect. A successful day at the office (not so often). A good song on the radio (once in a blue moon). A surprising kiss from a beauty queen (never). But now it is real, after a cruel time of silence, the force is back! After this pun, taken from the book “Puns for Absolute Beginners”, it’s time to talk about Across The Styx. Are you ready, Charon?

Well, three quarters of the line-up of Under The Sign Of The Moon are still active and together with the new dude at the bass guitar, Cruel Force present their first new song after eleven years of total silence – and it’s a great one. Great up-tempo verses, driven by precise, rasping guitars merge with a less rapid chorus which returns to the opening riff. No doubt, the almost forgotten German quartet offers an overwhelming riff. It cannot hide a certain oriental touch. But despite this geographic orientation, it circles somewhere between the United Kingdom (Iron Maiden), Denmark (Mercyful Fate) and Sweden (Portrait). No doubt, there is a lot of metallic tradition in the comeback song – at the expense of fury and ferocity, but that’s no problem at all. Cruel Force still spread the flair of the authentic underground which has always been the firm basis of true metal. The pure spirit of the old days returns in new tone sequences and the maturity of the song does not prevent its fresh aroma. It’s a fantastic comeback, only the sounds of the whip at the end affect the great flow of the song a little.

The sound is just cool. The song is not overproduced. It does not fall victim to an overly modern mix. Nevertheless, I cannot identify the smallest sound deficit. The same must be said about the contributions of the single musicians. For example, the vigorous vocals leave a very good impression, even though they are less demonic than they were in the past. So there are some indications that Cruel Force have slightly modified their style, away from black thrash, towards traditionally inspired speed / thrash. But let’s see what the new album will bring which is scheduled for 2023. Until then, do not forget to lend an ear to Across The Styx from time to time. It does not taste better than the never coming kiss, but it tastes very well.

Rating: 9.2 out of 10