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Criminally Overlooked - Guilty Of Excellence - 99%

Night_Moves, October 29th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2008, CD, Metal Mind Productions (Reissue, Remastered, Limited edition)

Court In The Act seems to have gained a bit of a cult following, especially since the band reformed and have garnered many positive reviews for their latest output. I am very happy for their recent resurgence, but I'm at a loss as to how they never made the big leagues back in the day seeing as this record is close to being perfect in every way. Consider that Court In The Act was released the same year as "Kill Em All", "Piece Of Mind" and "Show No Mercy" and somehow is not revered in the same way as these other classic records. I would go as far as to say that Satan's debut offering is superior to the the three aforementioned debut platters. Sure, it's not as influential and might not have been if it had been correctly promoted but the songwriting, technical prowess, heaviness and overall vibe are undeniably jaw-dropping.

One listen will easily hammer my point home, as the twin guitar attack of Tippins and Ramsey is stellar. Their precision playing and intertwined harmonies are what truly elevates this record to the status of "classic" and "must own". Every solo on every song is bursting with urgency and leaves a lasting impression. If you've not been smiling in utter joy and admiration of the guitar work then Brian Ross's vocals will surely do the trick. I admit, at first that he sounds slightly flat and one dimensional but his tone does fit perfectly and his high notes more than make up for it. (The fact that Brian can still hit all the highs to this day, seeing as he's knocking on the door to 60 is almost unbelievable.) Unsurprising that bass and drums are tight and flawless, though I won't go into detail when it comes to these instruments as I'm not too savvy compared with my knowledge of six strings and the backs of men's throats.

Every song's a winner, absolutely no filler and the record is the perfect running time. The artwork does seem a bit goofy by today's standards but I really do like it. It looks creepy enough. The only negative issue I have which has prevented me from giving a perfect score is the production. I've heard a few different releases of this and it seems to be an almost quiet mix, thus meaning stereo volume is whacked right up and you can't make out much in the way of bass.

Satan are back in business and some may say their newest releases top this one. Time will tell, but make no mistake they will remain the uncrowned kings of the NWOBHM movement and one of the best bands I've had the pleasure of listening to.