With their second – and, sadly, last – full-length album, spawned in 2011, Cruel Force proved true to what they had started on their debut, as both albums were cast in the same fiery mold: Celtic Frost, Venom, Bathory (that album title!) and the top tier of the Teutonic thrash elite godfathered this piece of eighties-worship.
Again, the band from the Rhineland-Palatinate had turned to the Toxomusic Studio (a place where their brothers-in-arms from Desaster recorded their stuff as well) and the result was another pitch black piece of dirty, unpolished and atmospheric black thrash/speed metal, this time embellished with more mid-paced parts, making the whole album murkier, darker and much more epic than the previous output. Cruel Force always loved to play with clichés, but they also had what is most important: Great songs, songs that will surely please every fan of traditional, non-innovative old school metal.
The album cover was adorned with an original artwork by British illustrator and tattoo artist Josh McAlear who has also created stunning cover images for bands such as Midnight, Nocturnal and Toxic Holocaust.
Once more Cruel Force could score a good deal of very positive reviews both in Germany and beyond, confirming their potential as new underground hopefuls; but it turned out that the band would be more short-lived than expected and hoped for: Vocalist Carnivore left right after the recordings and could not be replaced properly, and that was the end of it – no need to cry, though, if you ask guitarist Teutonic Slaughter: “It wasn't that devastating for us I think. We were far away from being a professional or even disciplined band. We came, released our stuff and were gone.” This may be true, but Cruel Force did not vanish without leaving their black mark on the scene.
For the High Roller edition of “Under the Sign of the Moon” no changes have been made to the 2013 vinyl version issued by Heavy Forces: “The songs are the same, no remaster, nothing has changed soundwise. It was just our wish to make the record available so that people have access to a proper record rather than a shitty mp3-youtube-whatever version.” That’s the spirit.