A Metal band with roots in the ’70s can be certainly described as belonging to the spearhead of a genre that grew over time to a community rather than a music-only style. Next to some other bands that started at the time it was a band called Cloven Hoof that released with a self-titled debut a longplayer that attracted notice.
After band members parted ways in 1990 a reunion in the early new century paved the ground for a new era of Cloven Hoof. These days it’s the only remaining founding member Lee Payne who acts as the main driver of Cloven Hoof’s activities. A few years ago Chris Cross (g) and George Call (v) joined Payne on the Cloven Hoof- journey while Ash Baker (b) and Mark Bristow (g) went aboard last year. The five steel-workers put a lot of effort into the next Cloven Hoof longplayer ‘Age of Steel’ that reaches the record stores in mid-April.
In total 10 songs reflect the roots of Heavy Metal with songs like ‘Alderley Edge’, reminding of Iron Maiden, especially when it comes to the galloping rhythm and the vocal-lines. Also ‘Touch the Rainbow’ takes the same line and it’s noticeable how close Call’s vocals come to Bruce Dickinson and his way of singing. Both songs are pure headbanging ammunition, showing parallels with the forerunners in the NWoHM, just that Cloven Hoof couldn’t cash in as much as Iron Maiden did.
The dramatic ‘Gods of War’ is another song I can recommend to fans of traditional Heavy Metal. The melodic ‘Judas’ has the potential to reach a wider group of music passionistas before the anthemic title tracks acts as the closing chapter. Even with the last note fading away the album leaves you with an impression of Cloven Hoof being hungry for more.
Three years after ‘Who Mourns for the Morning Star?’ it is ‘Age of Steel’ that provides again hard-hitting Heavy Metal, music with an oldschool spirit and a modern production. Two thumbs up.
- Alderley Edge
- Touch th Rainbow
- Gods of War
- Victim of the Furies
- Age of Steel
Label: Pure Steel Records
Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date EU: April 24th, 2020