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Cloven Hoof - Cloven Hoof

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Artist: Cloven Hoof / Audio CD released 2002-08-12 at Castle

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      10.06.2008 23:14
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      Cloven Hoof's first album (1984).

      A fortunate latecomer to the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) scene, this allowed Cloven Hoof to expand upon the work of their progenitors in the overcrowded genre, rather than sounding exactly the same as every other Saxon clone of the early eighties.

      This Wolverhampton-based band makes excellent use of an occult theme in a similar way to NWOBHM forebears Angel Witch and Denmark's Mercyful Fate, using the lyrics to enhance the dark and doomy atmosphere of songs such as opener 'Cloven Hoof' and finale 'Return of the Passover' without seeming like a cheesy gimmick, as it would later prove for many Satan-worshipping black metal bands. The most satisfying thing about this album is how distinctive it sounds, something I considered near-impossible for the genre, and while it doesn't quite live up to the genre greats such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, it's one of the best albums I've heard from the more obscure recesses of the NWOBHM.

      The band is a very tight and creative unit, rarely seeming like they're playing to make a quick buck at a time when this sort of music was popular, prior to its rapid decline in favour with the onset of the nineties. Only 'Crack the Whip' feels like a disappointing piece of commercial, by-the-numbers hard rock in the style of AC/DC, the sort of song that Saxon or Priest would churn out on each album in search of a bland radio hit, but fortunately it's the only weak link of an otherwise strong tracklist. Steve Rounds puts in a compelling guitar performance throughout, with great solos in songs such as 'Gates of Gehenna' and the neoclassical interlude 'March of the Damned,' while David Potter's vocals are some of the most perfectly suited I've heard in heavy metal, sounding utterly convincing in his booming performance in songs like the opening track.

      The longer songs are epic without being overbearing or overlong, and the hellish subject matter is just plain cool rather than childish.

      1. Cloven Hoof
      2. Nightstalker
      3. March of the Damned
      4. Gates of Gehenna
      5. Crack the Whip
      6. Laying Down the Law
      7. Return of the Passover

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  • Product Details

    Disc #1 Tracklisting
    1 Cloven Hoof
    2 Nightstalker
    3 March Of The Damned
    4 Gates Of Gehenna
    5 Crack The Whip
    6 Laying Down The Law
    7 Return Of The Passover
    8 Laying Down The Law
    9 Crack The Whip
    10 Return Of The Passover
    11 Road Of Eagles