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Cloven Hoof – Heathen Cross


Last Updated on 09:17 by Nikos Nakos

Genre: Heavy Metal/N.W.O.B.H.M.
Country: U.K.
Label: High Roller Records
Year: 2024

I really love Cloven Hoof and have being enjoying their music since the first months that I chose to become a metal head and it’s true that sometimes I act like a fanatic when it comes to write a couple of words about an album from these NWOBHM heroes, my heroes…! And it wouldn’t be a lie that their last three studio albums were really strong works but there was a strange feeling as it would be better with a better singer not that George Call was a crap or something. I just had these thoughts every time I was spinning one of the band’s cd’s from 2017’s Who Mourns for the Morning Star? up to Time Assassin before two years.

And now that I haven’t stopped a day spinning Heathen Cross these 3 weeks that I have it in my hands Harry Conklin’s magical voice proves me damn right !!!!

Excellent songwriting bringing in mind some of the finest moments of Cloven Hoof that it would be rather unbelievable that they would ever reach again creating dark atmosphere with strong guitars yet melodic, excellent choruses that are catchy and memorable while the soloing is absolutely brilliant.

Of course the songs aren’t only guitar driven but also based on the voice of The Tyrant. It would be just impossible to miss the chance to have a so important vocalist and waste the opportunity to write big songs or great songs. And Lee Payne this dirty fox of Heavy Metal delivered some of his finest moments here. He brilliantly uses the ace on his sleeve of revisiting his (and the band’s) roots trying to recapture the feeling and the vibes of his early days and the satanic hollowing aura.

Here what Lee Payne comments about it: “Heathen Cross is Cloven Hoof’s most dark and heavy album yet! It has the satanic undertones of our debut album, but with the best vocalist the group has ever had. Personally speaking it is hands down my favorite Cloven Hoof album. We wanted to recapture the spirit and the supernatural majesty of the debut album. Talking to the fans we have given them what they wanted most, a return to the roots of the NWOBHM. They are going to love it!”

Astonishing work with hymns like Redeemer, Sabbat Stones, Frost and Fire or The Summoning is an unrelenting crescendo demonstration of Conklin’s talent and an exhibition of the excellent work of Payne. Epic touches, emotional performing and remarkable parts combine some of the best songs that the band ever wrote.  Surely there’s more galloping tracks like Darkness Before The Dawn, some darker like Curse of the Gypsy or some more guitar driven like Vendetta or the catchy Last Man Standing and my personal favorite the Tony Martin era Black Sabbath-like Do What Thou Wilt that enriches an overall pluralistic record that flirts with USPM and which shows Cloven Hoof thirsty for blood. Your blood!!!


Giorgos Tsekas
Giorgos Tsekas
"Κάποτε Όταν Θα ‘χουμε Καιρό... Θα Σκεφτούμε Πάνω Στις Ιδέες Όλων Των Μεγάλων Στοχαστών, Θα Θαυμάσουμε Τους Πίνακες Όλων Των Μεγάλων Ζωγράφων, Θα Γελάσουμε Με Όλους Τους Χωρατατζήδες, Θα Φλερτάρουμε Όλες Τις Γυναίκες, Θα Διδάξουμε Όλους Τους Ανθρώπους" Μπ. Μπρεχτ

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