|Cloven Hoof Eye Of The Sun||Escape Music|
Perhaps one of the forgotten bands of the massively influential NWOBHM movement of the last 70s and early 80s, Cloven Hoof seemingly did everything right as far as writing good songs and getting out and touring, yet they would not be one of the lucky ones.|
The band never had a stable line-up and all that remains today is one original member – bassist Lee Payne – who has put together a new line-up for this new studio album.
To be honest, I am not sure of the motivation behind this new record and I had no expectation at all going into it.
Payne has joined with Phenomena creator and acclaimed producer Tom Galley to record the new album.
Having no expectations can be a good thing, as the band does not have to live up to any preconceived notion. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised and have come to like this album a lot.
Like no time has passed at all, the line-up assembled grasps the original concept of the Hoof's NWOBHM sound as if it was still 1983. Things have been updated a little of course, but essentially, this is a classic style British melodic metal record that I think will bring back some great memories for fans of the era and genre.
New vocalist Matt Moreton has a voice in the higher register, but a decent growl also and definitely does the material here justice.
After a couple of warm up tracks, I think the album falls into a very consistent groove from track 3 and for whatever reason, it think the sound quality also picks up here. The crunching hard rock of Eye Of The Zombie would do most metal bands proud.
Highlights for me would be the more melodic and harmony backed Cyberworld; the classic British hard rock of Kiss Of Evil, which features a great lead vocal; the metal angst of Absolute Power and the power groove of King For A Day.
The album is closed out in the same way it opened, ok but as strong as the middle – leaving the best tracks running 3 through 7.
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