CLOVEN HOOF – Heathen Cross

CLOVEN HOOF – Heathen Cross
High Roller Records
Released Year:
1. Benediction2. Redeemer3. Do What Thou Wilt4. Last Man Standing5. Darkest Before the Dawn6. Vendetta7. Curse of the Gypsy8. Frost and Fire9. Sabbat Stones10. The Summoning

None can describe better the essence of “Heathen Cross” than Lee Payne, founding member (bass) of CLOVEN HOOF and the only one remaining in the band after all those decades: “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!” he says.

Oh, YEAH, we ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT from the core of our hearts!

This latest offering from CLOVEN HOOF, emerges as yet another metal monument of them, and with the addition of American vocalist Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin in the band’s line-up, renowned from his tenure with USPM pioneers JAG PANZER, CLOVEN HOOF ignite a sonic inferno that blazes with unrelenting intensity.

“Heathen Cross” embarks on a dark and heavy expedition through realms of epic metal prowess. The album pulsates with a raw energy, a manifestation of the band’s masterful fusion of US metal legacy and NWOBHM heritage. Each track showcases their ability to seamlessly blend roaring riffage, soaring melodies, and thunderous rhythms into a cohesive metal tapestry.

In “Heathen Cross” we witness the marvelous chemistry between the band’s new frontman and the potent heavy/power style they effortlessly command. Conklin‘s vocals soar above the blistering instrumentation, infusing each lyric with passion and power, while the band’s musicianship shines through with a clarity and precision that speaks volumes of their expertise.

Throughout the album’s duration, CLOVEN HOOF leads listeners on a journey through realms both mystical and menacing, crafting a scenery that is as captivating as it is crushing. From anthemic choruses to blistering solos, every element of “Heathen Cross” coalesces to form an unforgettable listening experience that will leave metal enthusiasts in awe.

“Benediction” is a perfect warm-up eerie intro that leads to gloriously furious “Redeemer”, a song to highlight Conklin’s voice to maximum. “Do What Thou Wilt” is a nicely tuned rhythmical anthem and “Last Man Standing” is a catchy, groovy track that shows the more commercial style of the band. “Darkness Before The Dawn” is a galloping song of epic dynamics, while “Vendetta” stands as a emotional outburst with some really powerful guitar work. “Curse Of The Gypsy” reveals the darkest side of CLOVEN HOOF’s songwriting – hauntingly melodic, yet punchy, it brings instantly to mind the mighty DIO. “Frost And Fire” is a heavy metal hymn, strong and full of brilliant riffs and choruses. Just before the end comes “Sabbat Stones”, my own favorite song of the album – a track of slow tempo, heart-felt heaviness, full-crowded arena attitude, an excellent musical development and a solid vocal crescendo! This is CLASSIC stuff, undisputed and outstanding for all eternity! Last but not least, “The Summoning”, ominous and intricate, the longest track in the album, offers an epic, memorable finale with the band giving all their soul for their BEST to deliver!

Lee Payne on bass, Luke Hatton and Chris Coss on guitars, Chris Dando on keyboards, all members since 2022’s “Time Assassin”, but also the newcomers Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin on vocals and Ash Baker on drums, did an absolutely INCREDIVLE job; with this album, CLOVEN HOOF prove once again why they are revered as masters of their craft, bringing out an album that will undoubtedly stand the test of time.

“Heathen Cross” was released on May 31st by High Roller Records on all formats – CD, LP and digital.

See the discussion on our forum pages.

You can pre-order CD, LP and MC here.

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