Friday, November 28, 2014

NWOBHM/traditional heavy metal: CLOVEN HOOF (U.K.): Resist or Serve (High Roller Records)

Cloven Hoof (U.K.): Resist or Serve (High Roller Records)
I thought that I knew Cloven Hoof, but this new album sounds like a band a lot more renewed and energized than I expected. The very first thing that caught my attention is the energetic, rocking vibe of the album, so good to the ears. What happened here, Cloven Hoof? It feels like all of a sudden the band has taken a huge jump. I have had to listen to the album many times to confirm that it is as good as I am telling you that it is. Just to make it clear: I do listen to the 80s albums “Cloven Hoof,” “Dominator” and “A Sultan’s Ransom,” but there is just something else about this new album. Maybe it’s that it sounds so contemporary, in a metal-2014 good way?
Well, what is it, Cloven Hoof? Somehow, all of the heavy metal tradition of 70s metal, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, 80s and 90s heavy/power (and a bit of thrash) have all now converged in Cloven Hoof 2014 to such an extent as to create a most memorable and modern album? Did the band throw caution to the wind and all the rules and limitations out the window, and decided to challenge its elders and juniors for the throne? Saxon, watch out! Judas Priest, look out! HammerFall, you are not safe anymore, either.
What explains this new, bouncy, rocking Cloven Hoof? Here’s the final verdict. I do not at all get the sensation there is filler here. That’s very good. Then there is the matter of the singer. It turns out that since 2012 (according to Metal Archives), Cloven Hoof’s singer is Joseph Whelan (but who joined as a guitarist in 2011). The main thing that I will tell you about Joe is that he sounds genuinely excited to be singing, and that gets across to the listener very well. The talent and enthusiasm by Joe, combined with the good songs, makes this album one that is worth obtaining and keeping. The only problem is, how are they going to top this album now? That’s a good problem to have!
The following is a public secret that millions and millions of people in the U.K. already know: Joe Whelan was on the television show The X Factor and those YouTube videos have been watched by millions of people. Things are looking up for Cloven Hoof, right?
Cloven Hoof - Deliverance (Resist Or Serve 2014)
Cloven Hoof - Brimstone and Fire (Resist or Serve 2014)
Joseph Whelan's audition - Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love - The X Facto...

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