“Who Mourns for the Morning Star” is the sixth full length album from New Wave Of British Heavy Metal group Cloven Hoof and is to be released April 21st, 2017. Cloven Hoof are another one of those bands that are for die hards for the NWOBHM. Seemingly keeping underground but still keeping a tight knit group of fans, Cloven Hoof managed to keep afloat aside many line up changes and are still cranking out good music today. Bassist Lee Payne is the only original member of the group but as we’ve seen with groups like Tygers of Pan Tang or Diamond Head, when you bring in good talent it really doesn’t matter. So with this new album does the band succeed with creating another slab of solid British Metal?
1.Star Rider- The band comes right of the gates with this tune and I must say the production is very nice and pops very well. The guitars are very heavy and mix with the bass extremely well also. New vocalist George Call handles vocal duties very well having that grit but also has a Dio-esque feel to his voice as well. The tune overall is just pure ass kicking metal and gets your attention very quickly.
2.Song of Omporheus- I love the beat to this tune and it has a very modern feel to it as well. The band has a lot of chemistry and everyone plays with all of their heart. The songs melodic elements mesh very well with the heavier sides of things and that’s a big plus. The kickass solo right in the middle also helps as well.
3.I Talk To The Dead- This song has a more hard rock groove going on with it and a lot more of a dark feel as well with the riffs becoming strayed at points. It is a song that does take a couple listens but it does really hook you in especially with its catchy chorus.
4.Neon Angels-This tune definitely hits that mid 1980’s sweet spot with a riff barking back to a lot of the NWOBHM bands back in the day. I really dig the epic chorus as well. It really is just a good time all around.
5.Morning Star- This song takes on more of a ballad approach and I think it is done rather well. It builds quite well into a more simplistic almost power metal tune. Again like I said it is a fun time and a tune that begs to be played live. If you want epic vocalist and plenty of guitar harmonies this tune has you covered.
6.Time To Burn- One of my favorite tunes on the album because it hangs on that old school speed metal style and the band plays very tight as well. It does have some bits that make me feel like im listening to Judas Priest’s “Rapid Fire” but it still works for these guys quite well. Just a good old school speed metal tune that deserves to be played very very loud.
7.Mindmaster- This tune has more of that hard rock feel to it with the lower crushing riffs and feels like it has a bit of an Alice In Chains influence to it as well which adds an interesting element to the album. It is a very simple rocking tune but it isn’t bad.
8.Go Tell The Spartans- This is one of the bigger epic songs on the album and honestly there is a lot going on here. There is a lot of melody and some interesting time changes throughout as well it definitely keeps you interested all the way through. This is probably my favorite song on the album because the band explore some more creative directions but still keep the core sound in tact.
9.Bannockburn- The band definitely chose to have more of an epic closing song as this is the longest on the album as well. It really screams epic power metal especially in the opening. However, when the song picks up it really picks up. It has a very Iron Maiden feel to it as well especially with the very big chorus that just absolutely strikes you. You can really tell that the band went all out with this closing song and I applaud them for that it really pulls me in.
Overall, I give the album a strong 8 out of 10. The band although a lot of newer faces, have managed to create a well crafted album that showcases their abilities and combining more hard rock songs with more traditional heavy metal sounds which is sure to be on repeat many times for me. Even as a newer fan of the band, I could recommend this to a new listener because it definitely showcases what the older albums I listened to beforehand really represented. Just good old fashioned heavy metal. It is good to see Cloven Hoof back once more!