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Review: Cloven Hoof - Age of Steel
Cloven Hoof
Age of Steel

Label: Pure Steel Records
Year released: 2020
Duration: 50:14
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: May 9, 2020
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Age of Steel

Rated 4.29/5 (85.71%) (7 Votes)

My knowledge of Cloven Hoof is limited to knowing they are a band that originated in the U.K. during the NWOBHM and having seen the cover of their self-titled debut once or twice. I don't think I have ever heard their music until this album, 2020's Age of Steel, the band's eighth full-length since starting out in the late '70s. I was expecting retro-NWOBHM melodic metal or, worse, some modern "dark" crap but instead, some of the songwriting on this album nods heavily in the direction of Iron Maiden's recent albums, thankfully sans the bloated, overly long running times. Aska singer George Call sounds a lot like Bruce Dickinson on tracks like "Alderly Edge" in the way structures his vocal lines while belting out his deep, clear voice and the twin guitars and galloping bass are Maiden all the way. On other songs, Cloven Hoof go for a rough, sharp power/thrash approach like on the opener "Bathory". It is an interesting mix of styles within a single album and the band seems equally comfortable with both. Kudos to Cloven Hoof for not trying to live off past glories and embracing new musical paths. I'm not a huge fan of the newer Maiden albums or power/thrash in general, but Age of Steel is a solid album that is quite enjoyable. Like Weapon UK and Satan, Cloven Hoof have figured out a way to exist in today's metal scene quite nicely.

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