CLOVEN HOOF – Eye Of The Sun


Escape Music
Release Date: June 23, 2006

User Review
10/10 (1 vote)

In the late 1970s, the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) washed across the musical landscape, introducing us to some classic Metal bands, ranging from the likes of Iron Maiden, Saxon, Judas Priest, Def Leppard, and others that would forge respectable careers and/or influence newer bands for years to come.

However, there were lots of other bands that for whatever reason, couldn’t capitalize on this new British Invasion, and would quietly fade from memory after an album or two.

Cloven Hoof was one of these bands: they released a handful of EPs and full-length of albums throughout the early-to-mid 1980s, and seemed to call it quits after 1989’s A Sultan’s Ransom, having never achieved the success of some of their fellow countrymen.

But you can’t keep a good Metal band down: in 2004, Cloven Hoof announced they were coming back, finally free of the legal problems that had been plaguing them for years. 2005 would see the recording of an album of all-new material titled Absolute Power (later retitled Eye Of The Sun), and that album would finally get released in June, 2006.

Joining bassist Lee Payne (the only original member of Cloven Hoof to appear on this disc) on the 10-track Eye Of The Sun are Matt Moreton, vocals; Andy Shortland, guitars; and Lynch Radinsky, drums. With this new release, Cloven Hoof will try and earn some new fans, and maybe win back some old ones.

Eye Of The Sun is very much an “old-school” Heavy Metal album, with a “back to basics” approach that will please fans who wished the ’80s never ended. With the exception of “Cyberworld” (a song about the modern computer age), all of the tunes on this album wouldn’t have sounded out of place in the 1980s. There are lots of big riffs, well-executed solos, and catchy vocal melodies on this release, making it pretty fun listen. Eye Of The Sun also has rough-edged grit and a bit of rawness that lots of newer albums don’t have.

Cloven Hoof catches your attention right away on Eye Of The Sun, with the ripping, fast-moving “Inquisitor” leading things off … it piles on the neck-snapping riffage in a big way. Nearly all of the songs on this album follow in a similar vein to this one: riffs, anthemic lyrics and choruses, riffs, solos, crashing drums, and more riffs. And, if there’s room, another helping of riffs. Cloven Hoof knows what works for them and they don’t deviate from their blueprint too much. All the songs are up-tempo, heavy, hard-hitting, and don’t wear out their welcome, although a couple of them (“Kiss Of Evil” and “Angels In Hell”) go on a bit too long.

Eye Of The Sun isn’t a classic Heavy Metal album, but it’s pretty good, with songs like “Eye Of The Zombie,” the title track, “Kiss Of Evil,” “King For A Day,” and “Golgotha” standing out as other noteworthy tracks. With its slower pace and atmospheric, Bluesy feel, “Eye Of The Zombie” is an effective bit of Metal. It has a big riff too, but you already knew that.

While not winning any originality points, Cloven Hoof makes up for lost time with Eye Of The Sun, a welcome comeback for them. Catch the “Wave” one more time.

Listen to Metal Express Radio’s interview with Lee Payne here!


  • Gary McLean

    Gary was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of the small Ontario, Canada town of Sault Ste. Marie, right on the border of Michigan, USA. When it comes to Metal and Hard Rock, Gary likes quite a few different bands, from stalwarts like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, to newer, hard-hitting groups such as Primal Fear, Hammerfall, and Paragon. Other favorites include the likes of Nightwish, Running Wild, Therion, Accept, Stratovarius, Dream Evil, Helloween, Rammstein, Dirty Looks, Crimson Glory, Tristania, and Gamma Ray. He thinks AC/DC deserves a paragraph all their own though.

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