CLOVEN HOOF – Heathen Cross

CLOVEN HOOF - Heathen Cross album cover
  • 9/10
    CLOVEN HOOF - Heathen Cross - 9/10


Label: High Roller Records
Release date: May 31, 2024

User Review
9/10 (1 vote)

Two years after Time Assassin, Cloven Hoof legendary NWOBHM band returns with a new opus “Heathen Cross.” With their mind set on going back to their roots and making their heaviest album to date, it can already be said Lee Payne & co rose to the challenge. This time it’s Harry (The Tyrant) Conklin behind the mic and his voice suits the band. Cloven Hoof also earns additional points with the quality of the production which manages to harness the energy of live music but in a studio.

Standing strong

After a cinematic introduction (just perfect to get into the mood and not bored) “Redeemer” is the first banger on this album. The band makes ample references to the great classics of the Classic Heavy Metal genre, in chorus and riffs: the 666 line in “Do What Thou Wilt” or bass lines that well could have been on a Black Sabbath album on “The Summoning.”

Amongst the heaviest titles and a future fan favourite on stage to be sure is “Last Man Standing.” The keyboard layers also add a very catchy ’80s touch. However, Cloven Hoof did not completely part with their more Power Metal ways as you can hear in “Darkest before Dawn.”

There is very little slowing down on this album. Even the slower-paced songs retain all the qualities one could want from a Heavy Metal Classic such as the song “Sabbat Stones”. Inspired by a Cornwall folk tale, this song is one of the album’s highlights. The same can be said about “The Summoning.” These two last songs work perfectly together and finish the album in the best way possible.

Final thoughts

Heathen Cross tells dark stories of witches, monsters and doomed heroes and no song is superfluous. Heavy and catchy riffs will make your head bang from start to finish. With this tenth album, Cloven Hoof proves once more they’re one of the strongest of the genre and that classic Heavy Metal is not ready to disappear just yet.

Cloven Hoof – Lineup

Lee Payne – Bass Guitar
Harry (The Tyrant) Conklin – Lead Vocals
Luke Hatton – Lead Guitar
Chris Coss – Lead Guitar
Ash Baker Drums / Backing Vocals
Chris Dando – Keyboards / Backing Vocals

Heathen Cross – Tracklist

  1. Benediction
  2. Redeemer
  3. Do What Thou Wilt
  4. Last Man Standing
  5. Darkest Before the Dawn
  6. Vendetta
  7. Curse of the Gypsy
  8. Frost and Fire
  9. Sabbath Stones
  10. The Summoning


  • Séverine Peraldino

    Reviewer, interviewer and apprentice photographer for Metal Express Radio, Séverine comes from a small place in the Southern French Alps, near Grenoble. Her taste for classic Heavy Metal is a family heritage and after growing up listening to Iron Maiden, Dio, Metallica and Angra she expanded her horizons with almost every subgenre of Metal, from Power, to Prog, a little bit of Death and Black Metal. She mostly enjoys albums telling stories with originality. When she is not travelling around for concerts and festivals, you can find her reading a good book, or playing board games with friends.

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