Accuracy meets grit and collides with playfulness - A review of Cloven Hoof's Who Mourns for the Morning Star?
After a decade of silence, New Wave of British Heavy Metal legend Cloven Hoof has come back in strength with the beginning of the new millennium and the quintet's seventh studio record Who Mourns for the Morning Star? underlines the group's qualities on a high level.
The band plays with rejuvenated energy and especially the mid- to fast-paced riffs are truly vivid while the numerous melodic guitar solos are executed with passion and care. The thunderous rhythm section is also above average and especially the drum play is quite creative at times. The vocals find the right balance between energy and melody and perform convincingly in higher and lower registers. New singer George Call seems to have great chemistry with the rest of the band and he even brought his bandmate Danny White from Aska who has become the new drummer.
Among the highlights, one needs to cite the powerful opener ''Star Rider'' that doesn't take any prisoners and convinces aggressiveness, precision and speed that most younger heavy metal revival bands can't compete with. Another outstanding song is certainly ''Go Tell the Spartans'' that might be the record's most creative and diversified song with numerous dynamic changes of pace where the vibrant bass guitar and clever drum play convince particularly well. Album closer ''Bannockburn'' is at times atmopsheric, epic and melodic but doesn't forget to intensify the performances and quicken up the pace at the right moments.
In the end, Cloven Hoof's Who Mourns for the Morning Star? certainly doesn't reinvent traditional heavy metal but is performed with so much accuracy, grit and playfulness that it can be considered a genre highlight. Heavy metal fans should certainly rather check out this legend that has aged very well instead of the numerous exchangeable heavy metal revival bands. Especially the beginning and end of the record are very convincing and show that the legend is still alive and kicking.
Final rating: 82%
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