It’s pretty nice, that the old troopers of CLOVEN HOOF are still with us. Anyhow, the Brits are always among my faves and they accompanied my youth until today. A new album makes you always fear the worst. In this case I can give a “all-clear” to all inclined listeners. “Eye Of The Sun“ became a fucking Old-School album. Even when there is some modern shouting from time to time, we’ve got a classical Metal album (in the positive way) lying in front of us.
Of course it won’t reach some band’s milestones like “A Sultan’s Ransom“ or “Cloven Hoof”, but there are some really beautiful compositions to hear. “Angels In Hell” is such a highlight. With an acoustic and dreamy beginning and a fat metallic riffing and up-pace with a very melodic refrain. The new vocalist Matt Moreton does his job really pretty well, even if he can’t replace a god like Russ North yet. He’s even got that typical, slighty whining voice, how it was obligatory at the NWOBHM. The title track starts off 80es-esque with good melody-lines and a very lascivious guitar solo: “Golgotha” is my absolute fave on this album, a great basement and a simple, but magic chorus accompanies this song. In the middle there is a power-part and a FORBIDDEN-esque shouting starts off and it is followed by an acoustic break, where the voice gets tranquil. Smooth interlude. “Inquisitor” is a head-cutter, how he is written in the books.
Just straight-forward fodder for all headbangers only for the truest of the true. This song will hardly disappoint a true metalhead. Wow! Therefore with “King For A Day”, “Kiss Of Evil” and “Whore Of Babylon”, there is enough stuff available for straining your neck! CLOVEN HOOF are sounding in the year of 2006 on the one hand catchier and heavier and on the other hand the choruses are more reminding to Hard Rock than to Metal. They haven’t laid their 80es-roots aside and on principle they could have left the shouting away. The songs are working as well. I wouldn’t have expected it, it’s a very good, but even not an overwhelming album of a legend yet. (Online June 3, 2006)