One of the world’s best Metal bands releases a best of. Yawn! But this is not “just” a regular best of, CLOVEN HOOF brought their divine vocalist Russ North back on board and have recorded their best songs live in the studio, produced by none other than Paul O`Neill. Jon Astley (LED ZEPPELIN, THE WHO, JUDAS PRIEST, ERIC CLAPTON, THE ROLLING STONES) did the mastering, so the sound is damn intense, dynamic and especially authentic. There are hardly any overdubs, no fakes – only pure CLOVEN HOOF.
For the first time there also are older songs, which previously had suffered from a lousy production, available in a fat sound. I don’t really want to say much about the song writing abilities of the Brits, the target group is in the know, so to say. Fans of more modern sounds and lovers of Pro Tools and trigger techniques as well as sterile plastic sounds won’t be interested in this album anyways. Thankfully the songs still maintained their original substance, so that gemstones such as “Nova Battlestar“, “The Gates Of Gehenna“ or “Mistress Of The Forest“ appear in a new shine. Another interesting thing are Russ’ interpretations of the songs he had not been part of. As a special extra we also are treated to aggressive “Mutilator”, which is a taster of the upcoming brand new studio album.
If you’ll ever see this in stores is questionable, for now you can only get the disc on the band website. A Must have!
(Online December 30, 2008)