- The Metal Voice
Cloven Hoof ‘Time Assassin” Album Review By The Metal Voice
Updated: Mar 14, 2022
Cloven Hoof – ‘Time Assassin” album review by Milwaukee Tom and Jimmy Kay
The English band, Cloven Hoof has a new album entitled “Time Assassin,” which was release March 11, 2022 via Heavy Metal Records.
Cloven Hoof have always been associated with the NWOBHM alongside bands such as Iron Maiden and Saxon but just never had the opportunity to reach the heights of their peers due to unfortunate circumstances. Enduring many line-up changes, only founding bassist Lee Payne has remained a constant member but despite all these changes the quality of music has always endured. Fans who love Judas Priest and Iron Maiden well Cloven Hoof fits right smack in the middle of them in terms of musical style.
The new albums lyrical theme marks the last part in a trilogy starting from the bands 1988 album Dominator which is a sci-fi concept storyline about the dangers of genetic engineering. This time the “Time Assassins’” mission is to save the galaxy from its pain and suffering and chronicles the tyrants rise and fall. The critically acclaimed “Age of Steel” (2021) album was part 2 of the “Dominator” saga and now we have the third installation of the trilogy on 'Time Assassins.'
Musically this Time around the band has gotten faster, harder, proggier and louder. What you basically get on this album is top notch songwriting with the golden age of NWOBHM riffs and slick solos, double bass drumming set on 10 with and lots of tight time changes.
In terms of George Calls' vocal delivery, he manages to pull off multi-track harsh vocal mixed with a dynamics range and a unique tone which sets this album apart from other metal bands in this genre. Call also does a fine job in portraying the characters vocally throughout the album. (Note George Call has sung on the last three Cloven Hoof Albums)
Some song highlights include the lead track an up tempo a full-on fuel burning high energy “Guardians of the Universe,”. From there they go right into “Liquidator,” a style of song that would seem to fit right into the KK’s Priest album. Other stand out tracks include the melodic complex stand out track “Time Assassin,” the Arabic scale influenced “Beltane Fire,” and the Circus style a la Wall Bombastic track “Carnival of Lost Souls” which closes out the album in fine form.
A last musically note there are some touches of keyboards and choirs throughout the songs that add to the album storyline, giving it a more proggy epic vibe. The running time of the album is right around a nice 45 minutes so all killer no filler, with most Tracks being mid to up tempo.
All in all, “Time Assassin” is another fine album from Cloven Hoof. It’s a decent & respectable follow up from 2020’s stellar “Age of Steel” album and continues in the tradition of great songwriting from the band. It might take a little bit of time to grow on you, but it’s a very good album! Well done guys.
Rating: 8.4 out of 10
Lee Payne – Bass
Lead Vocals-George Call
Luke Hatton - Lead Guitar
Chris Coss - Lead Guitar
Mark Harris Bristow – Drums
1. Guardians of the Universe
3. Lords of Death
4. After Forever
5. Time Assassin
6. Beltane Fire
8. Tokyo Knights
9. Carnival Of Lost Souls