Includes A Full-Color Insert Featuring Several Previously-Unpublished Photos From The Original 1983 Album Photo Shoot As Well As Full Lyrics
Extensive Liner Notes By Bassist And Founding Member, Lee Payne
Album Has Been Restored From Original Masters And Remastered By Anders Peterson @ GS Mastering & Post, Sweden
For the first time since its original release in 1984, Wax Maniax is very proud to bring the essential debut album from NWOBHM cult-metal legends CLOVEN HOOF back to vinyl!
Originally formed in the heart of the industrial West Midlands, England in 1979, CLOVEN HOOF went through various line up changes until Spring 1982 when the band line up consisted of Lee Payne bass guitar, David Potter vocals, Steve Rounds lead guitar and Kevin Pountney drums. The band's first demo tape was given the thumbs up from no lesser than Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) who took a copy of the tape into national Radio One, and Rob Halford (Judas Priest) who got it played on a radio station in Phoenix, Arizona. The band self-released "The Opening Ritual", a four track mini album in July of 1982, and the EP stayed in the "Sounds" and "Kerrang!" heavy metal charts for six weeks peaking at number 18. Articles in "Kerrang!" and "Noise" magazine were followed by renkown Sounds writer and Kerrang! Magazine founder Geoff Barton putting the band atop his prestigious "Breaking through in '82" feature and play list.
"The Opening Ritual" attained extensive radio air play worldwide but it wasn't until Tommy Vance played tracks off the EP on his legendary "Friday Rock Show" program on Radio One in the UK that interest in Cloven Hoof began to soar. 1983 saw Cloven Hoof touring throughout the United Kingdom, earning themselves a sizeable underground cult following. Soon afterwards the group were taken under the wing of ex-Judas Priest manager David Hemmings and an offer to sign the band from CBS Records soon followed.
Personality conflicts within the band, followed by the untimely death of manager David Hemmings put a strain on relations with CBS and the offer was withdrawn. In order to keep the momentum built by the band's live appearances and radio play going, the band instead looked to leading UK independent heavy metal label Neat Records where a deal was quickly struck. The band entered the label's Impulse Studio with reknown producer Keith Nichol (Venom, Satan, Raven, etc..) to record their self-titled debut album which was met with great adulation by the heavy metal press. Shortly thereafter, frontman Dave Potter left the band to join French metal unit "H-Bomb". Cloven Hoof soldiered on, releasing a live album in 1986 with new frontman Rob Kendrick (Trapeze, Budgie) followed by a second studio album in 1988 featuring an all-new lineup including Russ North of post-Budgie group Tredegar on vocals. Three more full-length studio albums would follow, the most recent released in 2014. The band continues to soldier on to this day with Lee Payne at the helm, enjoying a strong cult following both young and old, ushered in by the internet age that has seen their 1984 debut album topping lists of the best and most influential heavy metal albums of all time.
1. Cloven Hoof
3. March of the Damned
4. The Gates of Gehenna
5. Crack the Whip
6. Laying Down the Law
7. Return of the Passover