Cloven Hoof @ Crow Club


Just one week after the bombastic performance of Riot in Athens, the metalheads of the Greek capital had one more chance to catch one of the best bands of the so called second wave of NWOBHM. Cloven Hoof would appear once again in front of their beloved Greek fans and naturally we wouldn’t miss the chance to see them live on stage especially due to the fact that I have never seen them in this line-up. But we will talk all about it in a while…

At 21:10 Hateflames hit the stage; a new band with just one album under their belts. The quintet did a fine job on stage and their US-based 80s heavy metal left us under the best impressions. Some songs were kinda reminiscent of Fates Warning (of their three first records) and some other of Helstar (of the latter era). If we take a side a –more or less- expected stage fright of the band’s singer (a fact that I am confident it will improve in the future), it was an overall enjoyable performance by Hateflames.


Crimson Fire was up next. With two albums (and one coming up within 2020) and many shows in their 14-year career, the guys had absolutely no problem of winning over the crowd (there must have been around 150 people in the club) as they put on yet another tight show. This was by far a much improved performance since the last time that I saw them and I must underline that the old songs sound much better with this band incarnation. The two new tracks (“Judas” and “Fear”) that opened the show went down amazingly well (especially the Maiden-esque “Judas”) thus leaving expectation for the things to come. The well-known songs “Bad Girl”, “Young, Free, Lust”, “Eternal Flame” “Midnight Strike” and the my favorite “Her Eyes” (that was a surprise) made the fans sing along to the lyrics while the cover version of the Riot classic “Warrior” (dedicated to the late Guy Speranza) was the icing to the cake. A brilliant show, all in all…


The time has come for the main event of the night…Cloven Hoof! The band’s sole original member, Lee Payne, stands majestic and imposing on stage and while the time has left its marks on his face, the guy still possess the same energy and hunger…unbelievable! I knew what to expect from Cloven Hoof: a great heavy metal concert. What I didn’t expect was: a) how tight and perfectly rehearsed this line-up would be and b) what an amazing singer and performer George Call is! I am telling you the guy is one of the most underrated heavy metal singers of our time. Cloven Hoof has really gained points and credibility with him behind the mic. For the next 90 minutes the legendary band had prepared for us a trip down in memory lane with the emphasis naturally given to the first era of the 80s albums. The live versions of the classics “Astral Rider”, “The Fugitive”, “Nova Battlestar”, “Cloven Hoof” were far superior compared to their studio counterparts while it would be a mishap if I didn’t point down the obvious…the songs that brought the house down…I am talking about the majestic “Reach For The Sky” and “Crack The Whip”. The show ended with a brilliant performance of the “Laying Down The Law” and everybody left with a smile on their faces. That was surely a night to remember. Congratulations to all the bands and the promoters for a job well-done.

Sakis Nikas