Cloven Hoof (band)

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Cloven Hoof
Origin Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England
Genres Heavy metal, power metal
Years active1979–1990, 2000–present
LabelsHigh Roller, Elemental, Neat, FM Revolver, Escape
Associated acts Tredegar, UK/DC, Highway, Grace The Skies, Aska
Members Lee Payne, George Call, Chris Coss, Ash Baker, Mark Harris Bristow

Cloven Hoof are an English heavy metal band from Wolverhampton, active from 1979 to 1990, and again from around 2000 onward. They were associated with the new wave of British heavy metal movement, alongside bands such as Iron Maiden, Saxon and Diamond Head. Enduring many line-up changes, only founding bassist Lee Payne has remained.



Early years: 1979–1987

Cloven Hoof went through a number of early line-up changes before settling on a steady line-up that would last for their first few recordings. Theatrical from the beginning, the four band members took up pseudonyms based on the four elements: David "Water" Potter, Steve "Fire" Rounds, Lee "Air" Payne and Kevin "Earth" Poutney. [1] This line-up recorded a successful demo tape in 1982, along with The Opening Ritual EP, and the debut Cloven Hoof album (1984). [2]

Following the release of their self-titled debut, David Potter left the band to be replaced by Rob Kendrick, who took up the "Water" pseudonym. This line-up only managed to record the live album Fighting Back (1987) [2] before splitting up, leaving Lee Payne as the sole remaining band member.


Lee Payne reactivated the band in 1988, hiring vocalist Russ North and guitarist Andy Wood from Tredegar along with drummer Jon Brown.

With a whole new set of musicians in place, the band dropped the stage names and went on to record two more albums: 1988's Dominator and 1989's A Sultan's Ransom . [2] The former member of Tredegar, Lee Jones, was brought into the band as a second guitarist soon after the release of these two albums, but contractual difficulties caused the band to split up again in 1990. [2]


In the summer of 2001, Lee Payne began putting together a new line-up for the next incarnation of Cloven Hoof (following a telephone conversation with Andy Wood regarding the contractual difficulties which had caused the band's decade-long split.)

The band completed a live appearance at the Keep It True II Festival at the Tauberfrankenhalle in Lauda-Königshofen, Germany on 10 April 2004.

Eye of the Sun was recorded and released in 2006, with the help of musicians Matt Moreton on vocals, Andy Shortland on guitars, and Lynch Radinsky on drums. Tom Galley produced the album. Due to the work commitments of various band members it was impossible for the unit to play live, so Lee Payne was once again obliged to enlist new personnel.

Vocalist Russ North returned to England and rejoined the band, after a period of time spent living in Spain. Eventually the band's line-up was completed by Mick Powell and Ben Read on guitars, with Jon Brown on drums.


A collection of re-recorded songs - The Definitive Part One - was released in early 2008, [3] with a new EP to be called Throne of Damnation scheduled for release in 2010.

In 2008, Cloven Hoof co-headlined the Metal Brew Festival in Mill Hill with Pagan Altar. [4] Both bands also performed at the British Steel IV Festival at the Camden Underworld in 2009. [5]

On 27 June 2009, Cloven Hoof appeared at the Bang Your Head!!! festival in Balingen, Germany. They featured on the bill alongside bands such as W.A.S.P., U.D.O., Blind Guardian and Journey, playing their set in torrential rain.

The track Nightstalker, from the band's debut album, was used in the soundtrack for the Brütal Legend computer game.

In early 2010, following the exit of Russ North, Matt Moreton was hired to record the vocals that appeared on the Throne of Damnation EP. Moreton left the band due to ill health soon afterwards. [6] On 13 December 2010, Cloven Hoof released their first DVD, A Sultan's Ransom - Video Archive , comprising footage of a 1989 concert at Lichfield Art Centre and also featuring two music videos for the songs "Mad, Mad World" and "Highlander", both from A Sultan's Ransom .

2011 saw Lee Payne rebuilding the band, bringing in guitarist Joe Whelan from the band Dementia and guitarist Chris Coss from UK/DC, along with drummer Mark Gould and Ash Cooper on vocals. This line-up released a music video called I'm Your Nemesis and an updated version of "Nightstalker". Russ North parted company with Cloven Hoof for a final time in July 2012, following a controversial performance in Cyprus. Mark Gould left the band in August 2012, with Jake Oseland replacing him on drums in time for a series of live dates in 2013. The 2013 line-up of Cloven Hoof scheduled a debut UK concert appearance with Jameson Raid and Hollow Ground at Wolverhampton Civic Hall on 30 March 2013. [7] On 27 April 2013, Cloven Hoof played a concert at the Parkhotel Hall in Tirol, Austria. The show was recorded by producer Patrick Engel for a future live album release. A studio album, provisionally entitled Resist or Serve, was planned for release on High Roller Records.

On 23 June 2013, Cloven Hoof played at the R-Mine Festival in Belgium, on a bill which included Hell, Tygers of Pan Tang and Tank. This was followed by an appearance at the Heavy Metal Night 6 Festival in Italy on 21 September 2013. In 2014, Cloven Hoof were added to the bill for the Sweden Rock Festival, with Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper. An appearance at the Power and Glory Festival in Hatfield was scheduled for 23 August 2014, with further European tour dates due to take place throughout the year.

Band members





Cloven Hoof (band)


Studio albums

Live albums

Compilation albums



Videos and DVDs

See also

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<i>The Opening Ritual</i> 1982 EP by Cloven Hoof

The Opening Ritual is an EP by the British heavy metal band Cloven Hoof, and their debut release. The track in this EP, "The Gates Of Gehenna" was re-recorded by the same band for their self-titled first full-length studio album. There exists a bootleg split album of this EP and the band's live album Fighting Back.

<i>Cloven Hoof</i> (album) 1984 studio album by Cloven Hoof

Cloven Hoof, released in 1984, is the first full-length studio album by the British heavy metal band Cloven Hoof. The track "Gates Of Gehenna" from the band's debut E.P., The Opening Ritual, was re-recorded in this album. Neat Records re-released this album on CD in 2002 and included 3 bonus tracks that were recorded on 10 June 1983 for the BBC Friday Rock Show.

<i>Fighting Back</i> (Cloven Hoof album) 1986 live album by Cloven Hoof

Fighting Back, released in 1986, is a live album by the British heavy metal band Cloven Hoof. Unusually for a live album, it features a selection of new tracks not featured on previous albums, although the song "Eye of the Sun" would later resurface on their 2006 album of the same name and "Reach For the Sky" and "The Fugitive" were used on the follow-up 1988 album, Dominator. This is the only Cloven Hoof release to feature singer Rob Kendrick, and the last with guitarist Steve Rounds and drummer Kevin Poutney before breaking up the band.

<i>Dominator</i> (Cloven Hoof album) 1988 studio album by Cloven Hoof

Dominator, released in 1988, is the second full-length studio album by the British heavy metal band Cloven Hoof. This science fiction concept album debuts singer Russ North and guitarist Andy Wood in the band, as well as drummer Jon Brown. This album also shows Cloven Hoof's musical direction leaning more towards power metal than their previous releases. The songs "The Fugitive" and "Reach for the Sky" were previously recorded on their 1986 live album Fighting Back, and "Road of Eagles" was originally recorded on their first 1982 demo and also recorded live in studio for the BBC Rock Sessions in the mid 1980s.

<i>A Sultans Ransom</i> 1989 studio album by Cloven Hoof

A Sultan's Ransom, released in 1989, is the third full-length studio album released by the British heavy metal band Cloven Hoof. It is also the last Cloven Hoof album to feature Andy Wood on guitar, due to contractual difficulties that forced the whole band itself to split up from 1990 to 2001. Music videos were made for the songs "Mad, Mad World" and "Highlander".

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<i>The Definitive Part One</i> 2008 compilation album by Cloven Hoof

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<i>Throne of Damnation</i> 2010 EP by Cloven Hoof

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  1. "MusicMight :: Artists :: CLOVEN HOOF". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Colin Larkin, ed. (1995). The Guinness Who's Who of Heavy Metal (Second ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 83. ISBN   0-85112-656-1.
  3. "Cloven Hoof - The Definitive Part One - Reviews - Encyclopaedia Metallum". The Metal Archives. 28 May 2008. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  4. "". 17 April 2013. Archived from the original on 2 February 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. "CLOVEN HOOF (Lee Payne) - Interview 2012". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  7. "Cloven Hoof News - keep upto date with tour information - new releases and band news". 16 December 2013. Archived from the original on 16 December 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2019.