9. Cloven Hoof – Cloven Hoof (1984)
Many NWOBHM bands dabbled with Heavy Metal’s penchant for witchcraft and the dark arts but Cloven Hoof were the true Occult-Rockers of the scene and their debut is a Satan-summoning classic.
Alternating between AC/DC-esque hard-rock stompers and lengthy odes to Devil-worship it is the progressive and epic “The Gates Of Gehenna”, “Return Of The Passover” and the self-titled opening track that hit the hardest, each one of these songs unleashing merry hell as Cloven Hoof tingle-the-spine and shred-the-nerves in the name of deliciously blasphemous Heavy Metal.
These black candles should have burned much brighter but as it transpired Cloven Hoof became a somewhat forgotten, second-tier NWOBHM album and it’s high time this was corrected.
This is one malevolent monster that demands to be resurrected.