The Occult Sessions / Promo 2004
(Nuclear War Now! Productions)
NWOBHM, er, I mean NWOFHM lives! That's the New Wave of Finnish Heavy Metal, of course. HEATHEN HOOF is one of the strangest bands I've heard in a while. They worship the NWOBHM scene, specifically bands like BLITZKRIEG, CLOVEN HOOF (hmmm), WITCHFYNDE, SATAN, AVENGER... and IRON MAIDEN (with Paul, they point out). I suppose it's a fair comparison, though to my ears they sound more like a cross between MERCYFUL FATE and ENGLISH DOGS. Their lyrics are pretty silly, "I'm a pariah, I'm running wild, I'll fight the world, metal's my guide," though to complete the ensemble next time they should have a line or two about "breaking the chains of something-or-other." The music is standard e-based Heavy Rock with gruff, semi-melodic vocals. Their "Promo 2004" cassette includes seven tracks of crispy Heavy f-ing Metal recorded in two sessions from 2002 and 2004. In no way original, but it is fun in its own context. "The Occult Sessions" were a definite step forward; better produced, tighter, faster, and great feel throughout. Love the chord progression throughout 'Heathen Hoof'. The vocals still aren't great, but they're more natural sounding than on the tape. Kick ass guitar solos, too. Oddly enough, some of it reminded me of early DAS DAMEN. Weird, eh? The quality of the release is up to NWN! standards, though the band could have put a little more into the layout. All in all, great drinking music - the kind of stuff you put on just after you get warmed up on ANGEL WITCH and before you get serious and bring out WITCHFINDER GENERAL's "Death Penalty."