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Cloven Altar
Demon Of The Night
March 2016
Released: 2015, StormSpell Records
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Stormspell Records continues the valiant fight to give new young, underground bands a chance. One of their latest signings is Cloven Altar from that hotbed of classic European sounding Metal…California! But wait a sec… Is this two-man project from Califonia or Sweden? It seems the underground warrior Ced (Brietenhold, Rocka Rollas, Blazon Stone) played all the instruments on this album. However Dustin Umberger from the United States wrote all the songs and songs all the songs. So, it is a weird mix, I doubt they have ever even met in person, but it works.

In late 2015 the band (if you can call it that) put out the debut album with some wicked cover art and maybe not such a wicked album title. It runs a bit short at eight songs and 32 minutes but Cloven Altar make a strong initial statement and leave it at that. DEMON OF THE NIGHT delivers a decent blend of faster paced Metal and perhaps classic USPM maybe like Axehammer or Steel Assassin. The overall tempo is fast but not too much double-kick drumming, Ced does some nice triplets and more of a fast gallop. The songs are simple taking a few good ideas and exploiting them into 3-4 minute songs. The production is decent, with a good guitar tone and balanced mix. Standout tracks are ‘Prince Of Hell’ and album closer ‘Break The Ice’. There is nothing at all wrong with DEMON OF THE NIGHT but it comes across just a little uninspired perhaps the songs lack hooks or that indescribable element that grab your ears. The album is well executed but not as memorable as comparable albums of the style.

Normally everything Ced and StormSpell touch are solid gold but not everything can be awesome all the time and this is one time maybe when the song-writing falls a little short. It’s not bad but I’d like to See Cloven Altar crank it up a notch ned time. It is an easy recommendation, a good buy to be sure, check it out but it might not make the list of your all-time favourites.
Track Listing

1. Blood of the Elves
2. Demon of the Night
3. Beneath the Setting Sun
4. Prince of Hell
5. The Mythic Age
6. Curse of the Immortal
7. Forgotten Path
8. Break the Ice


Dustin Umberger-Vocals
Ced Fosberg- All instruments



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