The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world


West Of Hell
Spiral Empire



By Todd Jolicouer


Every once in a while a disc comes across my player that I shouldn't like, but I do like a few of the songs and some of the elements presented. The most recent release from West of Hell is one of those discs. One look at the cover and titles and it instantly build a preconceived notion before even listening to it. I have to admit, I was pleased compared to the initial idea I had about this disc.


"Father Of Lies" has a solid chugging metal entry with guitar work reminiscent of early Metallica or Megadeth. Finally the vocals kick in and I am instantly reminded of my friend Lizzy Borden, except this guy sings an octave lower than Lizzy. "Water Of Sorcery" gives a guitar driven and speed metal feel to the album. "Demon Sent" is what I expected of this album. This has more of a brutal metal feel, darker lyrics, and a bit more screaming than the previous tracks. "Faceless The Droids" features a very good breakdown and some nice fretwork. The song is a bit bland other than the guitar work.


"Unworthy" brings back the chugging guitar that worked on the first track. The intro is a metal heads dream, but the vocalist leans less on ability and more on the growl and grunt vocal style here. "Singularity" is what the previous track could have been. Guitar work and drums that will keep a head banger happy with vocals that are easily understandable. "To War" opens with the quintessential metal pounding bass and tribal drum section. This is metal. The guitar work trickles in and adds to the track. This is the best track on the disc in my opinion. The band is killer here and the lead singer mixes up the vocals with a little metal screaming.


"Soul Taker" is a good metal tune in the spirit of the previous track, but not quite the same. There is a very cool guitar piece featured in the middle of the track. "Spiral Empire" builds on the previous songs, making the end of the disc a very good reason to listen all the way through. Again, a good guitar solo graces this track and keeps the listener interested. The breakdown has a very Iron Maiden feel to it. "Onslaught" closes the disc, but falls short in keeping up with the three previous tracks. This one is going to give a few headbangers whiplash, but that is about it.


Again, not something I normally listen to, and probably won't listen to it with major regularity, but a good metal disc for the heavier rockers. If you are fans of Death Angel or Overkill, check this one out!!



Review posted l0 May 2012