West of Hell has a bit of a storied history since their inception in the mid-2000s. Originally formed in New Zealand, the band at the time decided to relocate to a larger market in 2009 and ended up in Vancouver, BC, Canada. While still in search of a worthy vocalist, they were playing live shows as an instrumental band gaining quite the fan base at the same time. That was until they met up with non-other than ‘The Heathen’ himself, Chris Valagao of Zimmer’s Hole.
With the addition of Valagao, it was not long after they released a debut album to the masses. It has been a long seven years since that album and yes, a few line-up changes as well. The result is the band’s latest offering BLOOD OF THE INFIDEL.
BLOOD OF THE INFIDEL is a strong outing by the band that is for the most part a fairly straight forward modern metal opus with a strong emphasis on technicality. While molding many genres such as death, thrash, prog, groove and classic metal, West Of Hell have a fresh yet familiar sound to them.
With the instantly recognizable vocals of Valagao, my first couple listens just made me want to relive my Zimmer’s Hole catalog that has been collecting a bit of dust of the past couple years. But it wasn’t until a couple more spins through that I actually focused in on the music here. It seems to be one of those albums that gets under your skin a bit and does not want to let go.
Jordan Kemp – Bass
Sean Parkinson – Guitars (lead)
Chris “The Heathen” Valagao – Vocals
Kris Schulz – Guitars (lead)