WEST OF HELL, the Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada-based band featuring ZIMMERS HOLE frontman Chris “The Heathen” Valagao, will release its full-length debut, “Spiral Empire”, on May 8 via Reversed Records. The CD was recorded at The Factory Studios in Vancouver and was produced by Juno Award-winning engineer Rob Shallcross (STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, GWAR, ZIMMERS HOLE, FEAR FACTORY).
According to a press release, “Spiral Empire” features “a unique sound that preserves the band’s legendary, distinctive influences whilst incorporating modern elements, creating a one-of-a-kind listening experience.”
WEST OF HELL was formed in 2002 in West Auckland, New Zealand by guitarist Ivan Vrdoljak and drummer Andrew Hulme. A short time later, friends of the pair finally directed them to guitarist Sean Parkinson (ex-SINATE). Parkinson established an instant chemistry with Vrdoljak and Hulme, driving the trio to immediately begin working, writing songs, and forging their trademark sound. Then, after two years of painstaking searches and monitoring the grapevine, the band was led to bassist Jordan Kemp.
With the instrumental portion of the band locked down, all that was left to be discovered was the perfect frontman. Having searched without success for perfect vocalist locally, the band decided to continue the hunt in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, and uprooted to the area in 2009. In order to share their vision and establish WEST OF HELL in a larger scene, they needed a singer that was more than just a screamer, which drastically narrowed the possibilities. The band played a series of shows as a four-piece instrumental, drawing critical acclaim, and ultimately attracted the attention of the local metal community. The exposure led them to Valagao. It was apparent to the founding members that Valagao‘s diverse skills were exactly what WEST OF HELL needed to realize the band’s ultimate vision.
WEST OF HELL is:
Vocals – Chris “The Heathen” Valagao
Bass – Jordan Kemp
Guitar – Sean Parkinson
Guitar – Ivan Vrdoljak
Drums – Andrew Hulme