Artist Spotlight – West of Hell

Band nameWest of Hell
MembersChris ”The Heathen” Valagao-Vocals
Sean Parkinson-Lead Guitar
Kris Shulz- Lead Guitar
Jordan Kemp-Bass
Paul Drummond-Drums
LocationVancouver, BC (originally from
Auckland, New Zealand)
Founded inMid-2000
Similar artists“I would say there are not many bands that
sound like us. The band’s sound is a hybrid
of classic metal, thrash metal, and a bit of
contemporary tech metal.”
First release“Spiral Empire” (2012)
Latest release“Blood of The Infidel” (2019)
LinksFacebook | YouTube
The Music Addict’s VerdictOld school metal with a new spin.
Sounds a bit like Accept.
West of Hell

How was the band formed?  The band is originally from West Auckland New Zealand. The core members moved to Vancouver, Canada in search of a vocalist. West of Hell was playing live shows in Vancouver as an instrumental act and creating quite a buzz in the local metal scene. Chris Valagao (Lorde Heathen) took notice: “These guys were playing a very traditional, classic pure metal style, I instantly wanted to jam and see how my vocal style would mesh with what they were doing”. A few cases of beer later and we had a cohesive lineup.

What’s your songwriting process like?  Usually, the string section puts together the foundation of a song arrangement, then the drums get jammed out. Vocal melodies and tone are sorted out through freestyle jamming, finally, the lyrics are penned. 

What are your influences? Vast and far-reaching. Maiden, Priest, Dio, Pantera, Slayer, Metallica, early Van Halen, Sabbath, etc……

How would you describe your music?  Power, death, prog thrash, groove, classic metal.

What’s the one thing that makes your band stand out from the rest?   West of Hell is a unique combination of styles and influences that defy convention; we take risks stylistically and are not afraid to mash up all the metallic sub-genres.  

Describe your live show? Stand and deliver, relentless from beginning to end.

Have you ever played in Montreal? Well after a show in Montreal we were walking down St Catherine street and our sound man at the time asked a hooker where we could get the best poutine. This guy walks up and says ‘so you want to fuck her?’ and punches the sound guy in the face. The band promptly knocked this guy out cold and we had to run away. Montreal is always a crazy high energy place!

  What are your touring plans for the next few months? We are heading across Canada for a 21 date tour (Montreal on April 14 at Piranha Bar) to support the release of our new album Blood of The Infidel, then after a short break, we will continue work on album 3.


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Jean-Frederic Vachon

Manager in the video game industry by day, rock journalist by night, Jean-Frédéric fills every waking moment of his life with music. Diary of a Music Addict is the little corner of the Internet he's claimed for himself to share his passion with the world.

He's also a regular contributor at the very rad site Montreal Rampage
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