“The highlight of the night for many, West of Hell. As main support, they sounded tighter then ever, with an intense performance that included The Heathen taking a grinder to a modified mic stand. West of Hell most definitely stole the show and prepared the crowd for Bay Area thrash legends Death Angel.”
— Abort Magazine
Chris ''The Heathen'' Valagao -Vocals
Sean Parkinson- Guitar
Ivan Vrdoljak- Guitar
West of Hell is a heavy metal band that was formed in West Auckland, New Zealand. Their objective was to create a
sound that would preserve their legendary influences, whilst having modern elements. This perfect blend would evolve
the music boldly into the future of Metal.
Founded in 2002 by Ivan Vrdoljak and Andrew Hulme, the duo spent the early months writing, learning, honing and
practicing. They then reached the point where a second guitar was needed to evolve the band's sound. After a long,
arduous search, friends finally directed them to Sean Parkinson (ex-Sinate). Parkinson found an instant chemistry with
Vrdoljak and Hulme. The driven trio immediately got to work, writing songs and forging their trademark sound. Finding
the right bassist was also difficult, but two years of monitoring the grapevine led to the discovery of Jordan Kemp.
Jordan quickly bonded with his West of Hell bandmates, creating the thunderously tight rhythm section they possess
today. With the music locked down all they needed was a frontman.
Having searched without success for perfect vocalist locally, the band decided to continue the hunt in Vancouver, B.C.,
Canada. In 2009, the four members uprooted their lives and moved to the other side of the world. 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 attracting the attention of the local metal community. The exposure led them to Zimmer Hole frontman
Chris “The Heathen” Valagao. It was apparent to the founding members that Valagaosʼs diverse skills were exactly
what West Of Hell needed to realize the bandʼs ultimate vision.
West of Hell was fiercely determined to produce an album of high quality. Unwilling to settle for second best, they hired
producer and Juno Award winning engineer Rob Shallcross (Strapping Young Lad, GWAR, Zimmers Hole, Gene
Hoglan, Fear Factory, Cocaine Moustache) with whom Valagao had worked with on previous projects. In late 2010,
they began work on Spiral Empire at The Factory Studios in Vancouver. West of Hell's debut album will be released in
early 2012. The wait promises to be worthwhile.
West of Hell is here to reclaim the great genre of metal that has been diluted by straight edge, clean cut posers who
look like rejects from American Idol. West of Hell will lead you back down the path of true metal!