Vancouver-based metal band

Vancouver-based metal band

West of Hell revives that classic metal sound

Band got its start in New Zealand, moved to Vancouver and is now taking their heavy metal sound on the road in western Canada

In the years since bands like Metallica and Judas Priest reigned supreme, the metal-genre has evolved and taken on a new sound, but one band is looking to revive that old sound.

West of Hell originated out of West Auckland, New Zealand but have since moved to Vancouver, found a lead vocalist and are now set to tour Western Canada.

The band made a stop in Vernon Thursday night, taking the stage at Sneakers Pub as part of a Western Tour. They will now carry on to Lethbridge, and Edmonton, Alta. and will tour as far as Saskatoon, Sask.

After leaving New Zealand in search of a vocalist, West of Hell has been reasonably successful in Canada, and the reason is simple: a bigger population.

“New Zealand is basically too small, even for the mainstream artists. The country and population is too small to support that. If you want to do anything with music you have to leave,” said drummer Andre Hulme.

After taking a leap of faith and committing to the west coast even before having a lead singer, West of Hell has been fortunate. In their search for a front man they came upon Chris (The Heathen) Valagao.

Upon finding their vocalist, West of Hell also found their sound, a sound that sets them apart from other metal bands.

“We’re definitely different than a lot of the metal bands that have been around in the last 10 years,” said Hulme. “Primarily our musical style has a lot to do with it, but I think our vocals is what really sets us apart.

“We have somebody that can sing at a very high level, which is something that’s not found too often these days anymore.”

West of Hell is reaching all types of metal fans with their unique style that for the most part remains uncategorized in metal.

“It’s already been tried and tested, we’ve come up with a sound that seems to be crossing not only genres of metal but also the age gaps. It’s bridging the age gap quite well with younger listeners and old-school metal-heads,” said Hulme.