"Spiral Empire"

 By Dark Starr

These guys have produced a pretty awesome metal disc here. It’s raw, but also melodic. There is thrash mixed with NWOBHM and more extreme metal. "Father of Lies" comes belting out of the gate with a feeling of Iron Maiden but more modern in style. I detect a touch of King Diamond in "Water of Sorcery", which is a fine example of how West of Hell mixes a technical edge to its brutality. Some songs like "Demon Sent", "Unworthy" and the self-explanatory "Onslaught" just let rip with a raw and thrashy approach. Yet each track retains its own unique identity...not an easy thing to pull off on an album as aggressive as this one.

 If there’s one complaint to be made about this crunch-fest it’s that it would have been stronger without the weird bonus track added to the end of the album. I can't figure out the sense or logic of tacking on so-called "tunes" that are pretty much random sounds like voice mail messages or screwing about. Still, ignoring that, this is a really strong metal album.