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Review: Sparta - Welcome to Hell
Welcome to Hell

Label: High Roller Records
Year released: 2014
Duration: 45:43
Tracks: 9
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: May 29, 2014
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Welcome to Hell

Rated 3/5 (60%) (2 Votes)

Following what has become a tradition over the last few years, Manchester, England's Sparta, an original NWOBHM band formed in the late 70s, has gathered the troops together for another grab at the brass ring in the current Heavy Metal-favorable climate. Sparta hail from the Saxon school of riff-oriented Heavy Metal/Hard Rock and their first-ever full-length album has a few really good ones. "Welcome to Hell" has a great bass line that provides are solid foundation for the guitars and the chorus is quite memorable. Sparta's best songwriting is evident on the heavier tracks, like the aforementioned title track, the speedy "Arrow" and the closer, "Kingdom of the Sky," which also features an excellent semi-acoustic intro. If the entire album was loaded with tracks like these, Sparta would have a real winner on their hands. Where if find Sparta less engaging is the more Hard Rock stuff, like "Rock 'n' Roll Rebel," which rips off Sabaton (who ripped off others before them) with lyrics made up of other bands' song and album titles, and "Wild Night," a song Motley Crue would have walked away from. Some of the songs between the extremes aren't bad, but have one or two flaw that make listening more of a chore than it should be ("Angel of Death" has a clunky chorus as does "Dreaming of Evil," but the riffs are excellent.)

Welcome to Hell isn't perfect but there's enough good stuff for fans of the NWOBHM to invest a little time in checking out Sparta. Cheers to Sparta for giving it another go and here's hoping the next one is a little more consistent.

Other related information on the site
Review: No Retreat No Surrender (reviewed by MetalMike)
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