Sparta - Welcome to Hell - (8/10)

Published on February 26, 2014


  1. Welcome To Hell
  2. Angel Of Death
  3. Time
  4. Soldier Of Fortune
  5. Wild Night
  6. Dreaming Of Evil
  7. Arrow
  8. Rock N Roll Rebel
  9. Kingdom Of The Sky
  10. Death To Disco (Bonus Track)


Heavy Metal


High Roller Records

Playing Time:



United Kingdom




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Sparta is a band that was founded in Mansfield, United Kingdom as early as 1979. At its earliest stages, the band had been known as Xerox. The five young men were part of the popular new wave of British heavy metal movement and released two promising singles back in 1980 and 1981 as well as a split record with 1981. That’s when the story of the band went slowly downhill. The band recorded a couple of demo tracks and toured in their home country but weren’t able to catch up with the genre’s most popular outputs such as Diamond Head, Girlschool, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Samson, Saxon, Tank, Tygers Of Pan Tang, Witchfinder General and so on. When the genre became less prominent towards the end of the eighties, the band decided to call it quits as well around 1990 without having released one single full length record.




Now, in early 2014, the time has finally come for the reunited band. After the release of two great compilations with “Sparta” in 2006 and especially “Use Your Weapons Well” in 2011 that are basically a collection of old classics recorded somewhere between 1979 and 1990, the band comes now around with a record featuring nine brand new genre anthems. Welcome To Hell features all authentic trademarks that made the genre so popular over three decades ago. A raw and energizing garage production meets mid to up tempo heavy metal tracks somewhere between four and seven minutes including gripping riffs, melodic twin guitar solos and grounded vocals singing about death, hell, war but also about freedom, rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle and women. The band sounds as if it was 1981 again. This is a charming approach but also a little bit predictable and old-fashioned.


I’m especially enjoying the more courageous songs on the record. The atmospheric concept track “Soldier Of Fortune” brings the horrors of war to life while the diversified album closer “Kingdom Of The Sky” convinces with almost occult acoustic guitar sounds and longing vocals but also a few sped up passages with energizing hooks. Any Heavy Metal fan should feel perfectly at home in these tracks. The record also features a few dirtier and meaner songs such as the opening title song “Welcome To Hell” that cites the famous 300 movie and proves us that the band has at least somehow landed in the twenty-first century or the faster “Arrow” that could also come from Motorhead if the vocals were a little bit more dis-harmonic.



The more I listen to that song, the more I like it. Many riffs and hooks got quickly stuck on my mind and the band don’t lose any of their juvenile energy. It’s a shame that this record only sees the light of day as an underground release in 2014. If the band had released this record 23 years earlier it would surely be called a genre classic today. But a late release is better than no release at all. The band surely don’t reinvent the genre but those who still care for pure heavy metal and are sad to see the old genre dying these days must give this release a few well deserved spins.

This entry was posted in Reviews.
Sebastian Kluth

Author: Sebastian Kluth

I am born in Leverkusen, Germany in 1989. I discovered my passion for rock and metal music in early 2005. I have been working as a journalist for newspapers, radio shows and webzines from Canada (“Le Progrès Dimanche”, “Le Griffonnier”, “CEUC Radio”, “The Metal Archives”, “The Metal Observer”), Germany (“Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger”, “WDR 5”) and the United States Of America (“Black Wind Metal”) since 2007. I’m living in Canada since August 2009 where I did my studies in Chicoutimi with trainings in Jonquière and Sept-Îles among others for four years. Since late August 2013, I’m living and working in Gatineau.

2 thoughts on “Sparta – Welcome To Hell

  1. hi, i;m karl from sparta,thanks for your positive review it s much apprieciated, but as well as reviews like this we have had negative reviews, the people concerned obviously prefer the faster doom laden metal of most bands of today whiich i have every respect for and please carry on, but we are from the 80s and to change our style would be fake. the only condition high roller records gave us to release this album was that we sound like sparta and we all feel that we have achieved ths and we are proud of it, and we thank all at high roller for thier help, once again thanks for your review. cheers karl.

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