Sparta – Welcome To Hell

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On 1 March 2015
Last modified:1 March 2015


A long awaited return for both band and fans sees Sparta delivering the goods on Welcome To Hell.

The old saying of good things come to those who wait can certainly be applied to Mansfield based Sparta and their fans as it has taken almost 35 years for their debut album Welcome To Hell to see the light of day. Formed in 1979 by guitarist Tony Foster, they only managed to release 2 singles. ‘Fast Lane’ in 1980 was named single of the week in Sounds, a magazine who was a major factor in the growth of NWOBHM and ‘Angel Of Death’ in 1981 which has been re-recorded for Welcome To Hell.

Sparta disbanded in 1990 but reformed in 2013 following a compilation ‘Use Your Weapons Well’ on High Roller Records who have also released Welcome To Hell. I saw Sparta play a storming set at the prestigious Brofest Festival 2014 in Newcastle Upon Tyne with all 5 original members still in the band.  10 tracks that define NWOBHM are on offer here. The title track explodes with an ear grabbing intro riff that belies the ages of Sparta. After a call to arms cry of “Spartans! What is your profession?”, a grinding main riff backed by thumping drum patterns from Paul Reders give the rest of the album a hard act to follow, especially when the tempos pick up and dual guitar solos rage away.

The new version of ‘Angel Of Death’ follows with a raw, garage sounding vibe. The riffs are reminiscent of On Through The Night era Def Leppard which slow down for the huge chorus of ” Angel of death, bringer of light” as a fret burning solo brings it to a close. Other choice cuts are ‘Time’. It’s marching like hard rock grooves are backed by a more melodic vocal than the first 2 tracks as another raging guitar solo precedes a full on metal ending.  Slide guitar dominates ‘Wild Night’ which crashes along like an almost heavier slice of 1970’s glam rock.

The full throttle drum driven ‘Arrow’ could almost be a modern day version of Motorhead’s ‘Overkill’ and following track ‘Rock And Roll Rebel’ sees the Motorhead influences rise again as it’s ‘Like A Nightmare’ tempos are backed by lyrics quoting titles from AC/DC, Judas Priest, Rainbow, Free, Status Quo, Metallica and Iron Maiden. ‘Kingdom Of The Sky’ is an epic slow burner. It’s ‘Doctor Doctor’ like intro and Quo like boogie finish make it my album highlight as Welcome To Hell closes with the tongue in cheek ‘Death To Disco’. The title is a self explanatory paen to the joys of heavy metal with lyrics of “Try some proper music before you go insane” to hammer the point home!

Next gig for Sparta is at the Rock Den in Hatfield on May 30th 2015 supported by Tytan and N.O.V.A. A new studio album is due for release early 2016.


Sparta band line up :-

Karl Reders – Lead vocals.

Tony Foster – Guitar.

Snake Reders – Guitar/vocals.

Paul Reders – Drums.

Tony warren – Bass guitar.


Album track listing :-

Welcome To Hell.

Angel Of Death 2013.


Soldier Of Fortune.

Wild Night.

Dreaming Of Evil.


Rock And Roll Rebel.

Kingdom Of The Sky.

Death To Disco.

A long awaited return for both band and fans sees Sparta delivering the goods on Welcome To Hell.

About Dennis Jarman

Full time downtrodden album/gig reviewer and part time rock God!