Sparta were one of those many NWOBHM bands that released some material which is now really sought after, but never gained the publicity or accolades of others. Many of these bands sank without trace, but in 2011 High Roller released a compilation of their material, which did incredibly well. This inspired the band to work together again and wrote the first new Sparta song since 1985, “Welcome To Hell”, and the label was all for them recording an album, so after some 35 years here is the debut studio album from the band. Unlike many other reformations this contains all of the most well-known line-up, and they have kept their original sound to boot. The result is an album that is unmistakably NWOBHM yet at the same time is music for today with good production and catchy hooks.
Yes this is a trip in nostalgia in many ways, but for those who like me grew up on this genre (I was 16 in ’79) then this is wonderful. It took me back to the days when I was listening to everything I could find by bands such as Geddes Axe, Jaguar, Twisted Ace, Handsome Beasts and all the rest. It is true to the original thinking behind the formation of the band, and they have maintained the original influences of Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Motörhead with a little splash of AC/DC. It has the energy and enthusiasm that got I and many others excited back in the day, and singer Karl Reders still has a fine set of pipes on him. All in all if you enjoy NWOBHM then this is something you need to discover – and they are gigging so keep your eye out for them playing near you.