Of all the bands that have formed in West "By God" Virginia, this band fittingly took on the name Westbygod. Fittingly for maybe no reason other than singer Tommy Hess was through-and-through a West Virginian - a good ol' boy from the Elk River area who carried a heavy accent and a hearty laugh. He liked to drink beer and his appearance could have fit as easily into a country group as it did a progressive heavy metal band.
That is Westbygod - good ol' boys from rural West Virginia who grew up listening to the likes of Iron Maiden and Slayer and learned to play their instruments very well. Formed by former Flood bandmates Shaun Fox and Jeremy Spears, Westbygod knew how to play heavy - recklessly chugging along in the vein of Crowbar and breaking into jazz-infused guitar parts that channel Opeth. While all the band's players are more-than-capable musicians, it is drummer Jeremy Spears who is the driving force in West By God. Technically unparalleled by any drummer I've seen in West Virginia, his style is subtle yet powerful and never overwhelming. To balance it all, Hess's guttural bellowing (think Domination-era Morbid Angel) and occasional melodic vocals give the Westbygod a modest thickness that prevents the band from being "too progressive."
With the help of Charleston Cave Records producer Scott Robinson, Westbygod recorded a self-titled seven-song demo in 1997 and then a six-song demo in 1999. Neither of record was hardly released, but both are included on this download. I also recommend checking out Jeremy Spears' current band DEADSEA, based in Columbus.
For Fans Of: Morbid Angel, Crowbar, Motorhead.
DOWNLOAD: Westbygod - Contradictions/Westbygod.