Over the past decade or so concerns have been raised amongst the metal community regarding a lack of homage to the groups that began it all. WILDESTARR are in many ways a group that exist to deny such criticisms seeing as they’re a modern group with a keen gravitation towards conventionality and tradition. Influenced by Eighties-spawned acts such as DIO, QUEENSRYCHE, and SAVATAGE yet coupled with their own touch of magic, the group are set to release their third studio album via Scarlet Records. The album is titled ‘Beyond the Rain’ and is a highly emotional work of heavily orchestrated rock coupled with a high sense of melodic sophistication and song-writing efficiency. The group consists of husband-and-wife duo Dave Starr (ex-VICIOUS RUMORS) on guitar and bass and London Wilde on vocals. Completing the line-up is the dexterous John Foster on drums and percussion.
The album begins with ‘Metamorphose’, a fairly grandiose slab of symphonic-metal lasting approximately one minute. Musically it’s more of a mood-setting introduction as opposed to an all-encompassing overture seeing as this is the only track where one really gets the sense of a high classical influence. Title track ‘Beyond the Rain’ is heavy, progressive and dynamic. I’d say a large proportion of the album is quite sombre and thought-provoking in its most stripped-back atmosphere and this track definitely confirms that statement. ‘Pressing the Wires’ is very anthemic and surprisingly catchy for this group. Don’t get me wrong, when I say the songs aren’t particularly immediately “catchy” it isn’t a put-down of sorts but quite the opposite. These musicians are quite experienced in what they do and I believe they’ve come to the realisation that there’s only so many melodic templates one can revert to when writing a metal song; needless to say it’s quite apparent that this group are moderately cautious to steer clear of re-hashing the same old melodic conventions rooted in the genre. ‘Double Red’ is one of my personal favourites and so is ‘Down Cold’, the two tracks of which I regard as the peak of the album’s range of intensity. ‘Rage and Water’ is solid, strong and fierce and yet again doesn’t fail to emphasise the pounding percussive nature they have to offer. ‘Crimson Fifths’ is a ballad-esque song with numerous verses, choruses and bridges which are all now indefatigable qualities to the group’s standard of writing. ‘Undersold’ is probably my second favourite track here as it’s just so punchy. ‘From Shadow’ is good although maybe a little bit too busy at times; though having said that I’d personally take busy over inertia and lethargy any day of the week. ‘When the Night Falls’ is an appropriate coda for a very promising album of relatively short-to-medium length, snappy yet aggressive songs.
Line-up: Dave Starr – guitar, bass London Wilde – vocals, keyboards John Foster – drums
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