A few years ago, maybe ten, I lived and worked in Canada for about a year. It gets quite cold there, and on frosty Winter nights the wife and I often found ourselves watching a makeover show where terminally dowdy people were transformed into visions of perfection by a husband-and-wife dental team, who weren’t so much polishing turds as entire cesspits of drudgery.
I mention this because US power metal outfit WildeStarr, here with their third full length album, the engaging Beyond the Rain, feature a similar husband and wife team!
Not of the dental persuasion, natch, but it has to be said that Dave Starr (guitars) and his life partner London Wilde (vocals) are just as successful at transforming ordinary materials into glittering, delicious heavy metal swans…
The band is made up by drummer Josh Foster, who is never less than impressive, but the main focus rests on Wilde and Starr, and rightly so, because the pair make musical dynamite together.
Tracks like the superb Double Red have an indefinable something about them, a sense of elastic melodicism that really sets them apart from the power metal pack. This sense that you’re hearing something quite out of the ordinary occurs more than once, and it’s entirely down to the raging vocal prowess of Wilde.
In simple terms, she’s a powerhouse, but it’s more than just bellowing loudly. Her timing and use of melody are startling good; Down Cold displays this talent at it’s absolute peak. It’s singing out of the top drawer, but it still needs weighty musical backup, and Starr’s meaty, densely melodic riffage provides that to a tee. He’s clever without being flashy, heavy as heavy can be when it’s required but never just for the sake of it. This is well-crafted metal and then some
Consequently Beyond the Rain is one of the most straight-up listenable records you’ll hear in quite a while. Nothing really stands out and grabs you, but it really doesn’t need to – it really is that good as a whole. Give it a go. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
Wildestarr will release Beyond the Rain through Scarlet Records on December 8th.