Sometimes a good band can be right under your nose for years before you find out about them. Such is the case with WILDESTARR, whose new disc Beyond the Rain is out now on Scarlet Records. Made up of husband and wife duo Dave Starr (guitars/bass) and London Wilde (vocals) as well as Josh Foster on drums, the band has been rocking for the better part of a decade, but totally off my radar till now. The songs on this new one sadly are London Wilde’s lyrical expression of pain, torment, hope, and love based on the real life tragic suicide of her brother Gary in 2012. I can’t even imagine what she and her bandmates have been through.
There is a power and fire to Wilde’s voice that permeates each and every track, most notably on opener “Beyond the Rain” and “Double Red”. Starr’s guitar work is pretty fierce, too. He has that old school metal feel and groove, especially when he doubles down on the harmonies. I totally get why there are comparisons to classic JUDAS PRIEST and SAVATAGE because the material here is rooted in the glory days of metal. There’s a discernible QUEENSRŸCHE vibe to “Down Cold,” while “Rage and Water” also has a progressive feel, and yet it still features a great hook.
“Crimson Fifths” was an instant favorite for me. It is arguably the most unique song on the album, a slowed down number that is equal parts dark and anthemic. And it is just as powerful as the other tracks, maybe even more so. “Undersold” gallops along nicely courtesy of Foster’s double kick drum action, and “From Shadow” features more killer guitar action from Starr. Closing us out is “When the Night Falls” which shows each member of the group at their best and caps off what is a pretty damn good record.
So all told I definitely enjoyed my first taste of WILDESTARR. They have a knack for writing traditional metal that gets heads a-banging, and the guitars are outstanding. And I know I’ve bandied about the word “powerful’ a lot regarding Wilde’s voice, that’s the truth. At first listen, maybe it was a little too powerful for me, but once I got used to those pipes I was really into the songs. And while it’s very sad that music and lyrics like this had to be written under such circumstances, Beyond the Rain will truly hit a lot of us on an emotional level, albeit one that maybe helps us through some bad times.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Crimson Fifths”, “When the Night Falls”, “Rage and Water”, “Beyond the Rain”