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Wildestarr - Beyond The Rain

Beyond The Rain
by Jon Conant at 28 January 2018, 9:09 PM

American melodic power metallers WILDESTARR are back for their 3rd full length release since forming in 2003, Beyond The Rain. Bands like this are of particular cultural fascination to me. This is a melodic subgenre of metal with obvious roots in European metal, but being from California they bring a familiar American hard rock edge. It’s an interesting blend, and for better or for worse, it’s actually pretty unique. The high pitch and wailing vocals of London Wilde define the album. This occasionally becomes a problem as the vocals are poorly mixed (much of the album is poorly mixed), often strained, and unfortunately pitchy on multiple occasions. That being said, Wilde has an incredible range and she uses all of it giving a performance with her entire heart. I have a lot of respect for that, and for the most part it’s pretty solid.

What does impress me with WildeStarr, despite whatever production and vocal issues, are the incredible guitars from Dave Starr. This shit is really good. He is a music veteran in complete control of his instruments. From chunky modern metal, to classic power riffs, to delicate solos, it’s all acutely combined into one amazing performance. He also performs the bass, which is equally fantastic but of course less flashy. Opener “Metamorphoses” is a fantastic piece that impresses with it’s guitar, and starts the album off right by not overstaying its instrumental welcome at 1:04.

Track 2 “Beyond The Rain” is the first “full” song on the album, and it comes out the gate swinging with a catchy power metal chorus. The vocals are a problem here, sadly. They are mixed poorly, do not blend with the instruments, and are decidedly pitchy. It is holding back the incredible guitar work and melody being layered beneath. I say this with love, because there is so much good potential here and it deserves to be treated properly.

The next two tracks “Pressing The Wires” and “Double Red” both bring equally thundering thrash/power metal performances and serve to carry the album well despite whatever mixing issues. But, then we arrive at middle-album “Down Cold”. This is the first truly strong song on the album, everything really comes together well for the most part despite a couple familiar production issues. Wilde boldly delivers a helluva catchy chorus and Starr brings an excellent heavier and groovier chunk that had my headbang going more than the previous 4 numbers (except maybe “Metamorphose” which was fucking cool).

Token album power ballad “Crimson Filths” while being rather cliché and generic does actually carry pretty well and comes out in the end as an emotionally strong song. This is mostly due to the always excellent solo performances of Dave Starr, which especially shine through here.

Track 9 “From Shadow” is a thrash power anthem that brings me right back to the 90s. I do not want to go back to the 90s. Is it good? Sure. Is it tiresome? Yes. The back half over the album is weaker than the first, as this exact problem persists throughout it. It does still however maintain its show stopping nature, so for better or for worse they continually bring the thundering and strong power anthem sound.

They saved some of their stronger stuff for closer “When The Night Falls”. It is a galloping epic that begins with a pouncing riff and solo descending into sheer power metal (organized) chaos. The guitars move the entire song all the way from start to finish. I can’t speak highly enough of the workhorse Dave Starr is with the amount of quality guitar he is producing here.

Ultimately WILDSTARRE is a flawed band that produced a halfway decent third album. Fortunately, that’s not unheard of. All the issues are incredibly fixable, and the potential is here. At its core, this was an album chock full of catchy and heavy power metal melodies that were delayed in success by some surface issues. As a guitar lover, I highly recommend a listen to appreciate what Dave Starr is doing.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 4

3 Star Rating

1. Metamorphose
2. Beyond the Rain
3. Pressing the Wires
4. Double Red
5. Down Cold
6. Rage and Water
7. Crimson Fifths
8. Undersold
9. From Shadow
10. When the Night Falls

London Wilde - Vocals, Keyboards
Dave Starr - All Guitars and Bass
Josh Foster - Drums
Record Label: Scarlet Records


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Edited 15 December 2018

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