Beyond the Rain

rating icon 7.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Metamorphose
02. Beyond the Rain
03. Pressing the Wires
04. Double Red
05. Down Cold
06. Rage and Water
07. Crimson Fifths
08. Undersold
09. From Shadow
10. When the Night Falls

In case you're unfamiliar with the name, WILDESTARR is a power metal trio, comprised of the husband and wife team Dave Starr (VICIOUS RUMOURS) and London Wilde, along with drummer Josh Foster. Starr and Wilde got together indirectly through Wilde's former boyfriend and have fostered a trilogy of albums which culminates in this third entry. "Beyond the Rain" branches from the loss of Wilde's brother, Gary, a fellow musician who passed away without realizing his dreams. Thus, the tone of the album conveys alleviation of pain and introspection in remembrance.

Even after listening to prior albums, ""A Tell Tale Heart" and "Arrival", the impression gained by the opening instrumental, "Metamorphose", is how crisp WILDESTARR sounds, considering the band's limited personnel. While the title track thereafter may not carry the implied urgency of its lead-in, Dave Starr's guitars and bass are intensely glued together and Josh Foster taps out an alert rhythm. London Wilde, who frequently draws comparisons to Geoff Tate and Rob Halford, possesses a rough edge to her self-taught chops, carrying an octave dropped somewhere between Ann Boleyn and Lizzy Borden. Wilde's rowdy cadence is inclusive of shrieks designed to summon appreciative claws in the air from old school power metal freaks. Accordingly, you feel what she's saying when she swims through the chorus, "Somewhere beyond the rain I found another place where music kills my pain, it's steel and it's fire."

The brisk flurry of "Pressing the Wires" is one of the album's finest points as the trio bombastically plows through their chops like WILDESTARR is opening for LEATHERWOLF on a long-ago stage at the Troubadour. Keeping in theme, London Wilde escorts her listeners with a firm grip to eighties Los Angeles on the melancholic retrospective, "Down Cold".

"Down Cold"'s moody snarl is adorned by Dave Starr's blistering guitar solo, the chunky agro measures here tumbling into the appropriately titled "Rage and Water". Starr's playing is stellar on "Rage and Water" and on "Undersold", the former chocked with pissy core notes and a tumbling counter melody, all mounting a strength communed with his collaborators. The muscular riffs Starr flexes on "From Shadow" are pure metal, nearly as spectacular as what he stuffs into the marching might of the closing number, "When the Night Falls".

London Wilde is magnificent in spots, roughneck in others, but there's an honesty to her voice behind the words she penned that makes her an appreciable asset to the metal scene. Life mileage and grace found through loss and misfortune helps to fully empathize with the message of liberation housed within "Beyond the Rain". Music being the great healer for many, it's extra special when shared between lovers, much less creative partners.

Author: Ray Van Horn, Jr.
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