By Dr. Abner Mality

I can't accuse former Vicious Rumors bassist Dave Starr of wanting to sound like his old band in his new venture. Whereas Vicious Rumors was straight up heavy metal with a speedy emphasis, Wildestarr is a much more progressive beast featuring some of the most amazing female vocals I have ever heard in my life. No, it's not the typical "evening gown" metal, either, although this should appeal to fans of that as well.

Female vocalists with great range are not really that hard to find today, with all the Idol wanna-bes oversouling their vocals to ridiculous lengths, but it is extremely rare to find one so suited for metal as Ms. London Wilde. WOW, can she bring it! Not just pretty melodic stuff, but screams like a female "Ripper" Owens that could shatter windows as well as smokier, more bluesy tones. Dave definitely found a winner with Wilde...she has a voice that can redefine women's role in metal.

As for the actual Wildestarr material, well, it takes some getting used to. It is not as fast and ripping as Vicious Rumors...mid-paced Queensryche comes to mind. I'm not sold with the production here...the guitars need more punch and kick, the keyboards are a bit thick and the drumming is pretty average. But the structure of the songs themselves is pretty intriguing and on album highlights "Rise" (the most aggressive tune), "In This World" and "Nevermore" (where London's voice is at its magnificent best), you can feel the quality in the material. Starr's twin guitar harmonies predominate and show his talent, but again, indifferent production saps some of the power.

There is also a huge lyrical concept involving a fight against tyranny that is appealing and shows WildeStarr to be a very ambitious band. They need to invest in sound worthy of their ambition and then a monster progressive metal band will be unleashed.