“Beyond the Rain”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Third album for Wildestarr and this band just keeps getting better and better. They have not missed a step yet. It’s hard to fathom why this is out on Scarlet Records and not Nuclear Blast or Century Media. No disrespect to Scarlet, but their product is not that well known in the US and if any band deserves to be well-known, it’s Wildestarr.

“Beyond the Rain” is traditional heavy metal with great melodies and the awesome female vocals of London Wilde. The songs are heavy and this album flows so smoothly from song to song, it’s hard to put into words. No overblown epics or needless piddling around, everything is to the point and punchy. Think of the more aggressive Queensryche mixed with Vicious Rumors (guitarist Dave Starr’s old band). The theme of the album is intensely personal and relates to the gradual deterioration and death of London’s brother due to drug abuse. That emotion is brilliantly transmitted through London’s soaring voice, which is faultless throughout. And every song fits perfectly where it is. This is an album put together with a lot of thought, in the way that “Operation:Mindcrime” and “Abigail” were.

The quality is so steady that picking a favorite is almost impossible, but I liked the fast and intense “Pressing the Wires”, the more hard rock “Double Red” and the very listenable and hook-laden title track. When I think of garbage bands getting signed to big deals while timeless metal like this languishes in the shadows, it makes me physically ill. This is a top 10 record of 2017 for sure.