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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

WildeStarr

Arrival

Review by Gary Hill

The style of metal practiced by Wilde Starr is sort of a cross between old school heavy metal, power metal, epic metal and prog metal. They work within various parts of that spectrum throughout this disc, sometimes moving between them in the course of one song. The end result is a disc that’s strong from end to end, but has a tendency towards feeling a little monolithic. Still, when it’s as strong as this is, having it sound a bit similar throughout is only so bad.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Rose In The Dark

A quick bit of vocals followed by a symphonic motif opens this number. Around the 23 second mark it screams out to some frantic metal, but the symphonic sounds come over the top. This is a very epic styled tune with a lot of energy and power. There’s a tasty guitar solo section later and a real (literally) screaming movement that follows.

Arrival
Starting with another ambient, mood setting introduction, this powers out to a more straight forward metal approach. The verses are rather stripped down while the other parts of the cut have a lot more oomph.
Touching God
This one’s more purely metallic. It’s heavier and powerful and quite dark and doomy. Still, there’s more of that epic metal sound built in on the potent choruses.
Rise
They really ramp up the intensity with this powerhouse tune. It reminds me a bit of something we might hear from King Diamond – at least his more aggressive side.
Down of the Sun
Starting mellow and melancholy, this fires out after the first set of vocals. It’s sort of a powered up epic metal ballad that’s quite progressive rock-like in nature. It’s perhaps not the strongest cut here, but it’s also a great slab of variety brought to the proceedings. It’s actually one of the more dynamic pieces here, too. They take it out into a jam that’s really very much progressive rock oriented. In fact, if the whole album were like this cut it would fall on the prog side of the metal and prog debate.
In This World
From the most proggy number on show to one of the most purely metallic, this one is raw and full of energy. There’s really an old-school metal texture to this. It feels like some of the real steel that was coming out during the hair metal era.
Generation Next
Here we get another fiery metal tune. This is full of energy and fire and is a real screamer. There’s some killer guitar work on the number, calling to mind bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.
Nevermore
Starting in a balladic motif, this really resembles more traditional progressive metal, ala Fates Warning. It’s got an edgier texture, but the moody elements are strong here. This is another that’s quite dynamic. While a lot of the song has a real progressive metal texture, it also has some purely screaming metal moments and the guitar solo section is somewhere in between.
Voice In The Silence
One of the heaviest sounds of the whole disc starts this one out. They turn it more towards the music of the rest of the album from there. It’s a killer tune built on a great rubbery, heavy riff.
The Chain
Another powerhouse metal tune, this is good, just not exceptional. By this point in the disc the formula is beginning to wear just a little thin. Still, even, though a bit repetitive, this is quite strong.
 
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