WildeStarr - A Tell Tale Heart (Scarlet Records)
By: Matt Coe
[8/10] Ever wonder where some of your favorite metal musicians go after their glory years? In the case of ex-Vicious Rumors bassist Dave Starr, you make plans to form a new melodic metal band with a twist. Enter vocalist/keyboardist London Wilde, a female with golden metal pipes and an edge to the extreme when called for. A Tell Tale Heart is the second album from WildeStarr, joined this time in the studio by drummer Josh Foster and delivers a lyrical concept based on the best works of fictional horror mastermind Edgar Allan Poe.
You can’t wrong with his poetry displaying heartbreak, betrayal, and often personal psychological terror from a tortured mind. Wilde’s multi-octave voice isn’t one of pop or gothic leanings- she’s pure metal to the bone a la Geoff Tate or Midnight with that feminine mystique on instant headbangers like “A Perfect Storm” and “Seven Shades of Winter”. Musically Starr handles all the guitar and bass responsibilities, giving himself a down-tuned guitar tone that takes Dio, Savatage, and Black Sabbath-like riff inspiration to a slightly more current stomp mode.
“The Pit or the Pendulum” features jackhammer double bass work from Foster and Wilde’s most magical melodies of the record, almost as if she’s channeling dual personalities to carve out the scary word picture. Starr has a keen sense of when to place the right guitar harmony in an arrangement- or when to just let the weight of the riff carry the forward momentum, the title track evidence right from the start of the latter principle.
Given Starr’s history in the business, all Vicious Rumors maniacs should instantly gravitate towards A Tell Tale Heart, as well as a healthy amount of German, Greek, and Far Eastern people that live for the high-pitch singer and guitar hero riff/solos match up. I can envision a Benedictum/Cage/ Wildestarr package tour to slay the traditional/power crowd down the line.
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