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WildeStarr Arrival

By Michael Fischer, Writer, Cartoonist
Wednesday, September 9, 2009 @ 6:12 PM

Furnace Maximus Records

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Master of Metal Dave Starr (Vicious Rumors, Chastaine) and Ripper Vocalist London Wilde have just released their debut record entitled “Arrival.” Hands down this is the best record of 2009!

WildeStarr “Arrival” is a Progressive Rock Masterpiece! This record contains ten blistering tracks that took me on an epic journey somewhere beyond my soul and the volume knob. (And this one goes up to eleven!)

Alameda Axe Man Dave Starr and Vocalist & Keyboardist London Wilde along with Drummer Jim Hawthorne have assembled an arsenal of music in the flavor of bands like Judas Priest, Queensryche, and Symphony X. “Arrival” goes way beyond anything I’ve ever experienced before.

Why this record is not on the Billboard Charts this week is sacrilege and your loss if you haven't heard it. To be honest, this record haunts me like Kate Beckinsale (Underworld) slithering in a mud pit with Vampire Fangs and a Black French Warrior Bikini. And that’s a very beautiful evil thing!

As soon as I pressed play, “Arrival” came out swinging! This material rocked my socks!

I was hooked as soon as I heard the opening riff from track one “Rose in the Dark.”

From the door slamming intro, a giant hole in the sky opens beyond the stars to begin a wild journey into “Arrival.” The Gates of Heaven (Hell) open with a crunching Les Paul riff, double bass thunder and massive melodic vocals. This song is AWSUME! It is tasteful and absolutely brilliant! The entire record is painted like Rod Serling’s Night Gallery offering redeeming Tales of Angels, Demons, pain, seduction, and sacrifice.

WildeStarr has a sound and chemistry that rivals Mercyful Fate and Dream Theater and a presentation that stands alongside records like Queensryche’s Operation Mindcrime.

“Arrival” is one of the best metal records I have heard in a long time. “Arrival” is like strolling through an ancient burial ground where the souls of the dead rise from out of the dark and attack you!

“Arrival” is all the things I love in a new record. This record is a mover! It’s brooding, it excites and it’s performed with precision. “Arrival” features the high octane vocals and keyboards of New Metal Maiden London Wilde. It’s quite a cool change to go from Rob Halford to a fiery blue eyed blonde Rock Goddess that just rips your heart out on vocals. London doesn’t fit the typical Female Singer Stereo type. She is very aggressive and attacks vocal lines like a wildcat. Until I heard London sing, Ann Boleyn (Vocalist Hellion) and Pamela Moore (Back up Vocalist Queensryche) and of course Ann Wilson from Heart were the heaviest female singers I ever heard. If you appreciate amazing high octane vocals whether it’s Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) or James Neal (Malice), this is your first class ticket to rock.

London Wilde’s vocal performance does not disappoint.

Track two entitled “Arrival” really show cases London's song writing craft ability along with her amazing voice. She writes story book lyrics, excellent melodies and all the backup vocal harmonies and arrangements are outstanding. Definitely Harvard School of Song Writing and Recording here layer after layer. There are some incredible tunes on “Arrival” and clever song writing formulas (If there were still such a thing as popular songs on FM rock radio).

The title track two “Arrival” would definitely be played on the radio; excellent rhythm chord progressions over the harmony guitar solos. When I’m soloing, I like cool stuff to solo over and Dave does it all. The music is well thought out and not your basic tired three chord progressions. “Arrival” has a huge chorus, and killer lyrics. “Walls are bleeding red light, bare force controls the night, desperation fills your mind... Angel of a new kind!”

Being a dedicated musician and a fan of Classic Metal Music. I immediately respected this material just for its content, themes, and vintage approach. Metal isn’t really REAL Metal anymore. It’s all senseless grunting and shitting out vocals and every song is faster than a crack head in the key of B or E. What’s the point? 90% of all metal bands today have no feel, no color and no creativity! It’s like what are those guys so pissed off about? In this crap ass new age of Cartoon Network Knuckle Dragger Cookie Monster Bands. The true Metal Gods should toss a party every time a record of “Arrival’s” magnitude is released. WildeStarr is a savior. It’s cool to hear something familiar yet so completely different and unexpected; that’s what listening to new music is all about.

This record is analog heavy without being over modern processed. I like the low tuning, it makes track three “Touching God” come off super heavy duty. This song put me in 4th gear and the music is not over busy and solo crazy like Dream Theater. Killer ominous intro and guitar feedback riff here! The chorus in “Touching God” blows doors; great melody. Descending harmonic minors flying for days! Nice touch on the Demonic backup vocals. All the guitar solos on “Arrival” have strong feel and Dave put together some massive harmonies reminiscent of early Iron Maiden and King Diamond. It fuels the material. Dave created smooth, simplistic voicing on his guitar to compliment the music instead of needlessly flailing about the neck from solo to solo. Nothing is over the top and he really milks those riffs!

For me personally, “Arrival” has taken a powder keg to all the metal records I’ve heard lately.

By the forth track “Rise” I was in 5th gear and inspired to go 140 mph down the freeway listening to this record. In the spirit of Rob Halford’s band Fight, I’d swear this song wants to fight! Powerhouse Vocalist London Wilde is definitely the new High Priestess in my CD Collection. She rips out those vocals and devours Pussy Cat Dolls for a snack (with her Starbucks Coffee of course). London’s performance on track four “Rise” made me rise up out of my chair the first time I heard it. What conviction. You talk about pipes. London has an incredible range and just nails those high notes in the spirit of singers like the late great Carl Albert (Vicious Rumors).

I know Carl Albert is smiling down from beyond because WildeStarr is one hell of an inspirational tribute to his voice and his legacy. Track nine “Voice in the Silence” was written in honor of Carl who was lost in a tragic car accident April 22, 1995.

I feel very fortunate to have seen Carl live with Vicious Rumors several times in their prime. He was the most incredible metal singer I have ever seen command a stage.

He was just mind blowing and made it all look so easy. Back in those days, Carl was approached by several major label bands to join. Carl humbly declined and said, “No thanks, I want to play with my own band Vicious Rumors, Cheers mate now off you go!”

A noble response of that nature tells a lot about a singer’s credibility to his band and his loyalty to not sell out. Carl wanted to play with his own band Vicious Rumors.

VR was his war uniform and the guys in the band were his close friends, not hired guns.

A captivating song like “Voice in the Silence” is the perfect way to immortalize Carl reminding us he will always be the best, forever young, and never forgotten.

Axeman Dave Starr plays both lead guitars and all bass parts on this record and it’s incredible playing. He plays solid counter melodies on his six string bass always complimenting the guitars without over riding them technically. When it comes to vintage metal, Dave is the ultimate rhythm section. He is innovative like Black Sabbath Bassist Geezer Butler. When Dave plays bass, he makes guitar players and bands sound better. And when he’s on stage, he knows exactly where he belongs. It’s as if he was born standing in front of a drum riser and a wall full of screaming Marshall Amplifiers.

WildeStarrs debut is Dave Starr’s first solo effort since departing Vicious Rumors.

In honor of the style of music Dave originated with VR, I know he would expect nothing less than perfection with WildeStarr. If you take the time to do something, it shows.

Dave has truly out done himself taking his vision to another time and place, and he brought his music to a whole other level. “Arrival” is more progressive than anything he has recorded in the past. I now realize Dave leaving VR was his personal calling to make this record.

All ten tracks on “Arrival” just flow like molten lava into the next song. The middle of the record is just as good as the first half. One of my favorite songs is track five “Down of the Sun” (absolute killer song!) is followed by a slightly faster tempo tune called “In this World.” The verse and chorus are the same and the chord progression never really resolves. This song rocks and unlike the Presidents Health Care Reform Plan, I can trust it! “In this World” is solid, straight ahead balls to the wall WildeStarr Thunder; great driving song. It makes me want to crank up my stereo, hit the L.A. 405 freeway at 3 am and floor it (all the way to In-n-Out Burger).

Track seven “Generation Next” is a classic double kick head crusher. This is a cool song! Straight ahead and slamming balls. Drummer Jim Hawthorn does a kick ass job on the drum kit and deserves a medal for his work on this record. Like a King Diamond Record, each tune on “Arrival” just keeps coming at you amidst ghostly keyboards, choir vocals, chanting, marching sound effects and warm acoustic guitar intros. I’m a Classic Rush Fan and London’s voice tone at times reminds me of Geddy Lee back in the day but with better range and more balls. Very Progressive. There's major kick ass around every chorus! Metal Fans will flip out when they hear “Arrival.” The whole record just flows with no bumps or animals in the road.

In Dave's previous work with Vicious Rumors, they always went straight for my throat like a Pit bull. VR’s motto was plug in and hang on! The material WildeStarr performs is more ghostly and serpent like (think Kate Beckinsale slithering in mud). The music slowly creeps up on me like a snake in the grass. WildeStarr is a beast! These tunes really have something to say. Track eight “Nevermore” is the only slow tune on the record. Slow verse, heavy chorus, and as they said in World War II, “the bridge is on fire.” Dave arranged some nice acoustic string work and guitar harmonies on this tune; excellent dynamics and vocal arrangements. Again, London’s vocals are incredible, and Yes Virgina, she hits all the high notes! This song just cries out in pain with unbelievable feeling. They milk the ending and end on an acoustic note. “Nevermore” sets up track nine which is Carl Albert's Tribute song “Voice in the Silence.” Those punches and that riff to start “Voice in the Silence” is cool! Very Vicious Rumors like and how Carl was as a person. Heavy and bouncing off the ceiling like all the three Marx Brothers. Amazing song and Carl would be honored by Londons vocal performance and lyrics! They say Messiahs die tragic deaths. I always knew Carl was a Messiah...A Metal Messiah!

Track ten “The Chain” is a final metaphor for the spiritual faith that links dedicated Metalheads like us together. As the last song on this record “The Chain” plays out like an old friend sailing out of the shadows and into the night. London just ripping away on vocals as the music plays out. I feel like Beavis and Butthead on the couch after they got their ass kicked by a girl singer. And all I could say to myself as I peeled off my headphones was, “Whoa that was cool!” And then let out a devilish snicker like Beavis “Yeah, yeah that was cool, yeah, fire! Fire!” Then my last thought was “Hmmm, let’s play track one Rose in the Dark again!”

Dave Starr and London Wilde are the perfect metal marriage. Three years of hard work have finally paid off for these dedicated artists, and it shows in the final recording which is WildeStarr’s debut to the world entitled “Arrival”. It has arrived and it’s refreshing to experience new Classic Metal Music of this caliber in 2009. “Arrival” is lethal and really delivers! This is the best record of 2009!

WildeStarr “Arrival” is Pure %100 Proof KNAC.COM Metal Mastery!

WildeStarr “Arrival” New CD-Digital Music Release.... Total Running Time 54:32 (All tracks performed and written by WildeStarr...)

    Track 1. Rose in The Dark... 7:29
    Track 2. Arrival... 5:53
    Track 3. Touching God... 5:13
    Track 4. Rise... 5:37
    Track 5. Down of the Sun... 5:14
    Track 6. In this World... 5:25
    Track 7. Generation Next... 3:28
    Track 8. Nevermore... 6:35
    Track 9. Voice in the Silence... 4:53 (Dedicated to Carl Albert 1962-1995)
    Track 10. The Chain... 4:17
WildeStarr “Arrival” is: “London Wilde” - Lead Vocals/Keyboards/Backing Vocals, Dave Starr - All Guitars/Bass/Backing Vocals, and Jim Hawthorne - Drums. Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Dave Starr, London Wilde and Jim Hawthorne at Spirit Wind Studios in Hayward, California and Big White Studios in Alameda California between 2006 and 2009.

WildeStarr “Arrival” can be purchased through www.WildeStarr.com/ or I-Tunes.
Also visitWildeStarr on My Space @http://www.myspace.com/WildeStarr.

Visit Michael Fischer at www.toonsonice.com.

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