On paper, the combination of female vocalist London Wilde (an experienced metal lass with various writing, engineering and vocal credits to her name since 1994, even performing bass tracks on the 2004 Chastain album In An Outage) and Dave Starr, a 25 year metal veteran who served as bassist for relatively legendary Bay area Thrashers Vicious Rumors as well as appearance on albums by Laaz Rockit and the aforementioned Chastain album) should be at least a well done, if not slightly enjoyable mix.

However, when Ms. Wilde and Mr. Starr (Wildestarr – get it?), after collaborating with the above Chastain album, decided to come together and write release their own material, I don’t think they realized what a train wreck the end result would be.

Sure, the promo sheet talks about how much hard work and effort went into this ill fated paring and what an incredible journey the process was ( all arduously documented in the press kit and bio sheet that came complete with glossy Glamour Shot), but to be honest the end result is awful. Coming across as a sort of power/thrash metal/heavy with female vocals, Arrival sounds like a sort of thrashy (Vicious Rumors, duh) Judas Priest meets Evanescence trend jumping release played by two desperate 40 something’s trying to recapture their glory days.

Starr can still play and his riffs and solos (i.e. “In This World”, “Generation Next”, “Dawn of the Soul’) are average thrash material with a decent guitar tone and London is a serviceable singer. But the fact remains the duo’s song writing is just terrible. I mean truly forgetful, flat and utterly lifeless. Wilde, alternates from a sort of semi operatic croon to some Halford-ish wails here and there (“Rise”), but like the music- she’s just there, has no range, and to be honest she sometimes sounds (ballad “Nevermore”) as haggard and tired as she looks in some of the press shots.

I have to commend these two old rockers for trying, but sometimes you have to know when to quit and let younger more competent and talented folks carry the mantle rather than embarrass yourself and sully any legacy you had or memories people had of you.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 29th, 2009


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