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'A Tell Tale Heart'
(Scarlet Records) Release Date: 25th October 2012

Phil Kane

phil kane


From the San Francisco Bay Area, WildeStarr formed in 2003 around Laaz Rockit and original Vicious Rumours bassist Dave Starr and vocalist/keyboard player London Wilde. Their 2009 debut 'Arrival' was named one of the best Metal albums of that year and with 'A Tell Tale Heart' picking up where that left off, the critical acclaim looks likely to continue.

'A Tell Tale Heart' is a concept album inspired by the work of Edgar Allan Poe. For those who don't know, Poe's best known works of fiction are Gothic with recurring themes dealing with questions of death, the effects of decomposition, concerns of premature burial, the reanimation of the dead, and mourning. Many of his works are generally considered a literary reaction to transcendentalism which Poe strongly disliked.

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Beyond horror, Poe also wrote satires, humorous tales and hoaxes. For comic effect he favored irony in an attempt to liberate the reader from cultural conformity. He wrote much of his work using themes aimed specifically at mass-market tastes, his fiction often including elements of the then popular but now extremely questionable pseudo sciences of the likes of phrenology and physiognomy.

So, does the album stand up to such illustrious references? The jury is still out on that one.

'A Tell Tale Heart' has power and it certainly cannot be damned for not trying yet there is a sameness, especially with the masculine vocal of London Wilde, that starts to irritate after a while. She has certainly got a hell of a set of pipes on her but the girl seems rarely able to tone down the stridency and just cannot resist the urge to scale those octaves.

The band are obviously masters of their individual crafts and collectively possess a dark, heavy and powerful sound that has also been compared to bands like Queensrÿche, Savatage, and Crimson Glory. Yet it is the shadow of Priest, circa 'Nostradamus', that towers over them all.

'A Tell Tale Heart' is complex and cluttered, frantic and in parts majestic and is very proficient at what it does but the writing seems to have been loath to let the songs find their natural levels and just sit in a groove. The resulting relentlessly complex nature flirts with becoming annoying and samey, only just managing to avoid the bear trap of the whole thing going to rat shit and losing the groove altogether.

This album has its merits. It has intellectual depth and is skilfully constructed with strong melodies and a top drawer production job. Yet, it does not engage the listener like it should and ultimately may prove just not satisfying enough to placate the veterans of this sort of progressive Heavy Metal.





Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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