Crossover band Rise of the Northstar return with epic album reminiscent of classic Biohazard 8/10
Imagine you have a time machine at your disposal and you decide to travel back to New York in 1994. While you’re there you kidnap Biohazard who have released Urban Discipline and are about to release the classic State of the World Address. You force them to watch anime solidly while listening to Korn until 1998 – can you imagine the album they’d write? That’s The Legacy of Shi.
In their own bio Rise of the Northstar are described as such:
The 5 band members have witnessed the golden age that has seen the birth and global expansion of American Hip-Hop, of Machine Head’s and PANTERA‘s powerful groove metal, of New-York Hardcore, and of the catchy but uncompromising vibes of RATM, KORN or DEFTONES. ROTN is the merger of those two worlds: the messages of hope, bravery, and revenge spread by classic 80’s Manga characters such as Kenshiro, Seiya, or Kawato, are brought to the listener’s face through deadly thrash riffing and a destructive flow of words.
It’s hard to argue with that description as the album has elements that are very influenced by those bands listed along with perhaps House of Pain. I also mean this in the best possibly way, this brings back memories of Vanilla Ice‘s criminally under-rated 1998 Korn inspired album Hard to Swallow.
The first track is a nice intro to proceedings before we’re hit with the single Here Comes The Boom, which is one of the most catchy songs to be released this year. Love them or hate them Rise of the Northstar have created a serious earworm with that song.
Nekketsu is a nice aggressive number with a chant along chorus and followed by the slower and heavier Kozo, which has a vocal melody like a nursery rhyme at the chorus which makes it seem like an homage to Korn’s Shoots and Ladders. Teenage Rage has nice tempo changes and is no different from everything else so far, in that it’d be awesome in a nightclub when turned up loud, though the last minute of Japanese rap is a little unusual.
Step by Step doesn’t start particularly strongly but once it gets going it’s a winner and the clean guitar chord picking is a welcome reminder of Suicidal Tendencies. Second single This is Crossover kicks off like a frantic Slayer style track before slowing down the tempo into one of those classic slow shouting songs.
Cold Truth is a bit of a let down with it’s opening of “Bah wah woah yippy yo yippy yay” and chorus of “woo woo” is like bad Insane Clown Posse. It’s a shame as musically the song is sound and the chorus has genuine menace but the rapping here is bad. However, I’m sure that it’ll be insanely addictive after a few listens, whether you like it or not.
All For One and Furyo’s Day are good but the album kicks up a gear again for the final track The Legacy of Shi.
A must buy for anyone who is a fan of crossover/New York hardcore from the early to mid 90’s. The Legacy of Shi is a fun album and very likeable, it’s aggro, it’s memorable and has a great sound. What more could you ask for?
Metal Report Editor.
Ex guitarist in Zenopede, ex vocals for a goth covers band that was hailed as the future of Welsh music, former DJ, promoter and nightclub director. Writer for Gear4Geeks’ Blog4Geeks and owner of Gear4Geeks ltd. First published music critique was Kerrang letter of the Week.
Definitely has never been the future, present or past of Welsh music.