Monday, September 15, 2014

Album Review: "Welcame" by Rise of the North Star

Today's subject comes all the way across the Atlantic, past Ireland, and the rest of the United Kingdom into France.

What's interesting about this particular group is that their spirit comes from even farther away than that...all the way from Japan.

Personally, I'm an Otaku. So I can definitely get into using Japanese culture and art when looking for inspiration. I have a tattoo on my arm in kanji that was for my own encouragement.

When I saw katakana on the album cover and saw their name was that of a popular manga, anime, and video game, I had to admit a small bias, but it turned out ok.

They are described as thrasher, but they are so much more than that. Their tunes are a very welcome mix of thrash, punk, NYC hardcore and yes, even rap.

Rise of the North Star
The first track begins with a slow and mellow guitar solo. Hearing that warmed my heart. After reading of the mishmash of things that Rise of the North Star bring together, I was really confused as to what they are.

As soon as that solo ended, things got real and very heavy.

The guitars came in and the train left the station. Once the vicious vocals kicked in, it was clear that this band has only a single contemporary:

Body Count.

There's a bit of rap metal in this, but please hear me out. Like Ice-T fronting Body Count, the vocals have a rap rhythm, but not a rap timbre. This is something more bands should probably look into honestly. There's a swagger and a purpose.

Aside from the melodic solo to start off the record, there were quite a few other wah drenched fretboard burners.

This is a stunning debut from Rise of the North Star.

Release: 9/22/14
Genre:  Metal
Label: Repression Records
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