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Bushido Code - The Ronin

Bushido Code
The Ronin
by Daphne Minks Daly at 26 April 2021, 7:00 PM

Pennsylvanian thrash metal band BUSHIDO CODE lays out their vision of crossover thrash with their latest release, “The Ronin. Tapping into the samurai's realm, the album tells of Da Shi, a Ronin samurai who has traveled through time. Da Shi seeks to find a warrior worthy enough to help him achieve death. According to the laws of bushido, Da Shi could only die an honorable death if a worthy opponent killed him or he committed a rather painful form of ritual suicide, called seppuku.

"The Ronin," the title track, opens the album and wastes little time establishing the band's ferocious sound. The vocals are brutal, and the lyrics unmerciful. The story unfolds over vicious ripping guitar riffs and power-laden drums. An absolute banger, this track has enough hidden nuances to keep it interesting. The second track, "Aftermath," opens with an ominous audio clip and an apocalyptic air. There are tons of classic metal and melodic death metal elements present in the song, and it all works together well. Brilliant change-ups toward the end make this one a journey to see through all the way to the end.

"Stench of Cowards Rot" offers up plenty of metalcore components but never stays far from its thrash roots. As such, it takes center stage for a favorite for this reviewer. The song is relentless and offers plenty enough groove to catch even stoner and sludge fans' attention. "Relic of War," is the fourth song on "The Ronin," and raucously fits its title. A real bone-crusher of a track, the shredded guitars and heavy bassline are both impressively executed and really keep the song rolling along.

"Prelude to Battle" is an unexpected and perfectly placed track. Sitting in the fifth spot on the album, "Prelude to Battle," gives the listener a chance to take in and appreciate the intricacies of BUSHIDO CODE's musical capabilities. This song brings a heart and soul with melody and emotion and still maintains its edge. Track six, "1600," has an unmistakeably hardcore punk vibe, mixed with a bit of progressive metal and maybe even a little Celtic punk weaved in for good measure. It's a gloriously interesting track that bears repeating often.

"Harvest" is the seventh song and ratchets the album back up to its thrashy foundation. The guitar solos could push this track into another direction, but ultimately they stay the course. Gang vocals and plenty of chant-worthy lyrics catapult this track up to the favorite spot for this reviewer.

"Loyalty" has a sludgy, grimy underbelly that drags this down-tuned track straight to this reviewer's heart. However, it's the vocals and guitar work that seem to keep it in the thrash realm. “Loyalty” is a great tune with a lot of bite. "Benevolence" closes out BUSHIDO CODE's reign of mayhem, ending the journey on the same heavy AF note they came in on. "The Ronin" is a great album, no matter what kind of metal you're into. But if you're a fan of crossover thrash, it's sure to be a real pit starter.

Songwriting:  7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability:  6
Production:  8

3 Star Rating

1. The Ronin
2. Aftermath
3. Stench of Cowards Rot
4. Relic of War
5. Prelude to Battle
6. 1600
7. Harvest
8. Loyalty
9. Benevolence
Mike Ledet - Vocals
Shawn Barr - Bass
Kyle Bull - Guitar
Derrick Voricci - Guitar
Rocco Legato - Drums
Record Label: Upstate Records


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Edited 23 March 2023

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