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Rise Of The Northstar — The Legacy Of Shi Award winner

Rise Of The Northstar
The Legacy Of Shi
by Robert Amer at 11 December 2018, 6:16 AM

The belle époque of nu metal titans LIMP BIZKIT, KORN, and RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE has long passed despite the massive numbers these acts/reunions continue to draw. RISE OF THE NORTHSTAR has established a place on the next rung of the genre’s evolutionary ladder ever since 2008, when the group was seemingly thawed out of a ten-year cryogenic coma that began while it was watching anime one afternoon. The ensemble’s second full-length release, “The Legacy Of Shi,” is filled with down-tuned, groovy, and catchy songs that are best paired with a can of Surge or Mountain Dew.

Nu metal thrives on catchy choruses, and the release is packed with exactly that in a variety of characters. In “Nekketsu,” the refrain sounds as if it could accompany Stone Cold Steve Austin smashing beers over his head, while in “Kozu” it gives off more of a cautionary, child-like taunt warning the listener of a possessive demon. The latter also has a humorous and well-suited passage in which the demon entices the narrator, segueing into a breakdown. From this, the narrator emerges victorious in wrestling back control before the chorus returns, suggesting the “…to be continued” nature of battling one’s demons. The album’s track most resembling a power ballad, “Step by Step,” builds to each chorus in a crescendo of tensing, yet consonant layers, the top being Vithia’s emotionally transparent and powerful vocal delivery to match an incredibly personal song.

From a musical and production standpoint, the band does plenty to define their unique sound. A few features particularly stick out from their foundation of chugging riffs and choruses that are also present in the sonic fingerprint of their predecessors. The lead guitar solos by Evangelion-B have more in common with those found in ARCH ENEMY and DEATH tracks than what might be expected in a nu metal song. Another exotic device the band uses, in addition to their manga and anime-inspired lyrics, is the brief departure to French hip hop verses on “Teenage Rage” and “Furyo’s Revenge”. Thankfully, the Parisians do not incorporate these verses or guitar solos in a formulaic fashion on every track.

“The Legacy Of Shi” is a fun, consistent, and energetic collection of songs of which many are natural selections for revisiting. Their sound seems to come from RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and LIMP BIZKIT, their uplifting lyrics and and faster sections harken to HATEBREED, and any song on the album is deserving of a spot on the next The Fast and the Furious soundtrack or that of a new skateboarding video game. Some might be put off by the commercial leanings on the music’s surface that will also draw others in, and a great amount of people in between will enjoy being transported to the angsty cusp of the new millennium in a fresh way.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Awakening
2. Here Comes The Boom
3. Nekketsu
4. Kozo
5. Teenage Rage
6. Step By Step
7. This Is Crossover
8. Cold Truth
9. All For One
10. Furyo’s Day
11. The Legacy Of Shi
Lineup:
Vithia — Vocals
Evangelion-B — Lead Guitar
Air One — Guitar
Fabulous Fab — Bass
Phantom — Drums
Record Label: SharpTone Records
     


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