Rise Of The Northstar are apparently French dudes disguised as Japanese dudes. They are inspired by anime and manga, I admittedly have no idea what the latter is. Welcame is classified as thrash metal by their label and PR people, but lets get it out of the way right now that very little about this is thrash. The closest thing to thrash might be some Soulfly tendencies, the majority of this record is hip hop influenced hardcore.

"What The Fuck" opens the album and is dangerously reminiscent of nu-metal. There is an aggressiveness that feels forced and the overkill of the word "fuck" just comes across as corny. The title track follows and sounds like heavy House Of Pain or Limp Bizkit's first record fused with Terror or Hatebreed, making it hard not to use the skip button. Fortunately, things improve on the next track "The New Path" which sounds like some tolerable, although subpar New York Hardcore. "Samurai Spirit" is like Soulfly and Madball alternating the verse and chorus. Honestly, the band is best when they go into the groovey/thrashy Soulfly direction, they seem most comfortable, the vocals fit the best, and the music is more than competent. It's the forced mish-mash of all the other genres that fuck this album up.

I'm a glutton for shitty hip hop influenced hardcore. I like bands that no one should (Brawl Park), but this shit died for a reason more than a decade ago. The cornball factor is off the charts with Rise Of The Northstar. This will probably go over a lot better in Europe and Japan, but unless they tap into a group of certain "psychopathic" fans in the U.S. than this will rightfully go unnoticed.