Rise Of The Northstar set to perform at Rockmaraton 2019

Rise Of The Northstar band pic
Vocalist Victor “Vithia” Leroy formed Rise Of The Northstar (ROTN) in 2008. He drew inspiration from bands like Rage Against The Machine and Slayer, as well as rap music and Japanese anime. More than 10 years later, the self-dubbed “biggest crossover band in Europe” is promoting a new full-length album as they’re set to play at Rockmaraton 2019.

It will be the band’s first appearance at the famed festival. Alongside Leroy, the other current members are Brice “Evangelion-B” Gauthier on lead guitar, Erwan “Air One” Menez on rhythm guitar, Fabien “Fabulous Fab” Lahaye on bass, and Phantom on drums.

ROTN joins a lineup full of big names such as Napalm Death (UK), Philip H. Anselmo and the Illegals (US), Rhapsody (Italy), and Marduk (Sweden). The event will be held from July 8 to 13, and will feature 160 acts from all over the world.

The rock act from France stands out among the festival’s featured artists because of their unique mix of hardcore music and Japanese culture. This is evident in their latest release, “The Legacy of Shi”, an anticipated follow-up to their acclaimed debut album, “Welcame” (2014). A previous Grande Rock post relayed the band’s comments regarding their work, and they said that “the very essence of the SHI project is this Backdrop, this Samurai Demon who will follow us on stage in 2019. A bit of Paris, a bit of Neo-Tokyo, a bit of Metal-Rap-HxC”. The album was recorded with Gojira’s Joe Duplantier in Silver Cord Studios in Brooklyn, New York.

While the band’s sound and image are the main reasons for their success, ROTN’s growing fanbase can also partially be credited to the growing interest in Japanese culture in general. According to a feature on Metal Blast, the band prides itself on building their entire output on anime and manga (Japanese comics). However, this isn’t the first time Japanese and Western culture have come together.

In the 2003 film “Lost in Translation”, the entire plot is set in the heart of Tokyo, with a soundtrack that features a few Japanese artists to boot. Enlisting the help of composers such as Fumihiro Hayashi and Haruomi Hosono, it added an authentic flair to the American story. Meanwhile, an article on Vulture reveals an interesting phenomenon in the Western music world, where modern musicians have been expressing a fascination with Japanese ambient music. Inspired by their gentle tones and environmental elements, artists like Vampire Weekend and Mac DeMarco have been incorporating these samples in their own songs, too. On the other hand, gaming platform Expatbets draws from the more dynamic side of Japanese music culture. The titles “Sakura Fortune” and “Emperor of the Sea” make use of traditional local music infused with exciting gaming sound effects, which makes for a richer playing experience. Though the influence is a bit more subdued, it succeeds in promoting Japanese culture even to the least suspecting players. All in all, Japanese culture’s impact just naturally cuts through various media. This is why ROTN’s unusual brand of hardcore music, coupled with the growing prevalence of Japanese influences in pop culture, has launched them to new heights. Their inclusion in this year’s Rockmaraton is just one example of this recent success.

Expect the crowd to get hyped when ROTN finally brings its distinct fusion of Western and Eastern elements to Dunaujvaros, Hungary. In the meantime, you can check out the official video for “The Legacy of Shi”, for a sample of the band’s latest work, below.