Imagine, if you will, a bus filled with magical girls. Then, imagine a bus carrying, say Metallica or Megadeth. Imagine the two colliding, and what you would get is Japan’s latest sensation, BABYMETAL.
Three teenage girls, “Su-metal,” “Yui-metal” and Moametal” front with strong pop vocals the Kami band, full of ripping guitars and pounding drums. It doesn’t sound like something that would work, but it does.
The band released its second album, “Metal Resistance” on April 1st of this year, and already has broken records. It is currently #7 on the Australian ARIA chart, and has cracked the US Top 40 (currently #39), something a Japanese band has not done in 53 years. A world tour is in the works, with US dates beginning in May.
The CD is filled with 12 tracks that mix speed guitar that would do Dragonforce proud and strong J-Pop vocals. Although both Yuimetal and Moametal are credited with “scream, dance” on the liner notes, there really is no screaming at all. “Road to Resistance” takes off like a shot, and even though the words are in Japanese, you will find your head automatically starting to bang with the beat. “Karate” is one of their singles, intended to draw new audiences in.
“Awadama Fever” is up next, full of metal harmonics and Su-metal’s strong vocals. “Yava!” really cuts loose, with a somewhat punk vibe, with Su-metal close to taking on Lzzy Halestorm as metal goddess. “Amore” slows it down a bit, then goes full force metal. “Meta Taro” could be the soundtrack for a mecha anime, while at the same time drawing to mind European symphonic metal.
The lyrics to all but one song are in Japanese, but if you search the internet, you can find both Japanese lyrics and English translations. “GJ!” for example has the lyrics translated as “Here is a new lamb! Die, die die!) and while grinding instruments back these lyrics, the song is unintentionally funny. “Sis Anger” is probably the most ferocious on the CD, followed by the beautifully sung “No Rain, No Rainbow.
The last song on the CD is “The One, “which is sung (also beautifully) in English. It firmly plants Babymetal as players in the metal arena, despite the enormous debate and controversy surrounding the band. If you are a long time anime/J-pop fan, as well as a metal fan, give Babymetal a listen. What they have created from a fusion of the two is something unique and fun. You will find resistance is futile.