Babymetal continue their world domination with the release of their 2nd studio album Metal Resistance before headlining London’s Wembley Arena.
Babymetal, if you haven’t heard of them, are an infusion of Heavy Metal and J-Pop, formed back in 2010 as a subunit of Sakura Gakuin, a Japanese female idol group (if you’re like me and didn’t know what a Japanese idol is Google it, I’m not even going to try and explain this one). The combo is fronted by the 3 teenaged girls Suzuka Nakamoto, Yui Mizuno and Mou Kikuchi who go by the stage names Su-Metal, Yui Metal and Mou Metal respectively, while accompanied by the Kami Band who are seasoned Heavy Metal session musicians from all over Japan. Metal Resistance came out last Friday the 1st of April 2016, while most would have taken this as an April fool’s joke, the concept of Kawaii Metal (Translated into Cute Metal) is very serious to the girls.
When asked about the upcoming album by Gigwise, Su-Metal responded with “This album contains a lot more new and different types of metal that we’ve never done before. We’ve grown so much in the music that we do” and I have to agree, their first release simply called Babymetal was not complex or straying from its core sound. But Metal Resistance sees them (and the management behind them) experiment their sound in several ways.
‘Road to Resistance’ is the opener and follows the original recipe of Speed Metal with Pop sounding Japanese lyrics. The lead single ‘Karate’ is almost the same as the first track ‘Road’ but actually shows they’ve developed their skills and sounds a lot less rough around the edges, almost as if this wasn’t a manufactured group but a real band.
One of the best standout tunes ‘From Dusk till Dawn’ is a bit slower in tempo and strays a bit from Babymetal’s musical path, but is amazing and really highlights Su-Metal’s vocal talent. But the one I can’t stop listening to is the pure dirty and filthy (music wise) headbanger that is ‘Sis. Anger’, I have no idea what she is singing about, but I love the powerhouse drumming and brilliant guitar solos here and the lyrics suit the tone to a tee.
There is a couple of songs I wasn’t too impressed with, ‘Awadama Fever’ and ‘YAVA!’ where both have basic yet good backing tracks they’ve just both been way too over produced to the point they're not for a Metal concert but more for a nightclub.
This was one of the albums I was waiting for this year, now that it’s finally here I feel bittersweet. I love the absolutely batshit crazy concept of this group and most of the music they deliver, but I felt a little let down by what I’m calling too much heavy handedness in post-production.
That said the majority of this album are some gems, it’s just the other in between that stop this from being an amazing release. I’m not sure how long Babymetal will continue for since they are a manufactured band and they all tend to implode after a while or if they will break the yoke of their management by going out and do it themselves which would be interesting to see.