For the uninitiated Babymetal takes a bit of explaining. There are things in this world that go together naturally like Strawberries and Cream. There are also combinations that should never be allowed like custard and fishfingers. However sometimes there is a fusion which, whilst it shouldn’t work, does. Babymetal may just be one of those things.
Formed in 2010 as part of a Jpop youth product (think of it as X Factor on steroids) they “graduated” in 2013 and have so far released 2 studio albums. I’m way under qualified to explain the history in any more detail than that, check out Wikipedia for more here.
So, as I was saying, Babymetal is described as a fusion of Jpop and Metal. But to say that is to do a disservice to the world that has been created for us.
As I enter into the world of Future Metal I feel like I’m being sucked into a computer game with electronic beats that would be perfect for any street fighter game.
Da Da Da Dance is the first of several tracks to have guest appearances this time with Tak Matsumoto.
Elevator Girl keeps up the frantic pace already set and lyrics any pop group would be proud of only set to a heavier beat.
Having already released Shanti Shanti Shanti I was already in love with the additional fusion of Indian rhythms, the link to the YouTube video is at the top check it out for the amazing dance routines as well.
Now what I wasn’t expecting next was a drinking song, and yet I think this is what Oh! MAJINAI is. I imagine the guest vocalist Joakim Brodén of Swedish power metal band Sabaton turned up at the studio with several bottles of sake and said lets party.
Brand New Day is the first track to be classic pop song with synthesised vocal effect and yet with a guitar solo thrown in for good measure.
With a title like Night, Night Burn from any other Metal band I would expect an apocalyptic tale but when Babymetal are in the house we get a Latino metal dance track.
Just as I was starting to think this isn’t a Metal album at all In The Name Of kicks my ass for such thoughts. Think Devil Monks dancing the Haka. No guest vocals were listed on this but if this was Su-metal we’ve got a problem.
Distortion (feat. Alissa White-Gluz) is maybe the track I’ve wanted to hear since seeing the listings. Whilst I would have liked more harmonies it’s a solid track.
PA PA YA!! (feat. F.HERO) now this is what I was talking about! Fast clean singing with F Hero’s perfect for metal vocals, its no wonder this was the first release from the album.
Kagerou is maybe where the vocals of Babymetal should go as I can hear a maturity in her voice, I think this may be my favourite track for just that reason.
Starlight is a return to the speed metal pop metal fusion nuff said.
Shine is an epic number well by Babymetal standards anyway, and from an English speakers point of view I think I need to see the lyrics to understand.
Arkadia as the finale of the album takes us on a journey around the universe for one last spin.
This is, for sure, an album that you will either love or hate. If you have made it to the end of this review I suspect you love it. In which case it’s ok, I understand you are not alone.
01. FUTURE METAL
02. DA DA DANCE (feat. Tak Matsumoto)
03. Elevator Girl – English ver. –
04. Shanti Shanti Shanti
05. Oh! MAJINAI (feat. Joakim Brodén)
06. Brand New Day (feat. Tim Henson and Scott LePage)
07. Night Night Burn!
08. IN THE NAME OF
09. Distortion (feat. Alissa White-Gluz)
10. PA PA YA!! (feat. F.HERO)