BABYMETAL? All girl? Dancing on stage? Japanese? Positivity!?
HEY THAT’S NOT METAL! It doesn’t promote sweaty dudes breaking beer bottles in small local bars with screaming vocals depicting the endless struggles of being unemployed, living in their parent’s garage and how everything is mainstream. Although some of the greatest metal songs were inspired from such matters, the kawaii metal band Babymetal has packed a shocking, powerful punch with their sophomore release ‘Metal Resistance‘.
Initially, I was a fellow skeptic upon hearing the idea of combining J-Pop clean vocals and metal together, especially with teeny booper front kids. However with such a diverse array of metal influences in each song, fun lyrical content and overall great album production, I found it incredibly hard not to fall in love with this band. Alongside the Kami band‘s terrific musicianship, the eldest singer Suzuka Nakamoto delivers some undeniable compelling lead vocals that has you reminiscing that familiar Ron Burgandy quote of “I’m not even mad, I’m impressed.”
Here is a breakdown of each track, along with some genres and artists that follow similar suit if you aren’t too familiar with metal or on the flipside if you are familiar with more than one aspect of metal here are some elements to consider upon listening to the album!
1. Road of Resistance – A hefty instrumental introduction with guest work from the guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman of Dragonforce. Contains some minor screaming vocals in the background to set the metal tone from the start. A perfect crowd boosting, feel good, fan aimed anthem to keep fighting for what Babymetal is bringing to the table. You can’t forget about the overall awesome musicality and strong vocal work from Suzuka. Holy crap.
2. Karate – One of the more popular songs on the album. It brings back the 2010-2013 era of Austrailian djent inspired bands such as Twelve Foot Ninja and Circles. With the j-pop-inspired vocals on top of the heavier sounding grooves, it delivers a familiar flashback that that even more Americanized Djent fan bases like Peripherhy can appreciate. Lyrics emphasizes empowering others and to never give up.
3. Awadama Fever – If Rob Zombie and Drum&bass with a hint of cyberpunk were to have a love child. Also very comparable to Skindred’s 2007 ‘Roots Rock Riot‘ sound in the Nu Metal/Alternative Metal genre. Something you could see Deacon Frost in the movie Blade listening to while steadily trying to decode the ancient vampire writings. A super upbeat and fun song literally about bubble gum.
4. Yava! – This song made me think immediately of the LA-based Goblin themed Melodic Death Metal band, Nekrogoblikon with their random dance influenced 2012 track “No One Survives”, but with more Djent inspired breakdowns. The song basically is depicts how people care too much about differences that don’t even matter.
5. Amore – Holy through the fire and flames! If this doesn’t scream Dragonforce I don’t know what does. Perfect combo of melodic vocals and power metal. Lyrics appearing to be about an ever longing love but was too busy getting my face unexpectedly shredded to find exact translations.
6. Meta Taro – Apart from the sing-song intro, you immediately transcend to the Viking metal elements with both Scandanavian folk metal influences as well as overall melodic death metal atmosphere. The subject matter of this track pays tribute to a hero named Ultraman Taro in the 70s Japanese “Ultraman” series. How cool is that?
7. From Dusk Til Dawn – Atmospheric vocals with metalcore styled musical work somewhat reminding me of the peaceful track “Wormholes” from Volumes, as well as the band Erra.
8. GJ! – More NuMetal with a hint of hardcore elements and metalcore breakdowns from bands such as Obey the Brave and newer Parkway Drive. Lyrically the song speaks on moshing.
9. Sis. Anger – Hello chugs and drumming broots! Technical death metal influences rooted from bands such as Necrophagist, and early stages of The Faceless, but also contains some deathcore feeling such as the infamous Job for a Cowboy in their early stages. Song is basically describing annoying guys that need to leave their presence.
10. No Rain, No Rainbow – From a brutal song to mood changing hair metal ballad. This track brings us back to 80’s artist such as Skid row, Cinderella, and Lita Ford. Contains heartbreak subject matter and “never wanting to go on without you again” lyrics to match.
11. Tales of Destinies – Progressive metal hinting reminding us of terrific bands such as Between the Buried and Me, Protest the Hero and Dream Theater. Another track lyrically centering encouragement.
12. The One – A melodic, power metal anthem wrapping up the album in a lovely warm fuzzy feeling of togetherness and Suzuka Nakamoto’s beautiful voice.