Monday, 3 March 2014

Review: Babymetal - Babymetal

"What the fuck is Babymetal? Seriously, what the fuck is happening here?" That's what my initial reaction sounded like. Basically, they're a JPop trio that sings and dances to instrumental stuff ranging from electro to symphonic death metal. It's so bizarre and out there that you can't help but be intrigued. All three girls dress up in gothic dresses which makes it a little creepy because the oldest one is 16, they don't have any sort of distorted vocals and this shouldn't sound good in any sort of way. Hell, even in all the comments I've seen about this, most people think it's so crazy that not even the most extreme metalheads can't get into it.

So how the hell did it get to #1 on the Canadian iTunes metal chart?

I think it's because they can appeal to anyone. Because they don't really use harsh vocals, non metal fans can listen and enjoy it, JPop/KPop fans will enjoy it because of the dancing and the stupidly catchy choruses like the one in the song below, "Give Me Choco!!" Yes, that's a song about chocolate. As long as you get past the really weird vocals that start the song, you'll probably like it.

This is the kind of cocaine infused craziness that's made in Japan some days. I guess part of the reason I love it is because it's so batshit insane. From JPop enthusiasts, I've heard that their dancing is impressive. I mean, I guess it could be but I don't dance at all so I can't tell, so it isn't for me. I genuinely like the music, it's upbeat and happy!

Part of what makes the music interesting is that the backing track to the vocals doesn't stick to any one sub-genre of metal. It can go from heavy metal to nu-metal to brutal death and everything in between, mixing into this neat little introduction to all different kinds. I mean, they played with fucking Chthonic! Yes, the Taiwanese black/death metal band. And it's better than fucking brilliant, it's banging-Jennifer-Lawrence-and-Emma-Watson-at-the-same-time levels of awesome!

At the very least, everyone should listen to a couple of tracks from the album. It's something brand new and completely different, and should be celebrated for that alone. Sure, experimentation doesn't work, but at least they have the courage to something bold and stupid like this. I say give it a shot and make your own decision (read: it's good and you should feel bad for not liking it).

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