Review Summary: What does the fox say?
By now you’ve decided whether or not you like Babymetal and no amount of reviews you read will deter you from your opinion. If you belong to the immense group of people who flag Babymetal as a total monstrosity to music, and thusly should punish them imminently via the medium of the Internet then it’s best for you to stop reading because Babymetal’s sophomore album “Metal Resistance” shows no signs of recoiling from the abnormal.
So just how have Japan’s teenage trio and backing band become such a phenomenon? Ironically it’s the fact that they are a manufactured band. Blending silly ideologies such as Fox Gods and synchronised dancing with bombastic tunes that feature dynamic rhythms is bound to catch anyone’s attention but Key “Kobametal” Kobayasha (the mentor of the band) does actually seem to have some notion of what metal is all about. That’s why the Babymetal is not universally rejected within the genre unlike bands such as Falling In Reverse, Issues and Blood On The Dance Floor.
Plenty of proof lies within “Metal Reistance” to solidify Babymetal within the genre of heavy metal. ‘Amore’ and ‘Meta Taro’ are both a power metal fan’s paradise. The former relies on Dragonforce influenced technicality that showcases the members of Kami Band’s talent and precision whereas the latter is the typical slow, anthemic, empowering side of folk metal complete with frolicking riffs and uplifting backing choirs. “Metal Resistance” is generally a composed album however influences of thrashy relentlessness seep from the core. ‘Sis. Anger’ is an adrenalized song which has riffs sharp enough to whet a katana and is executed as viciously as the wielder. The opener ‘Road Of Resistance’ follows a similar formula but relies more on gliding melodies and Iron Maiden-esque “Wooooahs” for enhanced infectiousness.
Babymetal is fronted by 3 teenage girls. (let that sink in) Maometal and Yuimetal provide backing vocals from the majority of the band’s work while Su-metal takes resembling responsibility of ‘the big sister’ for the band. Their vocals are, honestly, hilarious during the high pitched squeaky passages and will take a toll on your patience level. However once you can see through this approach Su-metal’s harmonising chants is genuinely impressive in ‘Karate’ and ‘From Dawn Till Dusk’ the latter also possessing chants large enough to have their own gravitational pull.
A lot of bands in rock/metal still add an essence of bizarre into their music that also reflects the date in which it was created. For example, Korn dared to record an album that heavily features dubstep in 2011, Mastodon recorded a bunch of women twerking in their music video for ‘The Motherload’ in 2014 (when the term “twerk” blew up over the internet) and god knows where to start with the conceptual mind of Devin Townsend right? Yet with songs such as ‘GJ!’ and ‘YAVA!’, Babymetal push the boundaries of genre expansion to such a limit that it does seem cringingly awkward at times. The difference, however, is that this is the direction they have always taken- they’re not trying to be anything other than what they are: an amusingly talented metal band; admittedly a tad weird but amusing nonetheless.
Babymetal have made a successful album in one’s own right. Despite a few flaws and thanks to substantial amounts of promotion from the media, “Metal Resistance” is truly a unique album. And on the plus side, we might have actually finally found the cut off point to what could be considered ‘too much’ when pigeonholing a band in the heavy metal genre.