Babymetal – Metal Resistance

To call Babymetal divisive would be like calling ISIS “a bit sensitive”. You’re either on board or you’re not, and if you’re not, you’re probably not about to change your mind with their new album, no matter how it compares to the debut. As a concept, three Japanese schoolgirls singing bubble-gum pop over various sub-genres of metal should appeal only to the most degenerate stains of society, like some kind of Operation Yewtree entrapment programme, but despite the reservations we all naturally have, it works. Don’t question how, it just does. Much like the band itself, sophomore album ‘Metal Resistance’ starts as a giant exploding glitter-bomb ball of WTF before taking the listener on a confusing, enlightening and exhausting journey through the outer limits of 2016. The Dragonforce-infused power metal of ‘Road To Resistance’ and groove stomp of ‘KARATE’ set the stall early for Babymetal 2.0, before the drum n bass fury of ‘Awadama Fever’ ramps things up to Alice in Wonderland-levels of psychedelia, bringing back fond memories of Mad Capsule Markets at their most bonkers in the process. ‘YAVA!’ continues the tooth-rotting, neck-snapping, foot-tapping sugar-rush, but after that, save for a couple of moments such as the adorable ‘GJ!’, things calm down a touch, creating a far more reigned-in affair compared to 2014’s eponymous debut. Gone are the intermittent death metal rampages into reggae, dubstep, industrial, crunk, surf-pop and nu-metal, replaced by two basic settings –super-speed power metal or Wyld Stallyns. The basic template remains the same, and the girls’ voices are vastly improved, now simply cute rather than cutesy, but whereas 2014’s debut was a pissed-up T-1000 in a vat of molten steel, ‘Metal Resistance’ is a more straight-forward, business-like, get-the-job-done kind of Terminator, an actual, proper ‘album’ as opposed to a washing machine full of ideas. There’s even an entirely unnecessary ballad. The band may not have grown-up, but the concept has, and that may be the weirdest thing of all.


Categories: Album Reviews, Reviews

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