10 October 2019

BABYMETAL – Metal Galaxy

Japanese sensation BABYMETAL will be releasing their 3rd album on 11th October 2019. For major fans this is quite the announcement, as it has been a whopping three-and-a-half years since their last record, “Metal Resistance”. They’ve created a tremendous 14 tracks – all exploring themes around space and light vs dark. Now with two front-ladies, is this next installment worth the wait?

First up is “Future Metal”. It’s got a bit of attitude going on, with some spacey synths. I did like this intro song, but as something entirely different from metal. What this track is…is Chill Step. The following song, “DA DA DANCE”, picks up a little with some guitar and starts to introduce the heavy stuff. This song features Japanese Grammy Award-winning guitarist, producer song writer Tak Matsumoto.
I’ve always been a bit on the fence with BABYMETAL. They combine heavy drop-tuned guitars with, essentially, anime opening sound tracks. Which is good for me, because I am partial to a bit of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Some songs, like “Megitsune” and “Gimme Chocolate”, are catchy and really mix the cultural sound of Japanese music with metal. But other times I find myself feeling like some songs are a bit forced.
“Shanti Shanti Shanti” is a song I quite like, which brings in those very distinct traditional Indian instruments. There are lots of cultural elements going on here, which I think is a truly amazing feat. Looking at the big names in rock and metal, it’s hard to think of a band that isn’t predominantly White-British or American. I’m hoping that things are becoming more diverse in the music industry, with the help of the likes of BABYMETAL and Bloodywood.

The track I was most excited to hear is “Distortion”, as it features guest vocals from Alisa White-Gluz. Not really knowing what to expect, I went in open-minded and came away with a new obsession. The mix of clean vocals with the insane raw power of Alisa just made for a great BABYMETAL song. It was heavy, for one thing, and it was just really effective. I could get used to this group having some more feature songs in the future.

I have to admit that, overall, it isn’t my favourite album they have done. Some songs just didn’t reach that metal sound, and were J-Rock at most. However, there were also some songs here which I can see becoming the iconic tracks of the record. It is also great to see BABYMETAL working with some huge names in the music business, from vocalist to musicians. They are expanding themselves, and so many different artists love and respect them.

Highlights

  • “Shanti Shanti Shanti”
  • “Distortion”
  • “PA PA YA!!”

BABYMETAL will be touring Europe in February 2020.

You can find them on Facebook here.

Pre-order Metal Galaxy here.