Release Date: February 26, 2014
- BABYMETAL DEATH
- Gimme Choko!!
- Ii ne!
- Benisuki –Akasuki-
- Doki Doki Morning
- Onedari Daisakusen
- 4 no Uta
- Uki Uki Midnight
- Catch Me If You Can
- Akumu no Rinbukyoku
- Ijime, Dame, Zettai
BABYMETAL is the second sub-unit to debut from the idol group Sakura Gakuin consisting of a trio of members:
Suzuka Nakamota (SU-METAL)
Moa Kikuchi (MOAMETAL)
Yui Mizuno (YUIMETAL)
They first made their debut in 2011 on Sakura Gakuin’s debut album Sakura Gakuin 2010 Nendo ~message with the song Doki Doki Morning. Since then, they have released three more singles and, more recently, this album, BABYMETAL Apocalypse.
So what exactly is BABYMETAL about? Their concept is described as “kawaii metal,” which boils down to a mix of Japanese idol music and heavy metal. Rock music and idols aren’t exactly new, but the pairing of a subgenre that is almost the complete opposite of the typical idol musical bed is certainly enough to grab the ears of anyone willing to think outside of the box for a bit.
Because of this, the group has generated a bit of hype around themselves, having performed at the 2013 Summer Sonic Rock festival and, later that year, the Heavy Metal Music Festival, Loud Park. They also have an upcoming performance at the 2014 Sonisphere Festival in England on July 6.
Even mainstream media are starting to kind of latch on to the group, although probably more in the “weird Japan” type of bullshit manner that makes folks like you and me a little more than perturbed.
So is BABYMETAL worth all this hype? Should you lay down your hard-earned dollars on this album? Well, I’m no metal purist (far from it, given my musical upbringing), but I would say absolutely.
For the long-time follower of the group, a lot of what is on this album will be old hat as it does take a lot of material from the previously released singles. (including the b-sides) That might disappoint those craving more original tracks rather than recycled material.
But for those getting initiated into the BABYMETAL fold, prepare yourself for a sonic assault. Not only do you get a heavy dose of metal but also light touches of hip-hop and dubstep as you navigate your way through this album. The group’s producer KOBAMETAL has done an admirable job putting together a catchy musical landscape for these girls to do their idol thing over.
How you take to BABYMETAL will be totally up to you. If you are a metal elitist, who thinks this group is a skid mark on the underwear of the genre you love, then perhaps this isn’t for you. You can find your 20-minute guitar solos elsewhere. But if you’re open to having a bit of variety in your idol music or your general music catalogue BABYMETAL will be a great addition to your collection.
The thing one has to wonder after listening to this is whether this concept has peaked or if there is more to come. I guess we’ll see what they come up with next.