ALBUM REVIEW: Babymetal – Metal Galaxy

The new Babymetal album starts off with a funky blend of techno video game and chunky 90s metal power chords. It then whiplashes into some futuristic techno power metal thing. The effect is a dizzying display of aural assault. If you aren’t into mind-bending disparate genre mixing, then you probably won’t like Metal Galaxy (earMusic/BMD Fox Records).

In my humble opinion, the reason Babymetal is still going strong three albums in is that they blend disparate types of music into a fantastical over the top production. The video game geek in me loves it. The anime/cartoon nerd is in heaven. The metal head is head bangin’. The prog-rock snob nods in approval. And all of that is accomplished in the first track ‘Da Da Dance’. The next track is a weird voyeur-type I’m watching you ‘Elevator Girl’. There is this wicked funk bass that intertwines with blistering guitar work that would make Jake E. Lee proud. The drumming is pure heavy metal. And then just like that, fresh foppish J-Pop and the happy vocals of Nakamoto Suzuka and Kikuchi Moa. The chorus is infectious and silly and you find yourself singing it loudly as you vie between air guitar and headbanging; or if you’re a young whippersnapper doing both at the same time. Just when you think you’ve got Babymetal pegged, ‘Shanti Shanti Shanti’ a shake your groove thang epic Bollywood tome screams through your sound system. I dare you to listen to this song and not dance. You can’t. It’s just that damn good!

The madness won’t stop. Someone slipped something in a drink and ‘Oh! Majinai’ was born. Babymetal – Japanese pop-Metal – meets Joakim Broden – Swedish Viking Folk Metal. I won’t even try to explain what I hear. I can’t. Just. Just. Just buy Metal Galaxy. Trust me. Just. Buy. It. If only for ‘Oh! Majinai’. It’s worth it. It’s frakking brilliant! The sheer musicianship of Babymetal shines again with 70s throwback soul music. ‘Brand New Day’ evokes homage to The Emotions, updated and Japanified. ‘Brand New Day’ is 2019s smooth jam. The bass on ‘Night Night Burn!’ is funkadelic. The runs are soulful and full. The drumming has this Cuban conga type thing happening. It reminds me of Gloria Estafan. The keyboards mimic horns two minutes in and it’s wicked cool. For forty-five seconds there is this call and response between the conga sound and the metal sound.

That was just the first half of the album. The next seven songs are just as amazing and wild and baffling as the first seven. Babymetal’s Metal Galaxy is baffling because it works so well. Metal Galaxy is a brilliantly put together album. The compositions are amazing and the execution of the elements is superb. If you are into Sabaton, Korn, Metallica, Gloria Estafan, The Emotions, Godsmack, and Korpiklaani then this is for you because if you take all of the best bits from those musicians and toss it into a blender your smoothie of choice will be Babymetal’s Metal Galaxy.

9 / 10

VICTORIA ANDERSON