Babymetal is back as only Babymetal can be. Their new offering is The Other One (Cooking Vinyl). Here are constants you can be sure of when you buy a Babymetal album: amazing technically proficient guitar playing, headbanging goodness, a wild landscape of movement and feeling, and The Other One delivers this with aplomb.
The Other One is a concept album about being in a place called the Metalverse. Each of the ten songs have a specific theme concerning being in the parallel worlds that are discovered within this Metalverse. However, one must understand Japanese to understand the lyrics and the deeper meanings behind the songs. This facet does not distract from the amazeballz that is Babymetal.
The album starts with ‘Metal Kingdom’. It’s laid back, understated, even in the punchier parts of the song, there is a veil over it that tames the song a bit. The second track, ‘Divine Attack-Shingeki’, has those blistering guitars and wicked double bass drums that make Babymetal oh so deliciously metal. The song is sweeping, like flying an F-16 in blue skies and white poofy clouds sweeping. ‘Mirror Mirror’ is next. It opens with an impressive Steve Vai inspired guitar before bulldozing into a crazy Alice in Wonderland versus Snow White’s evil queen space. Then the song careens into this upbeat popish verse. It’s that flying through blue skies and poofy clouds thing before the song California stops and then rolls back into the guitars which then segue heavy downbeat of guitars and bass then rips into a System of a Down thing and then this wave repeats. It’s dizzying.
‘Maya’ is the first song you come to that is a real earworm – a song you sing when you don’t know you are singing. ‘Time Wave’ comes across like the ending song to a cool anime. ‘Time Wave’ has the most English so far, but due to the composition, you don’t notice it’s English until later – it takes the brain a while to process it. ‘Believing’ is the second earworm of the album. The composition is familiar like an old pair of house slippers. It’s my favourite song on the album.
The first six songs on Babymetal’s The Other One feel more subtle than the previous albums. There is less in your face and more Babymetal, heavy metal. Dare I say, even with this being a concept album, it feels … safe. The tones of the lyrics, the way the vocals sound, is subdued. I do wish I could understand Japanese so that I could analyze why the songs feel the way they do in comparison to the lyrics, though.
The great thing about Babymetal is that the band is full of top-notch musicians that know how to craft a song and create an album. If you are a fan of Babymetal, then you will be a fan of The Other One. If you were still on the fence about them, try this album and see if you like it. There is a lot to like about Babymetal’s The Other One.
Buy the album here:
7 / 10