Otaku. That’s a word über geeks and nerdtastic Japanese people totally embrace. It’s fully giving yourself over to cosplay, manga, miniatures, movies, music, etc. It’s a lifestyle, not a passing fancy. The rise of BABYMETAL is a metalhead’s otaku. Outside of Japan the idea of super cute doll baby clad teenagers with adorable voices singing over metal music of different genres is hard to wrap your head around. It seems a lot of the world adhere to strict boxes music must fit neatly inside. Otaku. BABYMETAL are the kuidaore of music; rock until you drop.
That’s the allure of BABYMETAL, they are unapologetically having a wonderful time presenting genre bending music. It’s nothing new in Japan. But, it is jaw dropping to those not used to enjoying music for the pure sake of it being fun and lively. Metal Resistance (earMusic) is BABYMETAL’s second studio album. Metal Resistance is gobsmackingly infectious and fun. Back is the blend of sunny “girly” vocals atop heavy metal, prog metal, speed metal, and Viking metal riffage. Hate all you want, but the new album debuted at number 39 on the USA Billboard 200 chart. BABYMETAL shifted 12, 240 physical copies of Metal Resistance in the United States alone. A Japanese band hasn’t done debuted in the top 40 since 1963.
Metal Resistance opens strong with ‘Road to Resistance’. It’s a plethora of wailing guitars and frenetic drumming. It’s a song you’d expect from Teutonic or Viking bands from Europe or Scandinavia. ‘Karate’ vacillates between metal and J-Pop. It’s got the head banging riffs that suck you in and the cheesy pop verses. ‘Karate’ is the best of both worlds. ‘Awadama Fever’ is for the video game junkies among us. It’s fast paced and slightly psychotic. And all the while, the sweet dulcet voices of Suzuka Nakamoto, Yui Mizuno, and Moa Kikuchi lilt through. ‘Tells of the Destinies’ has an ELP feel. The guitar solos are straight from the 70s and I had to double-check that I was still listening to a 2016 album. I had to scrape my jaw off the floor at the technical wizardry of Herman Li and Sam Totman. This guitar duo is astounding. BABYMETAL’s Metal Resistance is for those music lovers with an open mind who don’t mind their music both spicy and sweet at the same time.
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