BABYMETAL – Metal Resistance

BABYMETAL Metal Resistance album cover 2016 ghostcultmag

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.

babymetal 2016 ghostcultmag

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.

8.0/10

VICTORIA ANDERSON

[amazon asin=B01BTMJ03U&template=iframe image1]

Advertisements

Prog Rock Legend Keith Emerson, Dead At Age 71

RIP Keith Emerson ELP ghostcultmag

 

2016 continues to be the year of devastating losses in the music world. News has come down that Keith Emerson, famed for his work with progressive rock giants Emerson, Lake And Palmer has died at age 71. The band confirmed this with a message on their official Facebook.

“We regret to announce that Keith Emerson died last night at his home in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, aged 71. We ask that the family’s privacy and grief be respected.”

 

Bandmate Carl Palmer commented on Emerson’s passing:

 

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my good friend and brother-in-music, Keith Emerson,” Keith’s longtime bandmate Carl Palmer said in a statement. “Keith was a gentle soul whose love for music and passion for his performance as a keyboard player will remain unmatched for many years to come. He was a pioneer and an innovator whose musical genius touched all of us in the worlds of rock, classical and jazz. I will always remember his warm smile, good sense of humor, compelling showmanship, and dedication to his musical craft. I am very lucky to have known him and to have made the music we did, together.”

 

Emerson was one of the finest keyboard and players ever in music history, a true innovator and was unrivlaed as a showman. ELP was last active as a touring band in 2010. We send our deepest sympathy to his family, friends and fans.

elp keith Emerson RIP ghostcultmag

 

Keith Emerson (1944 – 2016)We regret to announce that Keith Emerson died last night at his home in Santa Monica, Los…

Posted by Emerson, Lake & Palmer on Friday, March 11, 2016

Bigelf- Into The Maelstrom

Album_cover

Back over the years 2008 and 2009 prog oddballs Bigelf released the well received Cheat The Gallows (Custard Records) album, and subsequently became big news. High profile tours with the likes of Dream Theater and Opeth whilst being media darlings in the prog and metal worlds, Bigelf had their name on a rocket and were on course for the stars. Tragedy then struck and said rocket seemed to plummet as quickly as it ascended.

A massive gap of six years and Bigelf are back with a brand new album, boosted by the patronage (and studio presence) of prog’s Duracell bunny Mike Portnoy. Into The Maelstrom (Inside Out Music) thrusts you onto a journey space, alien frequencies and a sense of carnival splendour via a healthy dose of The Beatles, the more drug addled side of Black Sabbath and even the likes of Hawkwind. Damon Fox’s chilling, Ozzy like notes greet us on opener ‘Incredible Time Machine’ and its immediately clear that his twisted imagination is set on overdrive.

Simultaneously warped and catchy, this predominantly shows a Beatles influence with a ring leader like narrative which brings ELP’s Brain Salad Surgery to mind. Mike Portnoy’s performance is worthy of mention as well, providing a juggernaut of a display yet never overpowering or taking away from who is really the star of the show, Damon Fox.

It’s been a long wait, but finally Bigelf are back to recapture lost ground on the prog and metal realms. It’s clear that Damon has not lost his vivid and spectacular ideas; and that he is on something you definitely won’t get on the counter from your local pharmacy.

 

8.5/10

Bigelf on Facebook

CHRIS TIPPELL