EarMUSIC [Release date 09.12.16]
Babymetal up until now have completely passed me by. Three Japanese teenagers singing about chocolate, gimme a break (have a Kit Kat?). No, metal should be hard, heavy and sung by large men with even larger beards not by anime characters taken from a Studio Ghibli film!
However, my interest was piqued earlier this year when they sold out Wembley Arena, no mean feat, so perhaps I was missing something? So when a download of this album dropped into my inbox I thought I would give it a go. I had an early morning drive south with work planned so once settled on the road I called this up and strapped myself in.
Holy mother of God! I had to check I had selected the right album as the wall of sound coming from the speakers was like being hit by a sledgehammer! What I had failed to appreciate before this was the band behind the girls are amazing. Yeah the trio at the front may be the focal point but that would be nothing without the Kami Band playing up a storm behind them.
‘Babymetal Death’ is a relentless barrage of double bass drums and huge riffs and with the production on the album being spot on it is a massive sound. There are songs like ‘Awadama Fever’ and ‘Doki Doki Morning’ which may sound a bit sickly sweet on the studio version but live they are metal monsters, all be it ones you can dance to.
It’s when the Kami Band are let loose though that things really hit home. ‘Amore’ and the epic ‘Road Of Resistance’ are full on power metal epics with guitar licks that wouldn’t be out of place on a Dragonforce album. Hell, even ‘Gimme Chocolate’ hits the spot live!
It would be wrong to attribute everything to the backing band as the girls sing well, although they do sound reminiscent of the old Pokemon cartoon characters who were once a staple of Saturday morning children’s TV. I am sure the DVD release will be a decent watch as the show sounds like it had a bit of everything, fire, flags, flames and a lot more besides.
So am I a convert? Possibly not, but I do now appreciate what the Babymetal experience is all about and why they have such a huge fanatical following.
Review by Dave Wilson
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Power Plays w/c 16 September (Mon-Fri)
BLOCK BUSTER Losing Gravity (Frontiers)
WATCH ME BREATHE Don’t Think I Haven’t Thought About It (The Label Group/INGrooves)
FIRES OF FREYA Take A Bow (indie)
BLACK STAR RIDERS Underneath The Afterglow (Nuclear Blast)
STOMPIN’ HEAT Shiny Curly Red Hair (indie)
Featured Albums w/c 16 September (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 THE DEFIANTS Zokusho (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 CORELEONI II (AFM Records)
14:00-16:00 TONY McLOUGHLIN True Native (Fuego)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
BAD COMPANY Company Of Strangers (1995)
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