December 14, 2016 in Reviews
Babymetal – Metal Resistance (2016)
Reviewed by Sebastian Kluth
Many people expected Babymetal to be a short-lived hype band, a gimmicky one-album wonder, an overrated and vapid product of contemporary social media activities. All these naysayers are definitely proven wrong with Metal Resistance. The band is still alive and kicking and hasn’t split up or changed line-up, as has been the case for many other idol groups. Babymetal has toured the biggest and most renowned festivals around the world, and has a more massive media presence these days than ever before. Three Japanese teenage girls and their solid backing band continue to revolutionize an entire genre (and the music business in general) by breaking down stylistic boundaries in an open-minded, juvenile, and energizing way. Babymetal has even pioneered an entirely new genre called kawaii metal, which has seen bands such as Band-Maid, Deathrabbits, Fruitpochette, Ladybaby, Tokyo Rockets, and others rise to fame in their home country over the past few years. In general, the band has also had an emancipatory impact on the awareness of female rock groups in its country. Despite the concurrence, Babymetal is still the undisputed leader of this movement, and so far the only band with a significant international market. The band’s second full length output, Metal Resistance, underlines the band’s massive status as role model for its genre. Even though fans of the band’s first release will definitely find all the band’s classic trademarks, this second album isn’t a safe copy of the first, but pushes the exciting evolution of kawaii metal even further. While the eclectic, energizing, and entertaining predecessor had a carefree, chaotic, and juvenile spirit, with many hit and miss experiments that were all over the place, the second strike shows a perfectly balanced mixture between that youthful attitude and a more homogeneous, mature, and skilled artistic approach.