Babymetal - Metal Resistance review


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Band: Babymetal
Album: Metal Resistance
Release date: April 2016

01. Road Of Resistance
02. Karate
03. あわだまフィーバー
04. ヤバッ!
05. Amore -蒼星-
06. メタ太郎
07. シンコペーション
08. GJ!
09. Sis. Anger
10. No Rain, No Rainbow
11. Tales Of The Destinies
12. The One

Is it possible to review a band like this without becoming mired interminably in the comically astronomical depths of controversy that dog any and all assessments of them? No, I suppose it isn't. Babymetal are not reviled - they are super infinity-plus-one polarizing to a degree that defies precedent, enough to make dimethyl sulfoxide look like hexane. But now that we've acknowledged as much, let's discuss this album like adults, shall we?

I'll admit that when I first heard "Karate" I laughed like a maniac for the entire four minutes and 25 seconds - not out of derision, but because I could actually feel the fabric of reality tearing itself to shreds around my very being, and in spite of myself I couldn't stop listening to the song. As if Babymetal's very existence weren't cognitively dissonant enough, the psychonauts brought djent into the picture - and, more than that, thrashy djent. Many observers balk at the prospect of crediting Babymetal with anything remotely positive, but Babymetal have a tendency towards cross-genre experimentation that, though more the result of faceless songwriters than an artistic vision of the band itself, nonetheless keeps their albums alive and engaging in unexpected ways.

With the debut behind them as a solid proof-of-concept, Babymetal push themselves into heavier, faster, and more expansive territory on Metal Resistance. The J-pop and metal aspects feel much more complementary and better-integrated this time around; in addition, Su-metal, Moametal, and Yuimetal have become not only much stronger vocalists, but also more comfortable with their unusual mélange of styles. Overall, Metal Resistance boasts catchier, more consistent songwriting than its predecessor, and when paired with bolder performances and a more focused sense of direction, these songs take metal to its most unapologetically melodic fringes. Some of those who derided Babymetal may find Metal Resistance a lot more palatable due to the maturation of sound.

Anyone who can stomach Dragonforce should have no objections to the opener, "Road Of Resistance," previously released as a collaboration with Herman Li and Sam Totman of said epic power-slingers; "Road Of Resistance" perfectly mirrors Dragonforce at every turn, with the ironic twist that these three teenage Japanese girls have deeper voices than both of Dragonforce's vocalists. "Amore" continues in the same lightning-power vein, while "GJ" echoes the fantastic djent of "Karate." The vaguely atmospheric djentronica of "From Dusk Till Dawn" desperately demands some explanation, but the song succeeds to a much greater degree than it should. "Meta Taro" sounds like a cross between Viking Sabaton and a First World War marching song; "Tales Of The Destinies" employs nonstandard time signatures and dueling keyboards and guitars to effectively capture the sound of anime-soundtrack-Haken (with some occasional Gloryhammer-ing splashed in for good measure).

I have to exercise an exorbitant degree of self-restraint so as not to detail the entire album song-by-song, but each individual work has its own personality and reflects another subgenre of metal that no one would have expected to hear in such an ineffable context. I hear Slipknot, Dream Theater, Gojira, and others inexplicably reflected here. Babymetal was a novelty - a highly enjoyable novelty, but a novelty nonetheless; Metal Resistance is a much more serious work, and a much more successful one. I certainly never thought in a million years that I'd ever say that the new Babymetal is better than the new Amon Amarth, much less that the new Babymetal is currently my album of the year, but this is the world we live in now.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Production: 8


Written on 01.04.2016 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.

Comments page 5 / 5

Comments: 122   [ 1 ignored ]   Visited by: 922 users
21.03.2018 - 14:30
Written by ScreamingSteelUS on 28.01.2018 at 19:52

This might be the best thing I've ever done for this site.

Well its not my cup of tea and i somewhat do not agree with you in your reviewb but to hell with that !

As Evelyn Beatrice Hall has said "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. "

Kudos mate even tho i know you dont need my approvla
A mediocre metalhead.
10.02.2020 - 20:52
That people full of prejudices, are not bitter metalheads and enjoy this very good band that is one of the most famous bands of recent times very good qualification that they deserve it and at the time of a change why in this genre so off . don't be offended because a young woman is kicking butts and is proud that her genreo is getting to know each other more thanks to babymetal

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