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Old 03-21-2014, 06:03 PM
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adamclark52 adamclark52 is offline
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Babymetal



Babymetal
Released on February 26th, 2014
Label: BMD Fox Records (sub label of Toy’s Factory)

1. Babymetal Death
2. Megitsune (“Female Fox”)
3. Gimme Choco!! (“Give Me Chocolate!!”)
4. Ii Ne! (“It’s Good!”)
5. Akatsuki (“Crimson Moon –Dawn-“)
6. Doki Doki Morning (“Heartbeat Morning”)
7. Onedari Daisakusen (“Begging Operation”)
8. 4 no Uta (“Song of 4”)
9. Uki Uki Midnight (“Ch.ee.rf.ul Midnight”)
10. Catch Me If You Can
11. Akumu no Rinbukyoku (“Nightmares Rondo”)
12. Headbanger!!
13. Ijime, Dame, Zettai (“No, More, Bullying”)

Ok. Sharpen your blades. I’m about to spend seventeen hundred words and almost twenty paragraphs reviewing BABYMETAL. The Japanese idol group comprised of three muppets posing as singers (lead vocalist Su-Metal and back-up singers Moametal and Yuimetal, here on in referred to as “the twins”) and a backup band of either guys dressed in cheesy skeleton suits or guys dressed in weird fox-I-don’t-even-know outfits. In reality I strongly suspect that it’s just a few producers with guitars and computers. In fact I’m pretty convinced it’s that. And I strongly doubt the girls even do the vocals on the albums. I don’t think it’s computers singing but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s some studio musicians. I have seen a few videos of them live where Su-Metal is singing and she sounds really good. But I've seen a lot of their live videos where they're just lip-syncing to a tape and not even hiding it. So I'll have my doubts and refer to Su-Metal as "Su-Metal"; meaning the character. Whoever it is has a really good voice. The last few weeks on this forum there’s been a lot of discussion about how there’s never too much going on to talk about. Well I’m sure people would rather discuss something more “serious” but this polarizing group should get some people talking. Hopefully it’s not just everyone throwing hate and me (and possibly MPF) trying to defend it.

There hasn’t been a group like this ever as far as I know. Take early 2000’s metal sound (a bit of nu-metal, a bit of industrial) and combine it with Japanese J-pop girls singing about foxes and chocolate, all while dancing around like something out of a video game. At first I saw this band via their videos on metalsucks.net and I didn’t know what to think. Being your typical slack-jawed Westerner I just stared at those videos with my eyes bugging out of my head wondering what the hell they’re doing in Japan. But after I turned it off those damn songs and images were stuck in my head. Babymetal is a very visual band. They were created for video and to be watched. The songs may be secondary to the visuals but they are still damn catchy. Every song on this album is lightning fast, super-high BPM, adrenaline fueled pop metal. Even the ballads are hyper-ballads.

What turn most people off this group (I think) are the parts where the twins chime in with their super-cute baby vocals. If it was just “Su-Metal” singing for the whole album I don’t think people would’ve given this album all the shit it’s gotten. There are a couple songs she does solo that just sound like standard “Japanese” rock music, just sped up double time. But you add the twins to the mix and it just goes to a different level of ridiculousness. I’m going to do a track-by-track review of this album. Even though people hate those I think it’s just the best way to go about reviewing this album. And since I don't expect much positive reaction to this review it doesn't even matter. I’m going to include a link to every video that’s available because you really need to see this shit to believe it.

1. Babymetal Death
An ominous intro/call-to-arms sort of song that’s really good but goes on for just way too long. Six minutes! If this was trimmed to maybe two-to-three minutes it would’ve worked a lot better. And the girls need more auto-tune on the small bits they sing. A weak start to the album.

2. Megitsune
But it gets going here. I guess this is the song they’re most famous for. It starts off with the most “far-east” sounding segment of the whole album then blasts right into the crazy heavy riffs with the twins dancing and screaming. A good introduction to the band and this one song gives you almost everything you should expect from the rest of the album. It was my introduction to the band.

3. Gimme Choco!!
At first I hated this song. I’m having a hard time figuring out if this album is trying to be serious, if it’s trying to be satirical or if it’s just a joke and doesn’t realize it. This song is a joke. It starts with the twins at their most annoying doing a call and response on chocolate (I guess) but gets better once “Su-Metal” chimes in. And the little “dada-da-da” part towards the end of the bridge is really cute and catchy. It sounds like a three minute commercial.

4. Ii Ne!
This is a great song with an even better video. This songs video pretty much defines what people make of this band. The main song is hyper-fast, maybe the fastest on the album, but then it goes into this hip-hop bridge and melts your central nervous system. You don’t expect that part during the video and when it happens you’ll vomit, cry blood-tears of joy and faint all at the same time. And then it’s followed by the death vocal part, which is just fucking awesome.

5. Akatsuki
The first of the songs “Su-Metal” does solo. A hyper-ballad that seems a little out of place. It’s filled with a lot of hope and would make a great soundtrack to the ending of a movie.

6. Doki Doki Morning
This is another song where you have to see the video to get the full appreciation for it. Unlike Ii-ne, this one is more of a mind-fuck acid trip. Pretty goofy and pretty juvenile. But if you’re not singing “ding-ding-ding, alpha meets omega” after you’re done listening to this song you’re probably made of cardboard. This is my four year old sons favorite song off the album.

7. Onedari Daisakusen
This song takes the album to a more serious darker place. For some reason I always think of the video Destiny’s Child did for Survivor when I hear this song. It has some great keyboards. And the "one for the money, two for the money, three for the money, money-money-money-money" line in the bridge is pretty epic.

8. 4 no Uta
More so than any song on this album this is the one that’ll have you scratching your head wondering what the fuck you’re listening to. It’ll probably always be referred to as the “yo yo” song. It’s claimed that this song was written by the twins but I really doubt that. Then again, everything on this album is so confusing and fucked up they very well could have written it.

9. Uki Uki Midnight
This is my favorite song on the album. It’s extremely upbeat but it has this bridge that just melts my face. I just can’t put in to words how awesome that bridge is.

10. Catch Me If You Can
This one has the twins doing some call and respond vocals during the verses (I think, I have no idea what they’re saying) and “Su-Metal” chiming in during the chorus’. It’s really good and has some crazy drums. And it reminds me of a Fear Factory song of the Digimortal album called Full Metal Contact (musically).

11. Akumu no Rinbukyoku
The second of the two solo "Su-Metal" songs. Again, really good but a head scratcher when you’re trying to figure out what this band and album are trying to say. Some really beautiful vocals from “Su-Metal”.

12. Headbanger!!
I’d play this song for anyone who hated this style of music. It embodies everything that there is to hate about this album. Hyper-fast with the twins screaming “HEADBANGER” over and over and over and over. I really like the song and I think it would’ve made for a better album closer.

13. Ijime, Dame, Zettai
This song contains everything that the album has had building up to it. The twins doing their ridiculous vocals: check! "Su-Metal’s" melodic, hope-filled ballad vocals: check! Lightning fast music: check! Really wicked guitar solos: check! The part with the twins doing the guitar solos in the videos is just insane. This song reminds me of Dragonforce, except it doesn’t suck. The only problem with this song is its placement as the album closer. Somewhere in the middle would’ve worked better. But I don’t think sequence was very important to whoever produced this album.

There’s a lot to criticize this album about. Is it the death of metal? Is it the death of music? Are they satirizing everything they see in the Western hemispheres music scene? Are they just really fucked up “over there”? Is it just playing off/trolling everything metalheads enjoy as a means to make money? Probably. I'm not taking it too serious and instead I'm just enjoying it. And again, the packaging confuses me. I would’ve figured the booklet would’ve been filled with pictures of the girls at their most nauseating cutest. But instead; not a single picture of the girls. Aside for the name “BABYMETAL” on the cover they layout and artwork could’ve been confused for any other metal band. So what the fuck? If this were a Western pop album the booklet would've been nothing but pictures of the girls and no lyrics. But this is nothing but lyrics and some pretty cool drawings behind them

I don’t think Babymetal will make much of an impact Stateside. Tr00 kvltests will never admit to liking it. People just won’t give it a chance. And buying the CD or DVDs probably lands you on an FBI watch-list, so there’s always that risk. I know there will be more Babymetal albums in the future because this debuted at number four on Japans national album chart. I’d imagine that the three girls who are the face of the band will have been replaced by then. They’ve been created by a bunch of business people in suits sitting around a boardroom table. They don’t even hide it. But I really like this album. Scratch that; I fucking love this album. Even though Babymetal is better taken visually I really enjoy the songs. I’m going to do it…five out of five.

Best Songs: Ii Ne!, Doki Doki Morning, Uki Uki Midnight

For Fans of: Dragonball Z and Ministry

Rating: 5 out of 5
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Last edited by adamclark52; 03-23-2014 at 11:19 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-21-2014, 10:29 PM
Onioner Onioner is offline
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I actually have seen a lot of metalheads on Facebook making some rather interesting comments on Babymetal. A ton of "I don't know if this is amazing or an abomination" type things.

There's a whole pile of Japanese metal bands/songs with borderline djenty guitars but with basically anime girl vocals. It's just way too nuts for me to be honest, I can't really enjoy it.
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Old 03-22-2014, 12:12 AM
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J-pop idol groups kind of creep me the fuck out (yes I know this is funny coming from the KPop guy but at least all of SNSD have been of legal age since they began)

The music is good, so I guess that counts for something
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Old 03-22-2014, 02:49 AM
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El Gordo El Gordo is offline
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I listened to three tracks... sounds like Chun Li getting butt-fucked by Andrew W.K.... That's not something I ever wanted to hear.
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Old 03-22-2014, 07:11 PM
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SomewhereInTime72 SomewhereInTime72 is offline
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I can't really dig it from the songs I listened to.

I've liked some j-pop too, but the mix they're going with here doesn't seem to work. Or maybe its that while the basic idea is pretty cool, neither the metal nor pop aspects are particularly great.
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Old 03-23-2014, 03:34 AM
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treghet treghet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gordo View Post
I listened to three tracks... sounds like Chun Li getting butt-fucked by Andrew W.K.... That's not something I ever wanted to hear.
Yet after trying one track you came back for more not once, but twice.
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:58 PM
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kalfitegrdan kalfitegrdan is offline
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I watched the video for Headbanger! and absolutely hated it, but I might try a few of the other songs based on your reviews. It just sounded like a shittier version of Maximum the Hormone (this also happens to be one of the best music videos of all time) to me.

On a sidenote, I really like the track-by-track album reviews because it gives me a reference point of which songs I might enjoy based on my taste.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:12 PM
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adamclark52 adamclark52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalfitegrdan View Post
I watched the video for Headbanger! and absolutely hated it, but I might try a few of the other songs based on your reviews. It just sounded like a shittier version of Maximum the Hormone (this also happens to be one of the best music videos of all time) to me.

On a sidenote, I really like the track-by-track album reviews because it gives me a reference point of which songs I might enjoy based on my taste.
You see, that Maximum the Hormone video was too much for me. But I'm not too big a fan of Mathcore or Candiria.

I've added links to all the individual songs on the main track-list at the top. Except I can't find a version of Akumu no Rinbukyoku right now and I'm tired.
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Last edited by adamclark52; 03-23-2014 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:37 AM
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El Gordo El Gordo is offline
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Originally Posted by treghet View Post
Yet after trying one track you came back for more not once, but twice.
I had to make sure it wasn't an isolated incident!
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:51 AM
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kalfitegrdan kalfitegrdan is offline
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Originally Posted by adamclark52 View Post
2. Megitsune
But it gets going here. I guess this is the song theyíre most famous for. It starts off with the most ďfar-eastĒ sounding segment of the whole album then blasts right into the crazy heavy riffs with the twins dancing and screaming. A good introduction to the band and this one song gives you almost everything you should expect from the rest of the album. It was my introduction to the band.

4. Ii Ne!
This is a great song with an even better video. This songs video pretty much defines what people make of this band. The main song is hyper-fast, maybe the fastest on the album, but then it goes into this hip-hop bridge and melts your central nervous system. You donít expect that part during the video and when it happens youíll vomit, cry blood-tears of joy and faint all at the same time. And then itís followed by the death vocal part, which is just fucking awesome.

7. Onedari Daisakusen
This song takes the album to a more serious darker place. For some reason I always think of the video Destinyís Child did for Survivor when I hear this song. It has some great keyboards. And the "one for the money, two for the money, three for the money, money-money-money-money" line in the bridge is pretty epic.

9. Uki Uki Midnight
This is my favorite song on the album. Itís extremely upbeat but it has this bridge that just melts my face. I just canít put in to words how awesome that bridge is.
I listened to these four based on your mini-reviews and actually really dug them. Especially the first two.
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