Rock & Roll Army from Spain did a very interesting report about the BABYMETAL album and BABYMETAL band concept analyzing the recipe for the success of the Japanese stew known as BABYMETAL. Read this great review translated below.
Rock & Roll Army analyze the recipe for the perfect japanese stew, BABYMETAL
- Three all-kawaii japanese teenage girls (Suzuka Nakamoto, Yui Mizuno and Moa Kikuchi or alternatively, SuMetal, YuiMetal and MoaMetal)
- Four virtuoso musicians as backing band (important: they must have a high metal concentration)
- Various musical styles: j-pop, epic metal, power metal, death metal, all the metals you can think of, and few amounts of other sounds to taste.
HOW TO PREPARE:
It is important to clarify from the beginning of the making of this dish that this is not for everyone's taste. To start, mix the backing band, from now on Kami Band, in an imposing death metal way (include growling) with tiny doses of the three teenage female voices. The result of this first phase we shall call "Babymetal Death", main essence of the rest of the dish.
Start adding, in controlled doses, the rest of the musical styles, trying to make the base of all the pot consistent, hard and very metallic (thrash, death, power, etc, etc...) This will get it ready for the second ingredient, which we will extend all over the base in big doses: j-pop and a little pinch of various music styles to color the mix (reggae, hip hop, mainstream hard core...). Never mix these last one in the same preparation phase.
If you have made the mix in the right order and with the proper quantities according to the recipe, you should be pulling out of your oven the perfect definition of what in Japan has been called Kawaii Metal. In our case in particular, the product is called Babymetal.
What a mess!!
Let us obviate the fantastic explanation of how the Fox God commissioned Su-Metal, Yui-Metal and Moa-Metal la worthy task of creating the Metal Resistance to save the world of Heavy Metal from the claws of The Big Power, which intends to end it, and let's try to focus on the reality of this phenomenon straight from the nation of the rising sun.
The japanese word kawaii means something like cute or pretty. That concept, originally applied to certain types of manga, was later extrapolated to a good chunk of the modern japanese subculture, going deep into fields like fashion (clothing, make up) or music, creating a very particular way to think, work and understand life.
On the basis of this philosophy, the J-pop group Sakura Gakuin is created out of school girls who apparently are retired once they graduate middle school. Yes, just like that.
Suzuka Nakamoto went through this stance in 2010 when, far from joining the large lists of japanese retirees, was immersed into the birth of an associated subgroup, BabyMetal.
From this moment on and joined by her two little band mates, and together with the Kami Band, the group grows not only in Japan, where they managed to get 10 of their singles to the Oricon list (a sort of japanese Billboard) but also in the rest of the world, even accompanying Lady Gaga in her american tour by invitation of the diva herself; performing as leading artists in the british Sonisphere (it is priceless to see such a heavy crowd enjoy a Wall of Death during their performance there). And it seems even Kirk Hammet and Slash have praised the group en different media (of course, pictures of the girls with Kirk can be found all over the web) and in their track "Road of resistance", they collaborate with Herman Li and Sam from the british group Dragon Force.
It is in 2015 when Ear music decides to pick up all of their hits and launch them into the western world under their self titled debut album
On stage, the formula is predictable: corpse paints for the backing members and kawaii aesthetics for the little front girls, who join the childish voices with well-studied and endless choreographies that can fill any stage, no matter how big.
As for the musical experience, I suppose it depends on the person who listens to them, but as far as I am concerned, I must admit I have surprised myself in more than one occasion humming in my head several of their tunes. I must also say, that while I can't stand power metal, Babymetal is much more audible and bearable than many of the groups in this style (though I don't really dig in those places), and while we are at this, much better than most of the female fronted epic-goth metal (though I don' really dig much there either). Going on with my personal diatribe, I'll say that if you manage to get over the feeling you are in front of the soundtrack of a typical japanese power-ranger-like anime, you might actually develop a liking for these three little brats and end up enjoying their proposal. Oriental essence.
Evidently, we are in front of a purely japanese product, unthinkable of in different latitudes, but that has already crossed the borders of the asian country. It wouldn’t be weird for clones to come out, trying to repeat the formula out of the country. There will surely be a backlash.
For the moment, and since here this is only for curious ears, YouTube can be the ideal way to begin (I recommend their video in Sonisphere 2014, edited with some amateur recordings; I've said it before: priceless) but watch out... by looking at the evident enjoyment of their occidental followers, no doubt all grown up, it seems like they can be addictive out of Japan too. They must have something.
All glory to the Fox God!
Translation by: Daniel Fuentes.