Cute vogue poses and cupcake vocals to a soundtrack that could sonically describe several toes jamming at once is an objectively bizarre combo uniting two extremes, further complicated by the space epic mythology informing the band’s image.
babymetal metal galaxy – Babymetal’s Galaxy
Babymetal – BxMxC” was released as a Japanese exclusive track on the album Metal Galaxy” in October 2019. Babymetal was formed in 2010 and are managed by the Amuse talent agency. 1 They were originally a subunit of Japanese Idol group Sakura Gakuin, and played their first show on November 28th, 2010 when they were between the ages of 10 and 11. Their first song, “Doki Doki Morning,” was originally released in April of 2011 as part of the Sakura Gakuin album Sakura Gakuin 2010 Nendo: Message. The band shot a music video for Doki Doki Morning and uploaded it to YouTube in October of 2011. The video was reuploaded to YouTube on November 8th, 2012, where it has since gained over 20 million YouTube views (shown below).
That was – and to be fair, still is – the plan. The only trouble is that along the way they lost a member. On the eve of their US tour Yuimetal got sick, at least that was the story, it later turned out she wanted to pursue a solo career. Whatever the case, the trio was no more and a winning formula would have to be changed. Thus Metal Galaxy, an already pressurized release, is tasked not only with cementing Babymetal as one of the biggest bands in modern metal and shifting tickets for upcoming arena dates, but demonstrating what the band will sound like as a duo.
These are just a few of the curveballs that make my time actually speaking to the young women of Babymetal a unique, occasionally disconcerting experience. Babymetal arrived flocked by a small army including a bodyguard, makeup and wardrobe personnel and press liaisons, ensconcing Moametal and Su-metal in the huddle of the photoshoot. Both of them are learning English, which they see as only fair, given how their Western fans often sing back to them in Japanese. For the questions I sent over ahead of time, they read their answers back off a sheet of paper in cordial, well-rehearsed English. For my impromptu additions and follow-ups, they respond in short, genial Japanese. For anything that crosses some invisible line, the superintendent quickly swoops in. She also had a copy of the talking points.
On May 8, 2018, just ahead of the Babymetal World Tour 2018, the band released a music video for a new single, ” Distortion “. 91 Yuimetal was absent from Babymetal’s tour of the United States in May 2018, with no advance warning. Amid fan speculation on Mizuno’s status with the group, a representative of 5B Management, the American management company representing Babymetal, replied to an inquiry from Alternative Press Magazine by saying that “Yuimetal remains a member of the band, but she is not on this current U.S. tour.” The reply also hinted about “a new narrative for the future of the band which is currently evolving” and a “storyline” that “has changed.” 92 However, Yuimetal was also absent from Babymetal’s European tour in June 2018, and her appearance for the Asian leg remained unconfirmed. 93 Babymetal has since performed at Rock on the Range in Columbus, Ohio, the Download Festival in Donington Park , United Kingdom, 94 and the Rock am Ring and Rock im Park festivals in Germany.
Of course it would be burying the lead to pretend Babymetal have simply transitioned into duo and carried on as if nothing has happened. Metal Galaxy is unlike either the band’s debut or their sophomore effort for one rather obvious reason: it is loaded with guest stars. Is this an attempt to replace Yuimetal with a new novelty attraction? That would certainly be short-term stopgap measure, but the six guest stars spread across five tracks never really stick out like sore thumbs or go out of their way to make their presence felt (with the notable exception of ‘s terrible rap verse). Instead, the collaborations feel far more organic, like some genuine celebrity admirers have become enamoured with Babymetal’s sound and wanted to contribute a sly guitar solo here or a nice backing vocal there – as opposed to sprinkling a pinch of show stealing stardust on the project.
On ‘Metal Galaxy’ , Babymetal’s third album, the Japanese duo (third member Yuimetal left the band last year) explore new territory. Never ones to settle for sticking to the traditional, mainstream idea of what metal is, it finds them toying with Bollywood sounds and mariachi brass, collaborating with Thai rapper F. Hero and Arch Enemy’s Alissa White-Gluz, and going all out on their latest set of kawaii-J-pop-meets-eardrum-battering-metal.
These are the moments that force you to remember that while Babymetal has crossed over into America, they remain a Japanese idol group, and Japanese idol groups are primed and packaged in a very rigorous way regardless of the country they’re currently in. Very rarely do the management companies who curate idol groups allow a crack of daylight into the personal affairs of their stars. (Some idols even sign contracts forbidding them to date or get married, as that would make them more inaccessible to their fans.) It’s a paradigm that puts any journalist in an interesting predicament. I find Su-metal and Moametal to be kind, funny and warm. I find them to have a natural understanding of what makes their music special. And I find that no matter what I ask, or what angle I take, I’m probably not going to learn anything new about them that wasn’t in the press release. In that sense, they play their hand perfectly.
The Good: Despite the lineup change, lead singer Su-metal and fellow vocalist Moametal don’t miss a beat, as their pop voices soar over a range of instrumentation throughout the album. Metal Galaxy expands on the band’s catchy quality by presenting a mix of hyper instrumentation that explores various musical styles throughout the world.
The show opened and closed with a tranquil video montage on the enormous screen that spanned the entire stage, with the band voicing over a ponderous musing about metal music and BABYMETAL conquering distant galaxies. But once the trio of women emerged like superheroes on a floating octagon stage, the entire arena was filled with heart pounding metal music, an uproarious audience, and anthemic, melodic vocals.
To the unsuspecting, a first encounter with the wild confluence of idol pop and speed metal that comprises much of Babymetal’s oeuvre can be warmly jarring or abrasively reassuring. Cute vogue poses and cupcake vocals to a soundtrack that could sonically describe several toes jamming at once is an objectively bizarre combo uniting two extremes, further complicated by the space epic mythology informing the band’s image. But oddly, Babymetal’s playful syfy-dosed self-mythologizing, fueled by thrash-and-grind sensory overload, doesn’t transport a viewer or listener to a delirious and harrowing pastiche of the clumsy space opera tropes the group (‘s management) embraces, so much as it reflects an audience inward to parse the weird interstices that live along the line that divides the naive and the nihilistic. It is camp so campy that it transcends itself. Babymetal’s recent show at the Forum exemplified the alchemy of this ungodly-and godly-mixture.
Babymetal’s entire aesthetic does what it’s supposed to, which is surprise. Few would think to put the delicate sound of teen girls singing with brash and thrashing guitars and drums together, but one talent agency, Amuse, did in 2010. Babymetal doesn’t shy away from the fact that they came together not because of Su-metal or Maometal’s love for the genre, but for their desire to get into the heavily orchestrated Japanese pop world. In Japan, there are several talent agencies that will audition young women and men to be a part of a concept group (the most famous of these types of groups is BTS from South Korea).
Babymetal’s first CD single was a collaboration with a band called Kiba of Akiba and was titled “Babymetal × Kiba of Akiba”. Released on an indie sublabel of Toy’s Factory (Jūonbu Records, same sublabel as “Doki Doki Morning” and later “Head Bangya!!”) in March 2012, it ranked 3rd on the Oricon weekly indie chart and number one in the Tower Records Shibuya weekly indie ranking.
Finding favor with more adventurous metalheads, as well as pop music fans, the band continued to tour the world, playing festivals and opening shows for Lady Gaga on her U.S. tour. They also racked up an impressive array of awards, including Breakthrough Act at the 2015 Metal Hammer Golden Gods and the Spirit of Independence prize at the 2015 Relentless Kerrang! Awards. In November, they released a new single, “Road of Resistance,” which featured Sam Totman and Herman Li of DragonForce on guitars. That song, plus a live version of “Gimme Chocolate!,” were featured on the mid-2015 U.S. release of their eponymous album.
Never before had I seen an artist combine so many creative elements into one fantastic gimmick. I couldn’t believe how well the brashness of metal music and the sweetness of little kawaii Japanese girls mixed together.
The shredder for the Japanese pop metal idol band affectionately known as ‘Ko-Gami’ (The Little God) died on Friday 5 January after succumbing to injuries from a fall. Su-Metal: The biggest change is that we grew up. As we continue to grow into adulthood, Babymetal’s music and cuteness has shifted into a more mature way.
Japanese kawaii (cute) metal band Babymetal is scheduled to perform in Jakarta on March 29, 2020 as part of its Metal Galaxy World Tour in Asia. Babymetal performing in London, November 2014. From left to right; Moametal, Su-metal and Yuimetal.
In October 2018, after being absent from the band for a while due to health issues, Yui Mizuno (“Yuimetal”) parted ways with the band. Their third LP METAL GALAXY is set to drop Oct. 11 via BABYMETAL RECORDS and Cooking Vinyl. Preorders for Metal Galaxy can be found here You can check out the full tracklist below.
That said, the band’s latest release, Metal Galaxy, takes that balance to a whole new extreme; with their third studio LP, BABYMETAL present their heaviest and most exhilarating work to date. The album also marks a new chapter in the world of BABYMETAL, as one of their three founding singers, Yuimetal, parted ways with the band last year.
Metal Galaxy features a number of guests, including Polyphia guitarists Timothy Henson and Scott LePage; Sabaton vocalist Joakim Brodén; Thai rapper ; Japanese singer-songwriter Tak Matsumoto; and Arch Enemy vocalist Alissa White-Gluz. Each of these guests bring their own style and flavor to the LP, further building upon Metal Galaxy’s creativity.
On October 19, 2018, Babymetal announced that Yui Mizuno (Yuimetal) decided to leave the band due to poor health, following her absence from live performances since December 2017. 3 Since her departure, the band has performed with one or more backup dancers at live performances.