REVIEW: BABYMETAL – “Metal Galaxy”
Babymetal, the Japanese heavy metal act took the internet by storm a few years ago. This band impressed audiences far and wide from the get-go. Apart from having an incredible musical direction, the band’s live shows were performances that raised the bar with every show. After all these years, the band diversified its sound by making metal music fit into various possibilities and scenarios, all while still sounding metal as ever. With their latest offering ‘Metal Galaxy’, Babymetal continues to push metal into other musical diversifications.
‘Metal Galaxy’ is a rich pallet of sounds and ideas that metal music is made to work around. The result? One helluva stellar album! True to the album’s name, this album is a galaxy of sounds and variations. It was definitely a lot of my plate to review this epic album simply because the album sports a whopping 14 songs and a ton of guests! Oh well, by prog standards nothing is enough, so don’t get at me for this. Let’s dive right into this wild album.
The album opens up with “Future Metal”. This song sounds like it was composed purely as an opening track and nothing else. This song really sets the mood and hype for the latter of the album. Tight and heavy sounds have always been the band’s signature, so why not open with this as the center? Up next is “Da Da Dance” featuring Tak Matsumoto. The song sounds like an epic boss level face-off with the synth and subtle glitch work. Really fast and really catch! I cannot imagine what this would be like in a live setting. “Elevator Girl” takes a step back with the insanity set by the first song. If it hasn’t been established by the album so far, this song makes it certain that this album curated the finest modern metal tones for bass and guitar. Heavy, gated and tight!
“Shanti Shanti” is a great example where the metal had to work around elements of music that aren’t metal. Que the stereotype, but an enjoyable one, in this case, this song sounds very Bollywood-esque with its percussive arrangements coupled with other stringed and sitar arrangements. Great vocal lines and hooks make this a really trippy and enjoyable song! “Oh! Majinai” features Joakim Broden. This song is a wonderful take on pirate metal and brims with energy, just like the entire album! “Brand New Day” is one song where even if you do not know who the guests are, by the sheer sound and arrangements of the song, it’s super easy to guess that this track features Tim Henson and Scott LePage. At this point, I’m sure you can guess what the vibe is like haha! Typical stylistic hooks and melodies that fans are used too make a great appearance on this track! “Night Night Burn!” comes closer to the typical Babymetal sound with a small acoustic flamenco-esque hook adding a smooth feel to the song.
“In the Name of” opens up with immersive choirs and slowly builds on to make way for the song to blow up in all heavy glory. The groove on this song is absolute fire too! “Distortion” features Alissa White-Gluz. This song too is closer to the band’s sound that we are all too familiar with. There has not been a dull moment on this album so far! “Pa Pa Ya!!” features F.Hero. This song carries on the same feel and sound as the previous. At this point, Babymetal not just diversifies their sound but also visits their older stylistic sounds and presents them with a new lease of life. “Kagerou” sounds a little akin to nu-metal! I did not expect this turn but I am not surprised either! Great going so far! “Starlight” and “Shine” lay a little more emphasis on synth-driven ambiances. The song comes off a little more mellow and calmer than the rest of the album. This is not to say that this isn’t heavy because it really is! The album finally closes with “Arkadia”- the most epic song of the album. This song brings in everything Babymetal in one booming spot! The heavy sounds, fast riffs and drums, and swift synths make this one of the most epic tracks the band has made to date. The blasts kick in at the right moments to the add-in that oomph! As the song progresses, the song slowly unveils its sheer majesty! What a fitting end to this awesome and amazing album! Hats off to Babymetal!
Babymetal has done the incredible yet again! With their latest offering ‘Metal Galaxy’ the band has once again proved to be an unstoppable force! ‘Metal Galaxy’ explores so many possibilities with metal all in one album, all while making every song thoroughly enjoyable! This album is also what you would use to show someone that tasty modern metal tone and production value! I do not think that this album has been overproduced at all. The production is a beautiful match with the sounds of the band and everything fell in place. What makes this album groundbreaking apart from the music itself is that it seems like this is a metal band’s foray into the Spotify Sound, a sound characterized by shorter song lengths on average within 3 to 4 mins, catchy rhythm sections, and intros that will keep you hooked to the rest of the song. All in all, ‘Metal Galaxy’ by Babymetal is one solid and well-routed album of epic proportions! There is no reason to miss this stellar record! Babymetal knows what fits and works well and well, they make it work!