Depending on your point of view, the emergence of Babymetal in recent years is either a flagrant example of throwaway, gimmicky dross or the most exciting thing to happen to our world for some time. Despite wildly divided opinions, the bands Godzilla-sized presence across the globe (not to mention an upcoming performance at Wembley Arena) suggests that the teen sensations are here to stay, and winning over more of the denim and leather brigade than anyone could have dreamed of. Whether or not your mind is already made up about Babymetal, ‘Metal Resistance’ is primed to recruit a legion of new devotees to the Fox God congregation, its technicolour sprawl of metallic genius as enormous and exhilarating as modern music gets.
Indeed, the leading criticism aimed at the band by scoffing purists is whether Babymetal are a legitimate metal outfit, or just a degradation of metallic values. It is a grin inducing delight therefore that this record espouses all the heaviness and power of the genres best, the thunderous might of ‘Karate’ blending monstrous grooves and shiny pop with twice the success and metal credibility of the Memphis May Fire/The Amity Affliction ilk, mainly due to the fact that the musicians behind Babymetal sound as though they might own a Judas Priest record or two.
Of course, none of this detracts from the fact that ‘Metal Resistance’ is chock full of cutesy melodies and squeaky hooks, yet combined with the supercharged power metal antics of Dragonforce collaboration ‘Road Of Resistance’ or the folk leaning stomp of ‘Meta Taro’, these widescreen choruses will, once all pop prejudice has been put aside, reveal themselves as as infectious as any broadway musical, all underpinned by the sort of insane genre vaulting backdrop worthy of heavy musics pioneering elite. Dub-step, orchestration, electro-rock, its all here, although the ludicrous tech-storm of ‘Tale Of The Destinies’ is the pick of the bunch, featuring enough rhythmic twists, instrumental complexity and bold ideas to leave the entire djent pack in the shade.
Frequently bewildering, yet more often thrilling, ‘Metal Resistance’ may still leave many naysayers weeping into their tankards and snarling at their keyboards. Those of us with a slightly wider philosophy although are free to enjoy what is surely the most audacious and unique record of the year. A brilliantly executed roller-coaster of delights.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)