Album Review: BABYMETAL – Metal Galaxy

11 October 2019 | 8:58 am | Brendan Crabb

"'Metal Galaxy' should continue their world-conquering momentum."


It's easy, and in some respects understandable, for sections of the metal community to be cynical about Japan's BABYMETAL. Note the choreographed stage moves, shamelessly pre-packaged presentation and overall aesthetic. It's better to allow yourself to embrace the sheer unadulterated fun of it all. Even minus former member Yuimetal, their J-pop/metal hybrid, now on its third album, remains slicker than snot on a doorknob. 

They've seemingly sought a more international flavour here, from dabbling in English language lyrics again on the so-catchy-it’ll-cause-an-outbreak Elevator Girl to the Bollywood-infused Shanti Shanti Shanti (a little too cheesy, even for BABYMETAL). A star-studded support cast have also gotten involved, artists from Thai rapper F.HERO to Arch Enemy grunter Alissa White-Gluz and Sabaton singer Joakim Broden enjoying the symbiotic relationship of appearing on such a high profile crossover record.

Metal Galaxy does a fair job of distilling various metallic styles into its own potent attack, the Kami Band's well-honed backing aiding the cause. Note the djent-y Starlight, the chuggy metalcore riffage of Distortion, Pa Pa Ya!!'s nu-metal sheen, Arkadia's DragonForce-esque power-metal and the heavier edge of In The Name Of (sans the saccharine pop vocals). 

The range of guests and blending of sub-genres at times gives the album the feel of a mixtape, which is not always the most coherent approach. Perhaps the end result could have been leaner and meaner too – 14 tracks including an intro does wear a little at times.

Is BABYMETAL's music and accompanying narrative here to stay? Only the Fox God knows for certain, but in this scribe's view, despite some shortcomings, Metal Galaxy should continue their world-conquering momentum.