BabyMetal - Metal Galaxy

BabyMetal Metal Galaxy cover
Metal Galaxy
As you might have inferred from reading a previous review on this “band’s” sophomore effort, I am not a fan. I find them a gimmick and a complete waste of Takayoshi Ohmura and the “kami” band’s abilities. Their mix of J-pop with “metallic” elements on the first album sounded forced and bizarre to my wester ears, but it seemed Kawaii / cute to the hordes of Anime watching/Hentai masturbating/cosplaying/thoting undetBrit teens weeaboos and their victims. So be it. Reduced to a duo of singers since the exit of one of the three original “singing/dancing” girls, the band now performs with a session “backup” dancer to make up the numbers.
Oh and since they graduated to teen metal idols, the trio (or rather their producers) seem to have discovered the joy of heavy tuning… melodyne overtime – although their lead singer Suzuka Nakamoto definitely doesn’t need it. And to correct something that I wrote on my previous review, it’s not her actual vocal performance that irks me, she’s a rather good singer I suppose, it’s just that her vocal melodies are often bad, repetitive or too saccharine inducing… for a person who grew up listening to far harsher & huskier vocalists. I can appreciate clean vocals, but I am very particular about my tastes.
At any rate this third album, is a hot mess… on just too many levels.
Opener “Futuremetal” is nothing more or less than a dubstep-y piece of futuristic keyboards and samples with totally tuned vocals.
“Da Da Dance” (feat. Tak Matsumoto, you might have heard from the awesome B’z or TMG on Frontiers) sounds as if someone wrote a soundtrack to a videogame, heavily lifting from 2unlimited’s soundbank. A techno-rock piece, with a decent chorus and a fair solo, which is the only place where guitars come to the forefront, but with a mangled tone. I can get the hook, but while I might have not minded it as the background music to some videogame, I can’t seriously think of it as a proper song.
“Elevator Girl” (English Edition) is… not really English… it has an English chorus, but somehow, I am happy I can’t understand a friggin word, because I doubt lyrics would have any depth to them.
“Shanti Shanti Shanti” is probably the first “proper” song on the album, a cyber-folk speed piece with actually quite accomplished vocals, despite, the language barrier, I did enjoy this piece, but this might be like, the first song by this band I genuinely enjoyed and probably due to the folklore melodies and not the bands “concept. There’s a saying in Greece, that where every there’s a wedding reception party thrown, Willa is likely to show up… meaning that some people will pop up everywhere, no matter if it’s in good or bad taste, (usually the latter).
“Oh! Majinai” (feat Joakim Broden of Sabaton) is exactly that. An overglorified sea shanty, it’s obviously catchy, yet not original and sounds like a bit of a pisstake, in fact ending with mock vocals, when the instrumentation stops... ugh?!
“Brand New Day” (feat. Tim Henson & Scott Lepage of Polyphia) is more or less a Polyphia style jam, with Japanese lyrics/vocals. Think of a trippy, prog pop, ballad, equal parts Polyphia and BabyMetal and you got it.
“BBAB” is a lazy-samey piece, which sounds like music from a bonus Sonic level (they had e tendency to sound loungey), with lyrics and tuning… damn maybe I should tune some yawns and try my lot in a world that will accept almost everything.
“Night Night Burn!” opens with some “ripping” guitars but quickly slips into some vocal/riff led latin/techno/rock mix made in Japan… while a part here or there guitar wise sounds interesting, it’s not doing much for me.
“In the Name of” had me really yawning… after a minute or more of reverbed chants from a distance, some cookie monster vocals over some background music that Shakira could have easily danced to, makes for one of the weirdest combos I’ve heard in a while… bad, techno death metal? Sort of?!
“Distortion” is a fast paced cyber-BabyMetal tune that sounds like metallized EBM and the blue haired kawaian SJW, Alissa White-Gluz, who feels it’s too important to let people know that she has an older boyfriend and that she is a vegan, makes an appearance on it… not that that is far too discernible, since whoever F.hero is, who guests on the next track, and leadoff single “Pa Pa Ya!!” sounds almost exactly like her. Same EQ and effects, I guess? It’s a bearable song “in a dance like you don’t care in a local state fair” kind of way! I’m just wondering what the whole rap about heavy metal is and if this is a hymn to Papaya (the fruit) or whatnot… But I’m leading you on. Since I did study Japanese for a couple of semesters while at university, I can tell it’s about a “festival”, so the state fair assumption wasn’t that far way off.
“BxMxC” is basically the result of taking an Iggy Azalea, or Nicki Minaj song and remixing it with guitars in a dubstep-y mindset. Lots of vocoding on this one.
“Kagerou” is part ballad, part whatever it is that BabyMetal is playing. Its 50-50 lyrics are a little confusing and the heavily dtuned leaves the vocals sounding a little karaoke like, mixed relatively high.
“Starlight” is a generic J-rock piece, with just too many d-tuned breakdowns… which is kinda tolerable, but nothing to get too excited about.
Fifteen tracks in “Shine”, a heavy balladesque” combo, while decent, feels as disorientating and at the same time disoriented as the album itself.
Lastly, “Arkadia” a pleasant sounding fast paced almost power metal tune, sounds like the soundtrack to some anime, but since I have a close connection to the holy land of pan, I am more than a little annoyed by this culture appropriating piece. Just like Japanese people would laugh at weeaboo westerners.
Further delving into modern metal, where that’s applicable and more “produced” and artificial than even before, not to mention, even more confusing and mismatched when it comes to the songwriting style, “Metal Galaxy” is a hot mess, with some guest stars that would appear almost on anything.
Out of sixteen songs, I was maybe swayed by four and kind of liked two, so…. despite an update to their sound and their coming of age, this whole BabyMetal project feels not so kawaii to me but rather lyana (look it up)…