Brought high-kicking, screaming and singing to life by the mysterious Fox God, Babymetal crashed into our world and immediately divided opinion. While some loved their approach of welding Kawaii to kick drums, others felt Su-Metal, Yuimetal and Moametal were making a mockery of the very scene they purported to love. Now a global phenomenon and set to play to 100,000 people across two nights at Japan’s Tokyo Dome in September, it’s time to put your kitsunes up for their best songs.
10) Babymetal Death (Babymetal, 2014)
As the intro track in their live set, this song sets out Babymetal’s stall. There’s a sweeping, filmic choral intro, their name’s spelled out by unearthly voices and each member sweetly introduces themselves. Though light on lyrics, it’s the soundtrack to a grand conjuration from their vulpine creator.
9) Doki Doki Morning (Babymetal, 2014)
Coming across like a cereal commercial that someone’s recorded riffs over for a laugh, this is Babymetal at their most unashamed. Its sweeping industrial gloss comes courtesy of Takeshi Ueda from now-defunct metallers The Mad Capsule Markets, and turned idol fans on to the idea of heavy music.
8) Road Of Resistance (Metal Resistance, 2016)
Teaming up with Dragonforce was bound to turn up the power metal ante and raise the tempo, but no one could have predicted how insanely fast the fretwork would be. After hours of rehearsals from both camps, their performance of the song at 2016’s Golden Gods awards was a triumph.
7) GJ! (Metal Resistance, 2016)
Sung by Black Babymetal – aka Yuimetal and Moametal – this duet boasts big riffs, propulsive verses and a clean breakdown that are all tailor-made for headbanging. It’s no wonder, then, that the lyrics pay tribute to the love of the mosh. The poppy melodies offer a chance for some bonus fist-pumping.
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6) Gimme Chocolate!! (Babymetal, 2014)
The original, the classic, the song that launched Babymetal to thousands of bewildered pop and metal fans the world over. The refrain is more saccharine than a gallon of Cadbury’s Creme Eggs, but the lyrics are oddly feminist, discussing the pressure on women to maintain a certain weight and image.
5) Awadama Fever (Metal Resistance, 2016)
Referencing chewing gum and bubble gum, Awadama Fever’s high-pitched chorus is the spiritual successor to Gimme Chocolate!!. It’s as if Babymetal have consumed a zillion sweet treats in one go, breezing through this sugar-rush of a heavy drum’n’bass song with boundless energy and smiles plastered across their faces.
4) Meta Taro (Metal Resistance, 2016)
It’s Babymetal’s first battle metal song! Expanding on the victorious vibe of Road Of Resistance, it offers a marching beat and assertive chanting, while the girls sing in unison with military precision. The best bit? The folk metal accordion, which would be completely incongruous in any other tune by the trio.
3) The One (Metal Resistance, 2016)
The One shouldn’t work. A mash-up of ‘80s guitar soloing, the closing number of a musical and the pure sheen of Disney, it’s the sonic equivalent of a year-old slab of brie. But watch them perform it while floating over the crowds in a giant pyramid, and the feeling of elation is undeniable.
2) Rondo Of Nightmare (Babymetal, 2014)
Parts of this sound genuinely sinister. Most Babymetal songs have a breakout sing-along moment or bouncing beat, but this one rolls along like a runaway ghost train powered by mechanical drums and chaotic piano. Even the usually upbeat Su-metal sounds uncharacteristically tortured, wailing mournfully in the bridge.
1) Karate (Metal Resistance, 2016)
Their slickest genre fusion yet. It opens with a chunky nu-metal riff, before Su-Metal’s captivating minor vocal line comes in, switching to a major key for the band’s best-ever chorus. Listening to this triggers your cells to make 100% more serotonin. Fact. Altogether now: ‘Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-ohhhhh!’