Are Babymetal manufactured corporate pop robots? Or the most refreshing and exciting thing to happen to heavy music this millennium? Yes and yes.
Japan’s ‘kawaii metal’ teen sensations divide opinion, but this second album proves that their crack musical team know exactly what they’re doing. Built on a massive scale, Metal Resistance is a supercharged monster of sound and fury, tearing through rock genres and ideas like Godzilla rampaging across Tokyo.
Already trailed last year, the DragonForce collaboration Road To Resistance sets the maximalist tone with its Wagnerian power-metal dynamics, candy-coated vocals and epic Broadway show tune chorus. Magnificent.
From here, Babymetal pull in all directions at once, layering cutesy electro-pop on top of nu metal stomp, symphonic orchestration, weapons-grade shredding, trip-hop, dubstep and Brian May-sized guitar solos.
There are swerves and surprises here. The syrupy power ballad No Rain, No Rainbow keeps threatening to erupt into boiling pustules of molten thrash, but never does. And Tale Of The Destinies is a boldly experimental mash-up of jazz-metal, avant-punk gruntcore and boogie-woogie piano. Maximum respect. Hard rock purists, take note: Babymetal’s multi-dimensional universe contains way more than is dreamt of in your narrow philosophy.
Sometimes overwhelming, mostly exhilarating and occasionally jaw-dropping, Metal Resistance may well be the greatest album ever made. Ten out of ten? If I could I’d give it eleven…