What the Hell is Babymetal?

babymetal.jpg
Metal music is a genre of music that transcends all parts of the world, and breaks all cultural and language barriers, from North and South America, to Europe and even Asia. From the early days of metal, and Judas Priest's classic 1979 live album Unleashed in the East, recorded in Tokyo, the music has always been popular throughout Asia, with many popular metal and rock bands originating from the continent over the years and recently, including bands like Loudness and X-Japan, Sigh, Cthonic, Crossfaith and tons more established and emerging artists and bands.

But in 2010, a new breed of metal music surfaced, with a group known as Babymetal, a rising trio of famous teenage Japanese female models, this act has a foundation of 'J-Pop,' a fast, upbeat style of pop/dance music, more suitable for clubs playing Britney Spears and other teen idols, than dive bars blasting Pantera and Behemoth. But the vocalists are backed by a band of musicians that merge the heavy sounds of Slayer, System of a Down, Slipknot, Ministry and Lamb of God, with traditional pop/dance music with hints of techno and hip hop, skillfully blending the two genres into a cohesive force that leaves many new listeners confused yet curious. It may have started in Japan, but look out...their evil is spreading.


Babymetal's sound is something that most fans of heavy metal music in America have not yet been exposed to. It is a phenomena that has not yet reached the masses in America but has already gained the momentum of millions of other fans world wide with their music videos, singles, an album and tours in Asia.

Babymetal's lyrics are sung in Japanese, and the group was formed in 2010 as a side project of the Japanese Female Idol singers, Sakura Gakuin, which translates as ' Cherry Blossom Academy.' This musical group of singers has a rotating line up of female singers in junior high and high school. Babymetal's singers are SuMetal, Moametal, and Yuimetal with a backing band of rotating and anonymous musicians who perform in full black with skulls painted as faces.

During live performances, the singers, who are all between the ages of 14 and 17, dance around the stage in a mix of club dancing and slam dancing, which can set the crowd off in a frenzy of swinging, dancing head banging and fist pumping. This image of young, skinny Japanese pop singers, with the heavy, brutal music is what many new listeners perplexed. The strangest part is that before forming the band, the singers had no prior knowledge of heavy metal music. Many people often note the sharp contrast in both sound and aesthetics of the sweet innocent looking female singers, and the singing you'd be more likely to hear at dance club, and the heaviness of the music, which at times makes you want to jump into a mosh pit.

Despite many listeners who might not be familiar with the band, and wonder whether Babymetal will ever crossover to fans outside of Asia, the cultural phenomenon of the group cannot be denied. Lately, Babymetal has been getting a lot of exposure and new fans, having released several singles, and videos that have gone viral. The band has played shows throughout Asia to thousands of screaming fans, including the Summer Sonic Festival, in Osaka, Japan, where they became the youngest artists ever to perform the three-day music fest. In late 2013, the band even released a promo trailer for Metallica's film, Through The Never. Babymetal's debut self-titled album was released in Feb., 2014 this year and contains the single 'Gimme Chocolate" as well as "Headbanger," and others.


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31 comments
petersroland50
petersroland50

Good Rock. BUT.  Who creates the music. These girls are just front.  Very Good Fronts, but I don't believe they have anything to do with the concept or creation of the music.  Anyone Know who does?

Dayana Figueroa
Dayana Figueroa

lo habia visto hace unos dias xD pero no lo habia leido

Brian Gregg
Brian Gregg

Michael Hudson this will melt your brain. The vocal is terrible but the guitar and drums are not bad.

pinklamb
pinklamb

So this is what its like to be bipolar, while playing this my dog woke up from her nap and looking at me like, WTH is wrong with you?

pinklamb
pinklamb

This makes me feel like I have a bipolar schizo disorder

Marlon Torres
Marlon Torres

Espero no crear un nuevo fetiche para ustedes 2... Dayana Figueroa Yerania Sotelo

coho3
coho3

On first listen, it will be confounding to most. However, if you give them a chance and listen to songs like Megitsune, Headbanger, Ijime Dame Zettai, Akatsuki and Babymetal Death, they are actually really good. The band itself is very talented and the lead vocalist can sing her heart out. It won't be for everyone but those who have an open mind will appreciate it. The packaging may be weird and not what you would expect from a metal band, but at the core of it, it is good music.


Three little Japanese girls won't kill metal. Nothing can kill metal. Get down from your pulpit and just have fun with the rest of the masses.

Chris J Caroselli
Chris J Caroselli

You took a minute and 40 seconds of my life and I want them back.

Alix Luu
Alix Luu

Not gonna lie I actually watched the whole video.. I bet there's a market for this kinda stuff- people who are crazed with jpop or kpop- not solely for their music but for their infatuation with these Asian girls or guys... Hey Fisayo - my dear poet... What do you think? And my dear brother Anthony I think you'll have a good laugh at this, you probably know a few Asian friends who like the j/kpop

Kit Frymier
Kit Frymier

Rediculous... Just another flavor of the month j-pop band with ever younger faces vying for fame and recognition....moving on

Joe Brancaleone
Joe Brancaleone

The question is why does it work, why can only Japan make paradox like this work? It's something to do with the tao of Japanese aesthetics; how they can absorb styles, trends, genres, and subcultures from elsewhere without the attached social baggage in their original contexts. Like a mirror that doesn't perfectly reflect, it transforms through slightly bending light and blending imagery. Interesting stuff, from a cultural anthro pov

Josh English
Josh English

I like this band, but Cannibal Corpse is absolutely disgusting. I don't understand how people like that junk.

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