Metal Galaxy (LP)
The formula behind Babymetal’s sound is a genre mashup that reads like an internet fever dream, which, in 2019, is more often than not a progenitor of sounds to come. A combination of J-pop singing and aesthetic with technically proficient death metal-esque accompaniment, Babymetal are credited with pioneering “kawaii metal,” captivating fans and confounding skeptics everywhere since their debut. Metal Galaxy is their 3rd album overall, and while the bizarre nature of their sound might still play like an elaborate joke to some, the craftsmanship and commitment of Babymetal is undeniable. While earlier releases were a fairly straightforward (if you could call it that) combination of J-pop and metal, Metal Galaxy incorporates more disparate musical elements into the mix. Nowhere is this more apparent than on “Shanti Shanti Shanti,” a single unabashedly built on a Bollywood melody and instrumentation. With lead singer Suzuka incorporating some uncanny vocal trills into her childlike delivery, as well as a sitar and distorted guitar doubling the main riff, “Shanti” is the unlikely yet catchy combination of symphonic metal and Indian pop. These eccentricities are not limited to one song by any means: “PA PA YA!!”, not be outdone, features a huge, EDM-worthy synth line alternating with its screamed eponymous refrain, over an up-tempo dance beat and almost pop-punk guitar riffage. If it all sounds too wild to be true, you owe it to yourself to experience Metal Galaxy firsthand. Babymetal, man. What a time to be alive.