February 26th, 2014 (Japan); BMD Fox
LP (54 min.)
“Kawaii Metal”, Avantgarde Metal, Crossover, Death Metal, Power Metal

Suzuka “Su Metal” Nakamoto – Vocals
Yui “Yui-Metal” Mizuno – Vocals
Moa “Moa-Metal” Kikuchi – Vocals
Kami-Band – instruments

Track list:
02. Megitsune
03. Gimme Chocolate!!
04. Iine!
05. Akatsuki
06. Doki Doki☆Morning
07. Onedari Daisakusen
08. 4 no Uta
09. Uki Uki★Midnight
10. Catch me if you can
11. Akumu no Rinbukyoku
12. Head Bangya!!
13. Ijime, Dame, Zettai

Today is the 18th birthday of Yui-Metal, one of BABYMETAL‘s singers/dancers and I figured that this would be a good day to make a post about the band’s debut album.

BABYMETAL are without a doubt one of the most unique Metal bands out there. I honestly understand anyone who can’t get into their music because it is a very “special” mixture of styles, moods and imagery. BABYMETAL‘s very wide range of stylistic features puts them into an interesting position where they are both appealing to a huge and diverse group of people and repulsive to a similarly huge and diverse group of people at the same time. And I am in the position of a person who has transcended from the second group into the first.

When I heard of BABYMETAL for the first time and saw one of their music videos about five years ago I decided to hate the band. And I successfully avoided anything related to BABYMETAL until last year when I more or less coincidently came across the band’s second full length album “Metal Resistance”. It completely changed my mind about BABYMETAL and instantly made me a fan. From then on I started devouring everything BABYMETAL – including their debut album.

I grew to love “Babymetal” (almost) as much as “Metal Resistance”.
The debut album is a collection of songs that were originally recorded in the years from 2010 to 2014 and is therefore not such a coherent album as “Metal Resistance”.

I would not recommend the debut album to newcomers to the band who have never heard anything from them because it really is a CRAZY musical experience. From Rap through EDM, J-Pop, Death Metal, Power Metal, Symphonic Metal, Dubstep and Pop Punk, this album takes a huge amount of stylistic elements and turns them into a weird but incredibly catchy and fascinating sonic experience that no Metalhead should miss.
If you are new to the band, check out “Metal Resistance” first, though. It is a more coherent and focused album and I just think that it is less “shocking” than their debut album while being just as much fun.

If you are looking for something crazy and fun and haven’t listened to this band, check them out.

Listen to the album on Spotify.

Visit the band’s official website.



Avatarium – Hurricanes and Halos (2017)


Avatarium – Hurricanes and Halos
May 26th, 2017 (Sweden); Nuclear Blast Records
LP (45 min.)
Doom Metal

Lars Sköld – Drums
Marcus Jidell – Guitars, Vocals (backing)
Carl Westholm – Keyboards
Jennie-Ann Smith – Vocals
Mats Rydström – Bass

Track list:
01. Into the Fire / Into the Storm
02. The Starless Sleep
03. Road to Jerusalem
04. Medusa Child
05. The Sky at the Bottom of the Sea
06. When Breath Turns to Air
07. A Kiss (From the End of the World)
08. Hurricanes and Halos

After listening to this album once I had already written quite a long review in which I described how disappointed I was by it. Well, I listened to it again. And I realized that it actually is an album that at least for me grows with each listen. I’m still not fully satisfied with the album and think it’s the band’s weakest record so far, but I definitely can’t say that it is a bad album.

The songwriting and some stylistic decisions seem a bit “off” to me sometimes (e. g. the incorporation of child vocals on “Medusa Child”, which might sound like a good idea but doesn’t work very well, in my opinion), but these flaws are more or less evened out by great riffs, cool solos and of course fantastic vocals. Also, the title track! Such a beautiful instrumental piece…

Stylistically, Avatarium have moved even further away from their original sound than they did with their second album. Gone is the dark and heavy Doom Metal of the self titled debut album. Instead, Avatarium play faster, more psychedelic, “brighter” sounding 70s-ish Blues Rock/Heavy Metal on “Hurricanes and Halos”, sometimes reminiscent of Led Zeppelin, sometimes Sabbathy and sometimes just like something new and fresh. I am not completely in favor of this stylistic change because I LOVE the style of their debut album, but that’s just a matter of taste.

If you like Blues/Doom/Psychedelic Rock or old school Heavy Metal, you should definitely give this a spin.

A few words about the artwork:
While the artwork in and of itself isn’t all that special, it’s interesting to see the stylistic change of the band’s music reflected in their artwork. The cover of the debut album and this one are similarly designed but while the cover of their debut is all grey and drab, “Hurricanes and Halos” is more colorful and playful. I like the cover art of the debut better. The same thing can be said about the music.

Listen to the album on Spotify.

Visit the band’s official website.