BABYMETAL – BABYMETAL (2014)

Reviews

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

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

Track list:
01. BABYMETAL DEATH
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.


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DragonForce – Reaching Into Infinity (2017)

Reviews

DragonForce – Reaching Into Infinity
May 1t9h, 2017 (UK);  earMUSIC
LP (60 min.)
Progressive Power Metal

Lineup:
Marc Hudson – Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
Sam Totman – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Frédéric Leclercq – Bass, Lead Guitars, Backing Vocals
Vadim Pruzhanov – Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Herman Li – Guitars, Backing Vocals

Track list:
01. Reaching into Infinity
02. Ashes of the Dawn
03. Judgement Day
04. Astral Empire
05. Curse of Darkness
06. Silence
07. Midnight Madness
08. WAR!
09. Land of Shattered Dreams
10. The Edge of the World
11. Our Final Stand


This album is one of the most surprising records I’ve heard this year.

DragonForce aren’t exactly known for being a very innovative or experimental band. They are famous for their extremely high tempo and technically challenging guitar playing, but also criticized for playing “the same song over and over again”.

Until this year I had only heard a few songs by the band and although I found them very entertaining, they never really stood out from the rest of the Power Metal scene to be something I would come back to very often.

Generally, Power Metal is not exactly one of my favorite genres. Only a few bands manage to keep me interested over a longer period of time, one of them being one of my favorite bands of all time Theocracy. So, I didn’t expect to be blown away by the new DragonForce album.

But, man, this thing is crazy good. On the one hand, this album is classic DragonForce with crazily technical shredding and guitar harmonizing, excessive use of the whammy bar, simple song structures, cool breakdowns (“Judgement Day” – superb!), on point vocals and catchy melodies. But on the other hand “Reaching Into Infinity” has some really surprising progressive elements that are scattered throughout the album but really hit their peak in the 11 min centerpiece of the album – “The Edge of the World”. DragonForce completely step out of their comfort zone here. This song has a slower pacing than the typical DragonForce song and features elements of Progressive Metal and a completely surprising but perfectly fitting Death Metal (!) section with great guttural vocals by Marc Hudson. This song and especially the section described above completely blew me away at the first listen and still don’t cease to amaze me after multiple listens.

I really hope DragonForce keep moving further into the Progressive direction because I have the feeling that they are really good at it.

This album is a must both for fans of the band and for those who haven’t taken them seriously thus far. This album shows the actual range of their musical talent and sets the bar quite high for future records.

Of course this album is (unsurprisingly) very cheesy, but this is very high quality cheese. I’m loving it. Power Metal album of the year.


You can listen to this album on Spotify.


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