Dark Side Delights…
Since their formation back in 2010, the metal maids of BABYMETAL have gone on to achieve a startling level of popularity. The trio of Su-Metal, Moametal and Yuimetal are one of the few outfits to achieve significant reach beyond the shores of their native Japan.
A lot of this success is due to the steady hand of producer Kobametal, whose concept of welding J-pop to heavy metal has produced a successful alchemy of both genres. Not bad for what was originally a sub-unit of idol outfit Sakura Gakuin.
Their 2014 debut album pulled together a lot of the songs that had paved the way for that success, including ‘Doki Doki Morning’ and ‘Gimme Chocolate!!’. But the trio also demonstrated that this wasn’t simply a one-off and returned in 2016 with the equally impressive Metal Resistance album (see J-Pop Go review previously), which actually outdid the BABYMETAL album in the Oricon charts on release.
Despite the group’s success, tragedy struck earlier this year when Kami Band guitarist Mikio Fujioka died after falling from a platform. Known to fans as Ko-Gami (“The Little God”), Fujioka had been a member of BABYMETAL’s band since 2013.
‘Distortion’, their new outing, is the first post-Metal Resistance release and establishes the continuing narrative themes that BABYMETAL have been working up over previous releases. Their Fox God concept has been elaborated with the idea of a dark side comprised of seven metal spirits – which also feature in the video for the song.
The press release for ‘Distortion’ revealed more details:
“On April 1, known as “Fox Day”, a new prophecy was revealed. The prophecy revealed that up until now we have only experienced the Light Side and there exists an unknown Dark Side, a legend of seven metal spirits The Chosen Seven. “Distortion” explores the unrevealed Dark Side, the Apocrypha, the legend of seven metal spirits in which power is distorted through time and space. The music video of this song presents this unknown side and marks the important beginning of a new legend.”
‘Distortion’ continues BABYMETAL’s trend for chugging guitar-fuelled numbers, albeit with a darker edge this time around. Along with the driving percussion, the result is a kinetic slice of energetic metal pop augmented by a dynamic vocal delivery.
Meanwhile, the video is a mini fantasy epic in its own right as its aforementioned seven metal protagonists battles across a dark apocalyptic landscape.
May the Fox God continue to shine on BABYMETAL going forward.
‘Distortion’ is out now.