BABYMETAL: “METAL GALAXY” Review

For a music artist to be able to blend different genres of music together shows a great amount of talent, especially if those genres don’t seem like they would mesh well together at all. BABYMETAL has been doing this for years, as they have combined Japanese pop vocals with metal instrumentation and tones. The contrast of the group’s soft vocals over riffing guitars was quite riveting to listen to, but to add other genres on top of that, showed the immense talent that the group has. With their latest release of “METAL GALAXY” BABYMETAL continues to display their talent of combining several different sounds together that can make a great album.

“METAL GALAXY” opens with “FUTURE GALAXY” that almost welcomes the listener to the album, giving them a small taste for what’s ahead. With distorted vocals and a feeling that you’re getting ready to take off in a spaceship, it was a nice way of easing into it because the album kicks it up to 11 from there.

Initially listening to this album, I didn’t understand the concept of galaxies or get the feeling of taking a trip through the cosmos, but when I got towards the last couple of songs on the album, I finally got that feeling of being transported to different places. Each song feels like it is representing a different place in the universe by  having their own sound. Not every song is influenced by metal, there are elements of brass, acoustic guitar and several songs with an operatic choir mixed in. I felt like I was being dropped in different places and experiences with each song I listened to.

“Oh! MAJINAI” was one song that kind of put me off while I was listening through the album. The song isn’t bad by any means, it just felt very out there and didn’t fit with the concept of the album. The random character voice one of the vocalists uses in the middle of the song, threw me for a loop and I was more confused by what I was listening to. The deep, raspy voice featured during the song gave off a pirate vibe, along with the instrumentation and the chorus of people joining in as if they were at a local pub that the crew found after discovering land.

“IN THE NAME OF” was another song that seemed out of the ordinary from the album, acting as a very metal influenced song with deep tones and having a head banging quality to it. The words were nearly incomprehensible as they were so low and as if they were stuck in the vocalist’s throat. It was missing the beautiful vocals that I like from BABYMETAL. 

One of the songs from the middle of the album that stuck out to me was “Brand New Day” as it wasn’t as in your face in terms of sound and helped slow the album down. BABYMETAL has incredibly refined and soft vocals, which contrasted with the heavy guitars and pounding drums that seemed to drown them out every other song. This was the first song on the album that I felt really allowed their vocals to take control of the pacing of the song and blended so well with the backing instrumentation.

“Kagerou” was another song that did the same, but it was faster in terms of tempo and had more of a hard rock sound when compared to “Brand New Day” which I found to be a more pop-punk sound. “Kagerou” had to be one, if not my favorite song from “METAL GALAXY” because everything flowed seamlessly. The tone of the vocals, the instruments matching the pacing of the vocals, the overall vibe of the song stood out from everything else and was a great break towards the end of the album.

The last track on “METAL GALAXY” is “Arkadia” and it felt like the perfect song to wrap up this pretty eclectic album. It reminded me of an ending theme for a movie that plays as the credits roll and you sit there thinking about what you just experienced. It perfectly combines several elements from other songs in the album. It has a great rock metal sound with screaming vocals sprinkled within the song. Sounds of chimes were calling back to the song “IN THE NAME OF” and vocals from choral singers, which was in a couple of other songs in the second half of the album.

“METAL GALAXY” is an extremely diverse album that would interest anyone who listened to it. While I would normally not gravitate towards something with so much metal influence, I thoroughly enjoyed this album and the journey it took me on. Each song was unique in terms of style and overall vibe. I never felt like I was listening to the same song twice. BABYMETAL has some of the best vocals considering the style they sing in and it doesn’t feel like it is out of place. “METAL GALAXY’ is beautifully composed, with stellar vocals and eclectic stylings and it would be a shame to not give this album a shot.