Today Babymetal return with their third live album – Babymetal: Live at Wembley following their record-breaking show in London. For those who have somehow missed the bizarre oxymoronic boat upon which Babymetal sail, they are a Japanese band that mix the two genres of j-pop and heavy metal to create a bizarre but incredibly catchy, fun fusion of madness. They also happen to be the first Japanese band to headline Wembley hence the ‘record breaking’ element of the show with 12,000 people attending.
The album begins with the subtly named “Baby Metal Death”. A long spoken word intro morphs into one of the band’s heavier tracks. The j-pop element here is certainly reduced with a heavy blast beat and thunderous guitar at the front throughout. The stamina required here particularly by the drummer is impressive especially due to the length of the track at around seven minutes.
“Awadama Fever”, the next song in the set, opens with an almost EDM drum pattern followed by a gnarly guitar riff underneath the pop sensibilities of the vocals. The chorus to “Awadama Fever” has an air of pop punk about it but still it offers something different. The guitar is much heavier and the drums have a more complex beat.
Other highlights include “Karate” and “Gimme Chocolate!!”, the two biggest hits for the band. “Karate” comes straight in with a groovy riff that sets the head a-banging. The chorus vocals soar over guitar and synth lines that are reminiscent of DragonForce. “Gimme Chocolate!!” opens with that voice that simply outlines the lyrical themes i.e. gimme ‘some bloody’ chocolate. Then the almost industrial guitar riff brutally descends accompanied by the whirring synth noises. It is in this song that the merging of the two genres of metal and j-pop are most apparent. The heavy guitar merges almost seamlessly into melodic chorus without any jarring it is a brilliantly crafted song which the crowd happily sing back to the band.
Overall the album really showcases the fantastic energy of the band as a live spectacle. The songs work on both a rock/metal and pop level. The songs as I said before are well written and the vocals are executed brilliantly. The musicians behind the singers are also brilliant, from the Van Halen inspired guitar to the frankly insane stamina from the drummer.
In short, if you bought this album and didn’t buy a ticket to the show you may find yourself feeling rather jealous of those who managed to catch the insanity live.