Category Archives: Review

Review of metal Resistance Full Album song by song

 

Good evening Babymetalheads! So many people in Japan have the new album and i was lucky enough to hear the album today. Here is my review:

 

Road Of Resistance: Now this one has been out for a while and I think all fans know it. Dragonforce x Babymetal is all you need to know here, a blistering start to the album.

Karate: The most recent single and MV to be released Karate packs a punch for sure with a catchy chorus, killer riffs and loads of Seiya Soiyas. I would still call this the appetiser of whats to come though.

Awadama Fever: Now this one has been floating around for a while now but now I have heard the studio version I think it sounds so much better than id hoped for. The girls are bored of chocolate and moved to Bubblegum here. This is the more Kawaii side of the album that is guaranteed to make you move.

YAVA! (Previously called Chigau by fans): This one has a very awesome intro and some great Ska influences in there with the rapid assault of Guitars that will get circle pits going for sure live. Despite the catchiness of this song I think it left the least amount of impact on me throughout the album.

Amore: Ok here is the first Su-metal solo song of the album. Starts with some beautiful melodic vocals before some blistering shredding kicks in that gives off a very classic Dragonforce vibe. It is not as powerful as Akatsuki from the first album imo but that opinion could change when I see it live on Saturday (April 2nd) at Wembley.

Meta Taro: Now this was an unexpected one, a very Battle metal (Battle Hym) style song with influences from bands like Sabaton for example. It sounds like a song that you would march to and has plenty of lyrics from all 3 girls. A big surprise and im loving it!

From Dusk To Dawn: This album keeps surprising me! Now we have a song that has plenty of dubstep sounds and heavy riffs and not many lyrics. It is a very surreal sounding song and I especially love when they say BREAK! Before the breakdown. Has a lot of Bring Me The Horizon vibes to it

GJ!: Now we are onto the first Black Babymetal song (Moa and Yui) and this one is a favorite for me at the moment. Imagine some heavy Nu Metal riffs with Moa and yui doing some fast and very cute almost Rap like lyrics. You will have Motto Motto Hora! Repeating in your head for a while haha.

Sis Anger: Hands down the heaviest song on the album (maybe even the heaviest they have ever done). The second Black Babymetal song is the death Metal song of the album but with Moa and Yui’s cute vocals instead of growls and a lot of shouts that add to the intensity of the song like BAKA YAROOOO! (Basically a more vulgar version of Idiot or Moron. Who though Moa and Yui were so foul mouthed haha). This song will make you bang your head for sure.

No Rain No Rainbow: Now time to relax a little. An old song that was performed at 2 concerts in 2013 and 2014 finally comes back with a full release on the album. The second Su Metal solo song is a bit of a tear jerker. A beautiful Piano Ballad with an amazing guitar solo and very angelic vocals from Su Metal. So are you relaxed now? Cause buckle up for the next one, it’s about to get crazy.

Tales Of The Destinies: Now I still cannot describe what happens in this song, it is so much thrown at you at once in a mental mind-fuck. It will take a lot of listens to know what’s going on in this blend of many genres. There’s a little piano part, loads of tone changes and a very Math rock sound to it. Is it even possible to play live? Well the Kami Band will have their work cut out for them for sure. For these reasons it makes it a very memorable song from this album that is sure to confuse you haha.

The One: Now this one sounds like an anthem, a full English song about everyone coming together as THE ONE. It’s a beautiful way to end the album and sounds amazing. Will be a great closing song for Future concerts.

Extra song only available on the Japanese version

Syncopation: Now this one sounds very much like it could be an opening of an Anime. It’s a great rock song with some very nice vocals and chants from Moa and Yui. It’s somewhat softer than some of the others which is nice to have. This one is growing on me more and more with each listen.

Overall impression I freaking love the album. If I had to give it a rating it would be 9.5/10 as it can’t be absolutely perfect but it is the closest you will get to perfect. There is a song for everyone on this album and I’m pretty sure it has broken a record of most genres on a single album for sure!

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BFC reviews Babymetal’s new single ‘KARATE’

BABYMETAL’s 2nd album is a month away, and the 1st single KARATE is kicking it’s way to the top.

BABYMETALCHART1Babymetal’s new track KARATE has been released, getting airplay on major radio stations, and is topping the charts this past week. While some fans have said that they were hoping for a stronger representation of the sound that we know and love from Babymetal’s debut album, this first single from METAL RESISTANCE has given us a powerful, inspirational song from vocaloid producer Yuyoyuppe.

KARATE‘s lyrics translate to ‘fighting with all their heart/spirit’. The inspirational message seems to come across even without translation. Su-metal’s vocals are as powerful as ever, the words connect with the riff and beat throughout the chorus whilst her delivery on the verses soars, slowly and steadily. Su-metal’s calm collected voice is offset by the more emphatic Yuimetal and Moametal, who set the tone with their in-your-face backup vocals.

While some could do without the ‘studio fluff’, presumably added to gain commercial appeal by the single’s producer Yuyoyuppe, any fan who has seen the performance from Yokohama last year will tell you that KARATE will kick your butt live with the Kami Band on the stage.

Full karate lyrics at our website: http://babymetalfanclub.com/karate/

Teasers from Metal Resistance: http://babymetalfanclub.com/sneak-peek-of-babymetals-2nd-album/

BFC reviews Babymetal’s new single ‘KARATE’

The post BFC reviews Babymetal’s new single ‘KARATE’ appeared first on BABYMETAL FAN CLUB.

“Hedoban” Monster report on the Budokan 2 days

France! Germany! England! And then, Sonisphere!

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Listen up! …. The “Red night-Black night” are truly Japan’s cutting edge Metal — Babymetal!!

The first chapter of the Metal resistance is compiled right here.

Our report chock full of emotions spanning 10,000 characters (referring to the number of Kanji)

Are you holding on tightly to the Neck Brace that was handed out to you at the opening day at the Budoukan venue?

Are you daily watching the “Live at Budokan” trailer?
The Metallers, no, all of the fans who witnessed the “Red night/Black night” are certainly proud of what they saw and are filled with excitement everyt ime they remember every detail they experienced that night that has become etched into their minds. I would like to talk about the “Red night/Black night”. Over and over and endlessly I would like to talk about it. I dedicate this 10,000 character report to all those fans who shared these nights with me and with all those true Babymetal fans who have been so fascinated with Babymetal. It is the hope of us at “Hedoban” that this report will serve as a source of reference for “talking about the Red night/Black night experience. Our true feeling is that this can not be captured even with 10,000 characters. So, we have entrusted out intent with the 3 girls of Babymetal, with Kobametal and as well with the entire staff that supports Babymetal!

We hope we will be able to see unapologetically and in all its glory the “True Metal” of Babymetal at the Mecca of Metal as was shown to us at the “Red night/Black night”.

On February 25th BABYMETAL’s first album went on sale. The night before this albums were first released for sale at Shinjuku’s Tower records. Toy Factory twitted on its official twitter site that a “Stupendous line of people” had formed outside Tower records. I couldn’t take my eyes off my Smartphone screen. I became so concerned with each passing second of the current state of affairs of Babymetal that I was unable to concentrate on my work. In a fortunate turn of events “Hedoban” Vol. 3 was scheduled to go on sale this same day. I received a mail from the editor on the day it was to go on sale which said, “It is amazing! Everyone standing in line at the cash registers are holding their hands the Babymetal CD and “Hedoban!”.

So apparently he had gone to Tower records to check on how things were going. I am quite certain that he wrote that mail with his eyes tearing up.

At the end of last year’s December 21st Babymetal solo concert, “Legend 1997 Su-metal’s Seitansai” held at Makuhari Messe it was announced by way of a video presentation that Babymetal would be performing 2 days at the Nippon Budoukan. For a large number of fans this meant they would have to wait patiently until March 1st until they would be able to experience once again (or for the first time) a Babymetal live performance. Of course some lucky fans would be able to see them before that at a joint show with Kinniku Shoujo Tai, or at their Singapore or Taiwan performances, but this is obviously only a very narrow segment of their fan base. Considering their rapidly expanding number of fans this scarcity of live performances is kind of weird.

Legend 1997 Su-metal's Seitansai

Legend 1997 Su-metal’s Seitansai

For the ordinary fan the pace of Babymetal’s activities that they are aware of appear to be rather uneventful. It goes without saying that this pace is not anything like the 8-year intervals between albums that we saw with AC/DC but it does feel to one that the metal resistance that has been carried out up to now has been slow and kind of inching steadily along. That is why it is very interesting that in spite of this there has been this sudden increase in the number of fans.

There is very little information about Babymetal. They have no blog and even the official Twitter account only announces the bare minimum of information deemed necessary. It does seem kind of weird. However, that said, one can also be of the point of view that having a smaller amount of information makes things easier to organize and handle in your head. Having too much information can in some cases bring on fatigue or cause you to lose interest. It also may make it easier for new fans to get on the boat so to speak. It is not a simple of case of more is better when it comes to information. Fans who are starving for information tend to listen to the music and watch available video material over and over. That goes for the writer as well and I find myself repeatedly viewing “LIVE ~ LEGEND I, D, Z APOCALYPSE”. I don’t think that it was a purposeful intent to create a state of starvation in their fans, but I would say that most certainly the lack of information has served as a side effect playing around in the background of this rapid increase in the fan base.

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And now we come to the long awaited date of March 1st. Due to the large number of fans perched on the edge of starvation the tickets sold out almost immediatelyThe fate of these 3 girls will be decided one the first day of this 2-day event, the “Red night Legend, Giant Neck Brace festival, the Tenka metal Budoukan Final”.

I was planning to get to the venue early to stand in line to buy goods, but since I was unable to sleep well the night before I ended up arriving after 3 O’clock. I really wanted to buy the legendary Budoukan version of the “Corset Festival” T-shirt but one look at the monstrous line of people made me give up on that idea. I decided to wait for a while outside the venue.

When I looked over the line of people waiting to buy goods I was delighted to see that there were people holding copies of “Hedoban” and even some reading it as they stood in line – a favorable scene to see. It appears that the publication side of the metal resistance is gradually making inroads as well. I had heard all this through mails from my editor before but seeing it with my own eyes actually caused them to well up with tears of happiness.

Had the octogonal center stage really been changed on purpose to make the “most superior metal stage on earth-the Budoukan” into a fighting arena, or colosseum?

OK, here we go-entrance time! My spirit of excitement has been building up to incredible heights.
As I approach the entrance I am handed a corset and told, “Please put this on as you enter the arena”. It is an obligation possessed by all who enter to wear their corset. When I entered the Budoukan with the corset wrapped around my neck I let out a expression of surprise as I had done when I saw Babymetal at Makuhari Messe.

There was a great octogonal stage positioned right in the center of the Budoukan, and there was a monitor hanging down from the ceiling. Surrounding the octogonal stage there were 4 circular stages in place which connected to the main stage by with aisles. The stage which was all done out beautifully in red and black was embellished with magic squares (Mahoujin). This is truly a work of excellence.

A center stage, and what is more, at a standing only style of concert, at an arena of the class of the Budoukan is an extremely rare occurrence. A long time ago ARB set up a boxing ring in the Korakuen hall upon which they performed and in more recent times Brahman put on a standing only performance at Makuhari Messe. However this may in fact be the first time that a concert has been put on with a stage set-up like this at the Budoukan.

The octogonal center stage deliberately draws out the elite status of the “most superior metal stage” and further helps to portray it as a fighting arena, or colosseum. When I reflected that this Budoukan performance would be a part of a story that began with last spring’s “Babymetal Death Match” and continuing through 2013 Summer Sonic a wave of emotions rose up in my chest.

The stage set-up was a true spectacle and then when I looked around the entirety of the arena an even more mysterious scene met my eyes. The periphery of the stage seemed to my perception like a scene that had been recorded and shown to me in black and white. This was due to everyone in the audience wearing a black T-shirt or a black jacket thrown over their shoulders which were in contrast to the white corsets they were wearing. While I do not know how many people were in attendance, the vast majority were all dressed more or less the same. This also I can only express as being truly spectacular. This type of scenery is also one of the factors that goes into to constructing the world of Babymetal. By the way, if you were to come into the arena without a corset around your neck, one of the “Bonesman” patrolling the areana would point and gesture to you to quickly put it on.

These “Bonesmen” really carried out good work in the arena. Before the concert began they were walking around the arena carrying flags bearing the logo mark of Babymetal on them raised high in the air. They would lead people who had entered the arena to their seats and help them out. At times they would call out “Oi, Oi!” in a loud voice. From time to time their actions would appear on the monitor hanging from the central ceiling. This being seen by the fans in the stands helped greatly in building up their excitement and involvement with the event unravelling before them. This great attention paid to the fine details of putting a first class show is truly a wonderful thing. The result of all this attention to details helps to create a world that separate and removed from ordinary reality.

Somewhere along the way the arena has morphed from a concert venue into a sort of underworld theme park.

The concert has yet to start. I wonder what will things be like when it has finished.
The arena goes dark. A “Boneman” appears on the monitor and in a deep voice he says, “Kobametal Death” (I am Kobametal) Kobametal is a figure well known to our readers and who is best known as the porducer of Babymetal. However, Kobametal appearing on a large screen monitor at a performance is indeed a rare event. I do not know if he is someone who likes to be the center of attention or not but the fact that he has chosen to appear in form of a character is itself a really interesting idea. He goes on to announce that the “Neck Brace festival” that was in the past held at the Meguro Rockmaykan would now have its venue changed to the Budoukan where it would be called the “Giant Neck Brace festival”.

Next, we are informed through an oracle from Kitsune-sama that, “When the pitch black darkness transforms into a crimson red color, Babymetal is challenged with a further test conveyed by Kitsune-sama”. The Fox god continues, “There will be no stories or commentaries between songs, no encore and that from the time one puts the corset on your neck the battle will begin. Indeed we are already headed toward destruction…”. When I heard the word destruction I felt myself shake. The countdown to destruction…Wait a minute sometime in the past I bought a CD that had that as its title.

“Have you made preparations for your neck?” Is the switch about to pressed?
“I will ask you once again, have you made preparations for your neck?”
The audience growls back loudly, “Guoooooooo!”
“The Giant Corset festival begins now!”

With that the excitement building visual presentation of Kobametal came to a close and the countdown switch was pressed. Here the breakdown part of THAT song was played over and over in a loop. Ki—Tsu—Ne—Ki—Tsu—Ne—Ki—Tsu—Ne…….. That’s right, “Megitsune”.
No mistake about it, the most fitting song to be performed as the opening piece is none other than “Megitsune”. The circular stages rise up in a mysterious red light with the three girls posed theatrically. When the “Soiya, Soiya”, “Sore, Sore, Sore” begins the audience is in a festive frenzy.

For many of the fans here this is the first time to meet the girls since the Seitansai held at the end of last year. And there must be many for whom this is their first time to encounter Babymetal-their, “At last I am able to see them in person” moment. So how is it?! Just how incredibly cool is this?! Just how cute are they?! Look! Look at the way they move! All of it including of course the performance of the Kami band is of the highest quality found in Japan at the present time, isn’t it!

During the performance of “Doki Doki Morning” and following through “Gimme Choco” a vortex is formed in the Mosshu Pit. Since the arena is separated into differing blocks each block has formed it’s own respective Mosshu circle all of which are spinning around with incredible momentum. Babymetal fans refer to each other as Mosshu mates. And so Mosshing with this kind of intense energy is just a matter of course. “Zukyun!” “Dokyun!”

The cuteness of Yuimetal and Moametal has in an instant pierced the hearts of 10,000 fans. And this number shall most surely increase as time goes on. In “iine!” a laser beam was used which added a further feeling of theatre to the arena and immediately following “Kitsune Da O” one saw the incredible sight of 10,000 fans all together doing a Dogeza Hedoban. A true masterpiece of performance.

The girls got to take a brief break before diving into “Catch me if you can”. The long version intro provided the 4 members of the Kami band each ample opportunity to show their mind boggling musical skills. The sounds they were drawing out from their vast pool of abilities resonated deeply in the hearts of the audience propelling on the excitement the show. The 3 girls made their reappearance as the entire arena was thoroughly grooved into the heavy sound of the Kami band which served to further heat up the excitement. One could almost feel the Mosshu pit heating up tangibly on one’s skin.

After “Uki Uki * Midnight” it was time to unveil Su-metal’s solo, “Akumu no Rondo”. Once again I have to ask myself, “Just what is this aura, or presence that this teenage girl possesses”? As usual her standing posture is the embodiment of cool strength, but at this moment I felt she was attempting to reach an even higher level. She is truly in possession of a deep well of talent and at this point in time we yet unable to see how far she will go. This chaotic song rolls along with a viciously modulating tempo which she masters perfectly even while engaging and fixating the entire arena. She performed this very difficult piece with smooth ease. I have listened to this song since then repeatedly on CD but it is certainly quite a different animal from the one I heard performed with the blasting sounds of the live performance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJqL1NxGiB8

Black Babymetal composed of Yuimetal and Moametal then performed “Onedari Daisakusen” followed by the incredibly lighthearted and fun yet extremely wild “Yon no Uta” which was unveiled at this venue on this day. Ever since I heard this song for the first time“Yon Yon Yoyoyoyon” has been playing in my head virtually non-stop. And I truly appreciate the Metal reggae section that reminds one of the way the Scorpions did this many years ago. This too is metal. I once again recognized the fact that metal is a genre of music that is able to swallow up any type of music it encounters.

The split second that Su-metal screamed out, “Now, Akatsuki!”, fire flared up from locations around the stage. Akatsuki”. When Su-metal’s voice rides on the Speed, on the Metal everything heats up to a fervent pitch. I feel that I will fly up infinitely high riding on this accelerated vocal myself. Akatsuki has totally recharged me with vitality and I even have a heightened sense of courage surging through my chest. “Babymetal Death”. A low bass sound that seems to lead one into the very depths of hell resounds eerily throughout the entire arena as the audience responds with chants of, “Death!, Death!”.

“Headbanga!” We must be coming close to the end of the show. I was already filled to the brim by this time. Just as Kobametal had declared, this show had proceeded as a non-stop, no MC heavy metal onslaught. In the interval before “Headbanga!” Yuimetal and Moametal were running around the periphery of the stage calling out “Hedoban, Hedoban!” stirring up the audience.

Babymetal-concert-schedule

It was at this time that a problem occurred. There were only two girls on the stage. I didn’t at first realize that Yuimetal had disappeared from the stage. Some of the people around me were also starting sense something was wrong tilting their heads in confusion. Where did Yuimetal go?

The performance went on unheeded but there was some kind of commotion going on amongst the fans located near the stage. At this time I was still unable to get a grasp on what was happening. What I heard later was that during the pre “Headbanga!” interval Yuimetal had slipped and fallen off the stage. I was unable however to verify what had happened at that time from where I was sitting.

Su-metal and Moametal performed “Headbanga!” to the end without Yuimetal. The lights in the arena went out and stayed out for some time. I was thinking there is probably one more song to go.

From my perspective I knew there was some sort of accident but it was still unclear to me. My mind went blank-was the show just going to end with things the way they were? Throughout the audience people were yelling out, “Yuimetal!” here and there. These individual calls gathered up naturally into one big Yuimetal call that enveloped the entire arena.

After a few minutes had gone by the lead in for “Ijime, Dame, Zettai” started up. Even with this the audience was still all worked up. On the other side of the darkness appeared the three figures of the girls. The whole erupted in an unbelievable roar of, “Guooooooooooo!!!!” As I stood there overwhelmed and in a state of stunned amazement right in front of me the preparations for IDZ were moving ahead without fail. Yuimetal and Moametal were crouched down in runner’s starting positions. Wall of Death followed by the “Dame” jump-this all feels like a dream. This whole flow of confusion pressed upon me. I was all confused and upset with the excitement of Yuimetal’s accident and I felt for some reason like Moametal had also fell down with all of this seemingly impressed on my memory in a lump sum of detail.

The narration from the Metal master went on to state that the “3 girls had conquered the Tenka Ichi Budoukan” had achieved the status of “Real Metal” bringing this narration to a conclusion.

I was unable to believe all the events that had occurred right before my eyes. I remember thinking this is what is meant by having one’s mind go completely blank almost like being in a trance. I think there must have been a large number of others fans who felt the same way as I did. With that the countdown to the “final chapter of the metal resistance” had begun. I was unable in my state of mind to follow what the narration went on to say however.

While the length of the concert was just about exactly 1-hour, in consideration of all that had happened it certainly didn’t feel like just 1-hour. I have read what has happened with this accident as being part of the great power that has become part of the Babymetal legend when I reflect upon it now.

Even when the lights went on in the arena, I was unable to return to ordinary reality.

SETLIST
1. Megitsune
2. Doki Doki Morning
3. Gimee Choco
4. iine!
5. Catch me if you can
6. Uki Uki Midnight
7. Rondo no Akumu
8. Onedari Daisakusen
9. 4 no Uta
10. Akatsuki
11. BABYMETAL DEATH
12. Hedobangya!
13. Ijime, Dame, Zettai

A conclusive ceremony that spreads out to the final and a thorough homage to X Japan.
The first chapter in Metal resistance opens the door to a new form of metal beauty.

Black night
Legend “Doomsday”
Justice of summation
March 2, 2014
Nihon Budoukan

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Every seat in the arena is filled. Everyone here is hoping to become a witness to history.

The night before March 2nd I was filled with an incomprehensible excitement and ended up drinking too much. There was no way I could get through this night without drinking.

As you can imagine I was completely concerned with the situation surrounding Yuimetal every since my encounter with it at the first performance. However, I had received a twitter saying, “yesterday we are sure you were really surprised but Yuimetal is now completely fine and healthy” which even included a picture verifying this claim. Twitter is certainly useful in these situations. With my feelings of uncertainty being wiped away from my mind I went drinking with a friend. With that and a feeling of being one of the chosen ones I made my way to the arena. I was once again unable to buy a T-shirt.

In the same manner as yesterday, the stage was a center stage layout. But there was one part that was different. A barrier had been set up alongside the runway leading up to the stage. All of the fans felt a feeling of relief knowing that safety measures had been taken. All that is left is to wait for the start of the show.

This is the second day of the Budoukan performances so I am wondering what will be the ceremony prepared for this Black night Legend “Doomsday”Justice of summation show. Every seat is filled. Every fan here is here with the intention of becoming a witness to Babymetal history.

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While waiting for the show to begin I was pondering on the hidden meaning of “Doomsday” that had been inserted into the subtitle. From before I had been concerned about the homage to X Japan that had been repeatedly introduced into the Babymetal world. “Crimson night” and “Black night” were certainly created based on the “Blue night” and “White night” concerts held on Dec 30 and 31, 1994 and the roots for the Neck Brace definitely came from Yoshiki. And I certainly can not be without remembering Toshi’s scream when considering “Akatsuki”. However, I keep getting the feeling that there is something more hidden and contained in this term Doomsday. And I am sure this will be revealed in tonight’s performance. I may in fact have missed something from yesterday’s show.

I knew from reading an interview in a magazine that Kobametal is a big fan of X Japan. Even before become a producer I got the feeling that he had the quality of being a big fan of X Japan. He expresses his love of music very openly without playing down his deep appreciation of heavy metal. This is actually a very big point. This gives him a very unobtrusive almost air like quality in his approach to producing Babymetal that is not just one of producing them as a product. Metallers are extremely sensitive to this air like quality of producing. The Metal music market when looked upon world wide is a very big market and yet each band that has succeeded has done so with a production quality similar to the one possessed by Kobametal. The atmosphere surrounding big bands such as Iron Maiden or Metallica all very much feature this quality. The reason we Babymetal fans are able to trust the entertainment provided by Babymetal is perhaps found in this quality.

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One performance is already finished and from today this vast Babymetal story will begin once again. And that is absolutely the way things must be.
“Doomsday-From the gigantic magic circle the sound of gong emanates out announcing the final stage of the Metal resistance”
The lights go out in the arena and the narration begins. Yesterday’s “Crimson night” performance, excepting for the accident that happened, was a simple and straightforward stage without excessive dramatic touches. Today’s performance looks like it will develop into theatrical one flavored with movies.

“The Metal soul burning in the dark of the night turns into the crimson flames and all is consumed in flames”.
The picture story theatre begins. Today is one period in time. One story ends and from today once again a vast story begins. It must be this way.
“The time remaining has become very scarce…”
From before I had a thorough premonition that today something would be coming to an end, but when I actually heard it coming through the narration my chest was hit with emotion.

The first song was “Babymetal Death!”. The arena immediately turned into “Hell”. My mind and body shook with the fact that today’s setlist differed from the day before. In the next song, “iine” Su-metal nonchalantly threw out the ominous word of, “Doomsday”. By the way, yesterday the word was “Budoukan!”. This is one of my favorite moments, when one can peer into the extremely scarce moments of “essential” Su-metal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2c3MM3zf0Y

Not appearing in the set list yesterday, “Answer for Animation with you”, was performed today with the 3 girls flying all over the gigantic stage in every direction. While I would love to be able to more closely observe each girl’s expressions and movements, the speediness with which they move makes this impossible. There is just so much information that enters into one’s field of vision at a Babymetal performance. Even though there are just the 3 girls on stage it feels like an unlimited space spreads out before one on the stage. So, I often feel like I may perhaps be missing something that I should have seen. I think this is one of the reasons all of us tend to repeat over and over some scenes when watching a recorded video format. The number of view counts on Youtube for “Gimme Choco!” is an amazing phenomena but much of that is probably due to this natural desire to re-watch parts of the performance. The picture story theatre portrays the pair of Yuimetal and Moametal extremely excited watching the most recent version of their favorite Anime, “The happy grape man” in the Cyber city of A-Ki-Ba.

Grapeman challenges the girls to show him real reggae and he will reward them by teaching them the real way to arrange the number 4. With this, the two transform into Black Babymetal and go on to perform “Onedari Daisakusen” and then “4 no Uta”. Happy 4! The cuteness of Yuimetal and Moametal was so outstanding that even today I felt a rush of infatuation. The picture story theatre begins again. Both screens show a story of a young girl carrying a cross of despair with a soft yet strong ballad playing in the background. It would appear that this is a new song.

Su-metal’s voice completely blends her heart with the song. The emotions that bubble up from within her build up to their limit and expresses this song straight and honestly as a 16-year old girl would. While it still might not yet be a 100% perfect performance, her emotional posture strikes right to the core of the hearts of all who hear it. When she was singing “Akatsuki” I could swear that there were huge streams of fire shooting up behind her. I promise I am not lying.
As we enter the second half, they fly right through “Catch me if you can” and into “IDZ”. This rich and dense stage show leaves one bored for not one single second. This style of performance reminded me of Yoshiki’s famous quote of, “the aesthetics of a moment”.

In this completed stage we find a rich and dense style of beauty that has been fostered over nearly 40 years of Heavy Metal history. When I first saw Babymetal exactly 1 year ago they were already in possession of the ability to transmit a very powerful and attractive charm. Babymetal has progressed this far due to a strong belief in themselves. The result of that is that they are able to fire up and entrance 10,000 fans in a live show. Now the scale of their stage shows are 10 times or more greater than they were then. We believed for a long time that this would be the case.

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“We are ! …Babymetal!”

When I came to my senses I realized that we are almost at the end of the show. I seems I always feel this way. The girls pleasantly sing out, “See you!” and make their lightfooted exit from the stage. I was happy beyond measure. I want to express my appreciation for having met Babymetal. Kitsune-sama, thank you!

One of the factors of attractiveness of Babymetal is their “style of beauty”. This is not a “Style of beauty Metal”. That is to say it contains the essence of Metallica’s theme of the destruction of the goddess and X JAPAN’s Speed Metal sound and many of the other great parts of the Metal movement that have so excited the world. This so magnificently completed stage is built on the foundation of a style of beauty that has been fostered over almost 40 years of Heavy Metal history. It can be said that the world of Babymetal is a form of entertainment that is built based deeply on the past history of Heavy Metal. And that is why they are able to engross and entrance us to this degree.

And further, today is a special day. Everyone in attendance today knows that this is not the end of things. The narration begins again. “The crimson flame burns up everything, and when this land is completely engulfed in a pitch black darkness at last the moment of fate shall come to us…we are heading to the final chapter of the Metal Resistance”.
As soon as the narration began, the entire arena became completely silent. “Kitsune-sama said, ” With that the Gong is rung making a divine oracle like statement that the curtains have risen on a new legend.

This brought on an uproar from the audience. This eruption of cheers from the fans came at the moment when it was announced that the Legend would be starting up again. On both of the screens a new character was seen and this is the mother of Kitsune-sama-”Godmother”. “You are the one who banged the Gong”. With this the crowd erupted into laughter and a very pleasant mood spread throughout the arena. Amidst this aura of new hope that filled the arena the audience began the calls for an Encore.

“Doki Doki Midnight” started. Isn’t it a heart warming gesture that the song that commemorates the start of Babymetal is selected for the initial Encore song? And now we know that the group will continue to exist. I felt like I would cry. They continued with one more song. The last song of the first chapter of Babymetal and their first major debut song, “Headbangya!”. That’s right, the 3 girls sent out a wolf smoke signal of the metal resistance with this song.

“Hedoban, Hedoban, Banbanbaban!”

The performances of the first period of Babymetal continued to this point. The audience had their eyes riveted on the form of this performance. The shows have now completed transformed into a ritual. Every single fan was watching quietly over this pattern of events in an atmosphere of dignified seriousness. Even with the conclusion of the 2nd song of the Encore the lights in the arena stayed off. “Shall we now talk about the totality of the Metal Resistance?” After a short span of time began the “History of the fierce fighting of the Metal Resistance”, or, a history of the activities of Babymetal. “The media, politics, economy and indeed everything in this land was under the control an enormous entity known as “Idol” and its dark and overwhelming power. Everything other than Idol songs were considered to be harmful and Metal was no exception.

I read this over and over and could recite this narration from memory even now. “The prayer of the messenger requesting the reinstatement of the rights of Metal reached the ears of the god residing over all Metal matters, Kitsune-sama, who went on to give the name of Babymetal to Su-metal, Yuimetal and Moametal a unit given birth on the theme of fusing together Idol and Metal and brought them in to this land. Kitsune-sama provided Babymetal with numerous trials to make it possible for them to take possession of true Metal”.

10,000 fans were gazing at the monitor in the center of the stage in silence. The narration goes on passionately as scene after scene of momentous episodes in Babymetal history reeled by on the screen. “Traveling down this pathless path, the girls changed ever single challenge they faced into Legends and the sight of actions struck deeply into the hearts of all witnessed them”.
Oh, that’s right, this is reality. This all really happened. This was not a work of fiction. “Kitsune-sama spoke divinely to Babymetal. The first chapter of Babymetal in this land has come to a conclusion” and with that 3 coffins began to descend slowly from the ceiling of the BudouKan. It appears that the girls are being summoned to a new land. “Doomsday-time has come”, it seems the time has arrived. For whatever reason, the narration now continues in English.

“Screaming and Dance-Moametal”
“Screaming and Dance-Yuimetal”
“Vocal and Dance-Su-metal”

Dressed in new costumes each member is introduced. When the 3 girls have entered into the coffins they are raised up high. This is now nothing other than a ritual. In the background orchestral music is playing. Every fan, every single one of them was watching this in solemn silence. In conclusion the narration goes on to say, “Babymetal, say Goodbye”. The crowd moaned in awe, “Eh..!”

“to Japan, Japan, Japan…..”What is this?! What in the world is happening!? This seemed to be the mood in the arena and my head was thrown into confusion. On both of the screens appeared the words, “Babymetal Japan”. Next the words of “Legend “Y” Yuimetal Seitansai (Birthday festival) and “Legend “M” Moametal Seitansai”. Next on the screen appeared a world map moving away from Japan and on to…Europe. While my mind was in a state of confusion to the end and I don’t remember clearly what took place, it seems that the Seitansai were going to be held in the countries of Europe. Babymetal’s Metal resistance on this land has come to a conclusion and it is now time for them to continue their warrior training in foreign lands.

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When I looked up I saw the the Hi no Maru flag of Japan. Alright this is not bad, Europe is great idea!With this the curtain came down on 2 days of performances in the BudouKan. Even though a few months have passed since then the incredibleness of the event stays with me. I have no idea how I am going to be able to convey this in writing. Anyway, we have once again been witnesses to the creation of a Legend. Of that I have no doubt. “Japan, Japan, Japan…” for quite some time this “Japan” echoed in my head. I am sure that those of you who are familiar with X JAPAN will understand this. That is this reverberation of “Japan”. Their live performances begin with a narration. The orchestra that was playing in the background was an homage to “Amethyst”!

At the 2 days concerts “Blue night” and “White night” held at the end of December 1994 at the Tokyo Dome, X JAPAN used this “Amethyst” as their opening song. This song was released in 1993 and was included in YOSHIKI’s solo album and was also released as a single. While this song was playing each member of the band was introduced with a female voice narration as they made their entrance onto the stage. And then the narration went on to echo, “X JAPAN, Japan, Japan…” followed by the performance of their first song in the Set List. And then, one more thing. In yesterday’s narration the phrase, “heading toward destruction” was used. In January of 1992 at their 3 days of concerts at the Tokyo Dome and when X JAPAN was still going by the name of X they used exactly this phrase as the title of the concerts. Not Mega Death. Babymetal’s final concert in this chapter can also be considered to be one performed under the name of X and of “heading toward destruction”.

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Now, I see, all is connected. The lights in the arena went on and if one looks up one can see the Japanese flag, the Hi no Maru. Not bad. Not bad. Europe, sure Europe is an excellent choice. Show the entire world this new type of Metal that was born in Japan! Show them this incredible entertainment packed full of Heavy Metal history! Babymetal is a group with whom it is possible to draw a straight line right into the history of Metal. As a form of Metal renaissance this will become a movement that totally envelops the entire world. There is no doubt about this and it is coming soon. The age of Babymetal will come into existence without fail.

Set list

1. Babymetal Death
2. iine!
3. Answer for Animation With You
4. Onedari Daisakusen
5. 4 no Uta
6. New song
7. Akatsuki
8. Catch me if you can
9. Uki Uki Midnight
10. Gimme Choco!
11. Akumu no Rhondo
12. Megistsune
13. Ijime, Dame, Zettai
Encore
14. Doki Doki Morning
15. Headbangya!
The summoning ritual

BABYMETAL – Experiencing Their American Debut Concert!

A Los Angeles fan shares his experience of BABYMETAL‘s American debut concert.

With patchy rainclouds hanging low in the sky, occasionally thundering and briefly pouring rain all over my home in Los Angeles during the mid-afternoon of July 27, 2014, this historic day of BABYMETAL‘s live-on-stage American debut began with more than a little bit of darkness after the previous day’s bright sunshine and 90-degree (32º C) temperatures, and I was left wondering, has Kitsune-sama chosen to conjure up a dark air for his chosen ones, even going so far as to alter the weather, as they get ready to take the stage in yet another foreign land, or more magnanimously to bless this city that so eagerly bought up all available tickets in the space of just a few minutes by providing this parched desert region with some much-needed rain?

babymetal la fonda theater

Well, it wasn’t really enough rain to make any difference, truth be told, but it sure sparked my imagination. Would it continue later on as I stood in line at the Fonda Theatre waiting for the doors to open, thus making all the sweating I was bound to do, headbanging alongside everyone else, superfluous, leaving me no choice but to head inside soaked from the get-go?

As it turned out, it didn’t rain in Hollywood, but it wouldn’t have mattered if it had, because as expected, by the time it was over I was indeed absolutely drenched with sweat, not necessarily all of it my own.

Fonda Theatre Marquee

When I got to the Fonda Theatre a long line around the block had already started to form, and it got longer by the minute. I was pleased to see such a wide variety of people there, from idol fans to rockers to metalheads, young and old, even children! What I particularly noticed was the relatively high percentage of girls in the line; it had to be at least 25%, maybe more. But this is America, where the girls headbang hard right along with the guys, if not even more intensely, so perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised.

Everyone was in a great anticipatory mood, laughing and talking about what was soon to become an indelible part of their lifetime’s experience. Those who I approached for a chat as we waited were immediately friendly and welcoming. I knew right away that once we got inside the atmosphere would be highly charged with amazing positive energy.

Waiting for the show to start, view from behind the control booth

And there was plenty of energy to go around. When the 8:00 curtain hour came and went, while anxiously waiting for the show to start, the audience twice started a bout of repeatedly clapping and chanting:

CLAP! CLAP! CLAP-CLAP-CLAP! BA-BY-ME-TAL!

I had floor tickets, figuring I would brave the crowd and experience this concert as it should be: from the mosh pit. There was an enormous sheet across the stage to project the introductory video, which was customized for the American audience, the same as had been done at the European concerts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHsncotDyGs
After the video played you could see BABYMETAL already starting their routine as shadows against the back of the sheet as the music escalated, and the instant the sheet dropped, everyone surged forward, and I found myself being smashed in from all sides by adoring fans putting their Kitsune up as far as they could reach, as I did, too, right along with them.

My friend, who wasn’t brave enough to tackle the mosh pit, took this video of the opener from the back of the venue:

I lasted longer than I thought I would, staying up front for 10 songs and the Kami band’s two interludes. But when it came time for “Gimme Chocolate!”, the action in the mosh pit just behind me became too intense, pressing very hard again those of us in the front, causing us to sway around so violently I was losing my footing, and I had to retreat. I still don’t know how I made it past all the moshers to the far side of the pit, where I stood at its edge, shoving people back in whenever they came too close to those of us who aren’t quite so crazy.

My voice was also getting very hoarse from screaming out as many of the lyrics as I knew, which is quite a bit considering it’s all in Japanese, but I didn’t give it any rest just because I had to move toward the back. Neither did I regret my decision to back off, because the stage was still clearly visible from there, and I continued to scream along for the rest of the show. The Fonda Theatre isn’t a large venue, so it was quite an intimate experienced for all of the 1200 people in attendance regardless of where they were standing, even from the balcony.

The order of the songs on the set list was the same as the European shows, as I had expected:

BABYMETAL DEATH
Ii ne!
Uki Uki ★ Midnight
Kami Band interlude
Akumu no Rondo
Onedari Dai Sakusen
Kami Band interlude 2
Catch me if you can
Akastuki
Yon no Uta
Kami Band extended intro to…
Megitsune
Doki Doki ☆ Morning
Gimme Chocolate!!
Encore:
Headbangya!
Ijime, Dame, Zettai

SU-METAL was in absolutely top form, and sang everything live and on key; no playbacks for this talented young lady, and I do mean lady, cool and confident, gorgeous and professional through and through, so much so that I was a bit taken aback by the intensity of her stage presence, especially for someone still so young. I’ve watched plenty of videos of live performances, of course, but nothing, and I mean NOTHING, prepared me for, let alone compares to, actually being there and seeing her perform live.

YUIMETAL and MOAMETAL were cute as all get-out, and supported SU-METAL with everything they had. They were all smiles for the entire show as they ran and jumped all over the stage and bounced on the booster platforms at its edge, waving their Kitsune and encouraging the crowd, all the while working up one helluva sweat. They must have been quite out of breath from all of the physical strains of their performance.

There were more interludes with the live Kami band than I expected, based on what I’d read about previous shows, but that was awesome! During the first one guitarist Leda was up on the platform on the left, bassist BOH in the middle and guitarist Ohmura on the right, making faces and sticking his tongue out as is typical for him. Leda was the first to do his solo, stepping off the booster when he passed it over to Ohmura, who was at the top of his game on his signature pink guitar, belting out the riffs with amazing speed and accuracy, and finally BOH with his six-string bass and impressive finger tapping routine that shook the whole house. There was a second interlude, but honestly by then I was too high on the ambient energy in the theatre to remember the details.

The third interlude was really just the extended lead-in for “Megitsune”. But if you look at the set list and see where the interludes were placed between the songs, as well as the wait before the encore, it’s clear they are meant to give the girls a break every two to three songs, and with the intensity and energy they put into their performances, they no doubt needed them.

kami band la

From a technical standpoint the show appeared to go off without a hitch. The light show was fast and fiery, the monitors and speakers were loud as hell (almost too loud for my taste), and the girls danced without missing a beat or a mark. It was almost miraculous to see and hear.

During the call-and-response portions of “Ii ne!” and “Gimme Chocolate!” the masses roared back loudly, and when MOAMETAL complained, “I can’t hear you!” anyway, we cranked it up a couple of notches.

The crowd was an amazing bunch of people. Even all fired up and smashed together, we all just gave each other a smile or a wink if we thought we may have caused our neighbor any discomfort, and all was good again. Not that it was all milk and cookies. I did get a pretty good kick in the shin at one point that swelled up nice and big.

Throughout the concert a mosh pit was going in the center of the floor that varied in size, often causing those of us near the front to alternately be pressed forward, fall back, or be shoved left or right, but we really weren’t in much danger of falling over, with everyone holding everyone else up pretty much by default. It was awesome!

And finally, during the encore as the music was leading in to “Ijime, Dame, Zettai”, a few people hastily organized a massive mosh pit for the Wall of Death that was about to come, making me retreat even further back into the theatre. They managed to keep everyone at bay until SU-METAL let go of her “AAAAhhhh…”, signaling MOAMETAL and YUIMETAL to start their running on stage, and for the two walls of people to collide together in front of me. Spectacular!

During the instrumental sections the theatre vibrated so much I swear you would not have noticed had a small earthquake gone off somewhere in L.A. at that moment. Such an unbelievable amount of energy was pouring from the audience and the stage, I was momentarily worried enough to actually step out from underneath the balcony.

It was all over far too soon, but nevertheless this concert went way beyond my greatest expectations on every level. The band was absolutely superb, the singing was entrancing, the dancing was mesmerizing, and the crowd had an amazing energy that I’ve rarely experienced. People have said that about previous BABYMETAL concerts, but you can’t know what they really mean without being there. You have GOT to GO to one of their concerts! You will not regret it for an instant!

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