Turbo Rules – In Memoriam

John “Turbo” Shatesky

01/25/1980 – 07/28/2023

Album Review: BABYMETAL Sophmore Album Is A Mixed Bag

I distinctly remember how I first came across BABYMETAL two years ago. I was simply just checking iTunes for new releases and saw the name topping the charts. At first I brushed it off as a first week fluke but then when it began causing violent discussions on social media of love and hatred I looked into them. And while the idea of metal mixed with K-Pop vocals on paper don’t work I remember sampling their self titled debut album and falling head over wheels in love with the music. So much that I payed the import price on their CD figuring they’d be a one and done band.

 But here we are, two years later and I preordered their Sophmore album Metal Resistance like any good fan should and finally got the time to sit and give it a spin. Sadly I can say BABYMETAL couldn’t use ninja stealth to avoid the Sophmore album jinx because despite high numbers on Billboard this album doesn’t match up with its predecessor.
Not to say it’s a complete dud because it’s not. But the album goes off in too many different directions trying to catch the ear of fans of different genres of rock and metal or even different genres of music altogether.

Metal Resistance starts off with what those of us who became fans from the first album. Great riffs as well as hard and heavy rhythms that shouldn’t work with the high tone K-Pop vocals of Su-Metal, YuiMetal, and MoaMetal. The single “Karate” shows the bands growth as a band and that they can progress without giving up the style that grabbed their fans on their self titled debut.

After that your left scratching your head with “Awadama Fever” and “Yava!” which sound more techno or EDM than metal. These songs feel so out of place after the opening songs that I double checked my player for the album. I don’t know if these were written to try and bring in the techno and EDM crowd or if it’s just something they’re experimenting with. Either way these two songs just don’t feel like they belong.

And while I have grown to enjoy progressive stuff, even the newer more eclectic and electric stuff, “Tales Of The Destinies” is another head scratcher late in the album. It almost sounds like the sister track to Megadeth‘s “Dystopia” until it goes off on a very different direction about midway through.

But beyond these oddball tracks there’s still classic BABYMETAL sound to be found beyond the first two songs. “Amore” is definitive of what caught many of our ears in 2014. Speed, melody, and vocals that logically shouldn’t fit but still do. Add in the surprising “No Rain, No Rainbow”, a power ballad if ever I heard one and use old schoolers have something from a new artists to discuss with the current generation of metal heads without being labeled as “stuck in the past”.

I honestly think that Metal Resistance is an attempt to feel out what will work for BABYMETAL here in the states with so much variation on the album. But it’s a bit too much for a band who many in music still see as a fad that won’t stay around more than a few years. I have enough on Metal Resistance to keep me interested but it just doesn’t come close to their self titled debut album.

Justen Bieber