What the hell is babymetal?

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Metal music is a genre that transcends all parts of the world and breaks all cultural and language barriers, from North and South America to Europe and even Asia. From the early days of metal, and Judas Priest's classic 1979 live album Unleashed in the East (recorded in Tokyo), the music has always been popular throughout Asia. Many popular metal and rock bands originated from the continent over the years, including bands like Loudness and X-Japan.

But in 2010 a new breed of metal music surfaced with a group known as Babymetal. A rising trio of famous teenage Japanese female models, this act has a foundation of "J-Pop," -- a fast, upbeat style of pop/dance music more suitable for clubs playing Britney Spears and other teen idols than dive bars blasting Pantera and Behemoth. But the vocalists are backed by a band of musicians that merge the heavy sounds of Slayer, System of a Down, Slipknot, Ministry and Lamb of God with traditional pop/dance music replete with hints of techno and hip-hop, skillfully blending the genres into a cohesive force that leaves many new listeners confused yet curious. It may have started in Japan, but look out...the evil is spreading.


Babymetal's sound is something that most fans of heavy-metal music in America have not yet been exposed to. It is a phenomenon that has not yet reached the masses in America, but has already gained millions of other fans worldwide through music videos, singles, an album and tours in Asia.

Babymetal's lyrics are sung in Japanese, and the group was formed in 2010 as a side project of the Japanese Female Idol singers, Sakura Gakuin, which translates as "Cherry Blossom Academy." This musical group has a rotating lineup of female singers in junior high and high school. Babymetal's members are SuMetal, Moametal and Yuimetal, with a backing band of rotating and anonymous musicians who perform in full black with skulls painted as faces.

During live performances, the singers, who are all between the ages of fourteen and seventeen, dance around the stage in a mix of club-dancing and slam-dancing, which can set the crowd off in a frenzy of swinging, dancing head-banging and fist-pumping. This image of young, skinny Japanese pop singers with the heavy, brutal music leaves many new listeners perplexed. The strangest part is that before forming the band, the singers had no prior knowledge of heavy-metal music. Many people often note the sharp contrast in both sound and aesthetics of the sweet, innocent-looking female singers and the singing you'd be more likely to hear at dance club with the heaviness of the music, can make you want to jump into a mosh pit.

Though many wonder whether Babymetal will ever cross over to fans outside of Asia, the cultural phenomenon of the group cannot be denied. Lately, Babymetal has been getting a lot of exposure and new fans, having released several singles and videos that have gone viral. The band has played shows throughout Asia to thousands of screaming fans, including the Summer Sonic Festival in Osaka, Japan, becoming the youngest artists ever to perform at the three-day music fest. In late 2013, the band even released a promo trailer for Metallica's film Through The Never. Babymetal's debut self-titled album was released in February of this year and contains the single "Gimme Chocolate," "Headbanger" and others.

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56 comments
salmonilla
salmonilla

Babymetal has already crossed all over the world, with a HUGE fanbase in the US.  They are not a new group, by any means (just new to some people).  I'm not sure what the author is implying (maybe a wee out of the loop-no offense, good article, thanks).  It's true, the USA is a bit slower to accept things from the "outside", very close minded, pompous, conservative, and arrogant (some adjectives used by those from outside the US to describe the US, and seem fitting considering some of the comments left here on this article....).  

Babymetal is awesome!! The girls own the stage and put an amazing effort into their performance and are sooo fun to watch. (unlike many US bands, sadly).    

BABYMETAL ROCKS!

Steve Bird
Steve Bird

The press is just salivating over the hope that someone will actually give a shit about stuff like this. "Please let mainstream American media pick this up....please let mainstream American media pick this up."

Jaime Pena
Jaime Pena

I like it. Band rocks and the girls make it fun. There are some Japanese girls who fkn shred.

Jason Gray
Jason Gray

Never heard of them. Decided to check 'em out. Funniest stuff I've ever heard.

James Moralez
James Moralez

Lol Whatcha think of some baby metal ? Mark Robertson

Tami Davies
Tami Davies

Worst shite I've ever seen. Embarrassing to use the title "metal" in that; they should be banned from being anywhere near metal. I think it's even more shite they made a 4 minute song dedicated to wanting chocolate. Asia - you can keep it, we don't want it. :-D

Eddie_Arkadian
Eddie_Arkadian

What the hell is Babymetal? I'm not sure, but I personally I like it more when it is called "Sleigh Bells"...

Sean Stone
Sean Stone

Hahaha I dunno how I watched that whole thing

magickmurder
magickmurder

Am I only one that thinks this is really cute.

Ben Elich
Ben Elich

Babymetal is a way to introduce kids into metal

Rachel Vela
Rachel Vela

So many people. What.the.hell. And the dancing. Not into it. At alllllll

Tai Kahn
Tai Kahn

Welcome to last years internet.

Aric Villarreal
Aric Villarreal

Whenever my old friends ask why I am no longer a metal fanatic, here's your answer.

Wyatt Scott
Wyatt Scott

That production was fucking dope regardless

Joe Yugel
Joe Yugel

Dimebag's rolling over in his grave cause of this

Adrian Allen
Adrian Allen

Really? They are backed by all these bands? Slayer, Ministry, Pantera, Lamb of God and System of a Down.

Melissa 'Meyer' Reynoldson
Melissa 'Meyer' Reynoldson

I find this rather interesting. It's a strange mix of different types of music that you would never hear together. It's nice to see something different for once instead of the same old girly pop music and boy bands. Music experimentation is never bad it just takes time to perfect it.

Rae Alvarez
Rae Alvarez

What dafuk was that! Yeah, I vote hell no! Alongside Metallica? Yeah no

Boyles Jason
Boyles Jason

You cant "cover" PANTERA!But these girls are good. R.I.P. Dime...

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