On ‘Metal Galaxy’, Babymetal’s third album, the Japanese duo (third member Yuimetal left the band last year) explore new territory. Never ones to settle for sticking to the traditional, mainstream idea of what metal is, it finds them toying with Bollywood sounds and mariachi brass, collaborating with Thai rapper F. Hero and Arch Enemy’s Alissa White-Gluz, and going all out on their latest set of kawaii-J-pop-meets-eardrum-battering-metal.
Su-metal and Moametal see themselves as having a responsibility to move metal forward, rather than let it stagnate, as they explained to NME just before ‘Metal Galaxy’ was released. “I’ve come to realise after recent performances that more younger fans wearing our costumes are coming to see us perform,” Su-metal said. “And through Babymetal, I feel that a lot more people have come to know metal music. [Judas Priest’s] Rob Halford had told us to ‘stay metal’ and I think it’s important for Babymetal to pass down to future younger generations.”
To the duo, they’re now in a position to create the future of the genre, as implied in the title of ‘Metal Galaxy’’s instrumental opener ‘Future Metal’. “I feel that this album is the first step to the future of metal,” Su-metal added. “Also this album reflects our determination of how we will move forward.”
So far, Babymetal have been divisive, with “true” metalheads not accepting them as part of the genre. But they’ve also gained many other fans, including the likes of Bring Me The Horizon, Guns N’ Roses, Rob Halford, Metallica, Rob Zombie, and their numerous collaborators on this record. Of working with other artists, Su-metal described finding the right voices or guitar sounds as like “finding the right piece of the puzzle”.
“We wanted to find who would best complete the song,” she explained. “Luckily, our first choices agreed to collaborate with Babymetal and, hopefully, we were able to create something that the fans really enjoy.”