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Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Almost indescribably good

People occasionally ask me why I am such a Babymetal enthusiast. All I have to say is that they are, quite literally, one of the very best bands in the world, from technical and songwriting perspectives, even if one ignores the awesome Japanese theatrical elements. They're uniformly excellent.

One thing I like about twentyone pilots is the way they can move effortlessly between musical lanes. What most people don't realize is that Babymetal's range is even greater. It's not just the signature combination of J-Pop and power metal of Doki Doki Morning, or even the big chord, big chorus metal of Karate, that is chiefly of note in this regard, but the fact that Babymetal has the ability to do everything from X-metal-tribute power ballads to metal-infused Deep Forest. This is what you can do when you assemble exceptional talent under a unique vision; I view it in some ways as a conceptual model for Castalia House.

Consider the heavily emotional No Rain, No Rainbow, which features a guitar solo that reminds me more than a little of my favorite anthem, My Chemical Romance's Welcome to the Black Parade. Su-metal is absolutely no joke as a vocalist, and I love the fitting, if uncharacteristic, restraint of the Kami band here.




English speakers will probably not understand why Su-metal is on the edge of crying at the end, so a translation might help.

Even the despair becomes the light.
Though an endless rain continues to fall.
Even the despair becomes the light.
A sad rain throws a rainbow far far away.

We shall never meet again,
But I want not to forget you forever.
If the dream continues, I wish I'll never wake up from it.

An endless rain fills my heart forever.

However, my favorite Babymetal song is one of the less well-known songs from Metal Resistance, From Dusk Till Dawn. Some compare it to Enigma on steroids, but I think Deep Forest is the more accurate comparison. It really shows off Koba-metal's skill as a producer.



And if you don't believe these guys can do anything they want musically, and do it better than most, have a listen to the Kari band, which is the fusion jazz project of three of the Kami band members.

Labels:

49 Comments:

Blogger 1337kestrel March 08, 2017 8:15 AM  

So the question is:
Yui or Moa?

I want more rap metal.

Blogger Salt March 08, 2017 8:26 AM  

The Kari Band jazz fusion is definitely worth it.

Anonymous Looking Glass March 08, 2017 8:27 AM  

Babymetal is enjoyable, but when you mentioned "From Dusk till Dawn" I had to look it up. It's outright brilliant composition. It borrows heavily from a lot of the Japanese Techno scene, as the longer rhythm is something pretty common there, but done with a power metal dressing. Needless to say, I really liked it. (You could almost view this as something of an early entry into Japanese post-Rock.)

Su-metal's range is far more expanded than most of the J-pop trained singers. A lot of the songs don't stretch it, obviously, but it's there in a few of them and it really gives the band that punch you do not expect.

It's really something you just do not expect from something random one of the corporate underlings in a talent agency thought up. Yet, they've performed on American Late Night shows. It truly is a sight to behold.

Blogger Shimshon March 08, 2017 8:28 AM  

Vox has found his inner fanboy.

Anonymous Ryan ATL March 08, 2017 8:37 AM  

VD have you listened at all to Deafheaven? Wondering what you (would) think of their stuff

Blogger dc.sunsets March 08, 2017 8:38 AM  

If the dream continues, I wish I'll never wake up from it.

This perfectly encapsulates the Hivemind today and its tetanus-like attachment to the fantasies of our Popular Culture and Universalist Theocracy.

The popularity of the Zombie Apocalypse genre is the primal scream of individuals' rational minds as their Impulsive Mind, in thrall of the Herding Requirement, drives one irrational act after another.

The rational mind knows what's coming, but is powerless to stop the impulsive mind's lockstep with the herd. Better to hit the snooze button and drift back to a pleasant, dreamy fantasy than to awaken to the a reality worse than nightmare.

When your friend, acquaintance, coworker or family member vehemently defends the Leftist sacraments, remember this lyric.

Blogger VD March 08, 2017 8:48 AM  

This perfectly encapsulates the Hivemind today and its tetanus-like attachment to the fantasies of our Popular Culture and Universalist Theocracy.

You're completely missing the point. It's about grief and loss, not escapism. It's about missing someone you loved, someone you still love, even though they are gone.

Blogger dc.sunsets March 08, 2017 9:01 AM  

I find it interesting that performers whose primary body of work does not interest me on occasion release something that reveals tremendous underlying talent.

Queensryche is one of these.
https://youtu.be/CL5HwghYXGE

I look forward to a return to a more classical grasp of music.

Blogger dc.sunsets March 08, 2017 9:04 AM  

I was looking past the point.

As you know, art often appears to be one thing, but can be interpreted to be other things, too. I surgically excised and transplanted a lyric that means one thing in original context and something entirely different in a larger, broader context.

Great art spans time and place and circumstance because it is flexible enough to do this.

Blogger Daniel March 08, 2017 9:05 AM  

I am a huuuge fan of ABK48 and NMB48 & the others I know I know. I just can't help myself

Anonymous Bohm March 08, 2017 9:06 AM  

VD's taste in music is pretty way off, unlike mine which is brilliant.

Anonymous jSinSaTx March 08, 2017 9:07 AM  

I was fortunate to see them live in the Tokyo Dome. Great show. There is something joyful about Babymetal.

Watching Japanese fans is an experience. When the event is over they leave in such an orderly fashion.

Blogger Student in Blue March 08, 2017 9:07 AM  

That fusion jazz project was amazing, and No Rain, No Rainbow is very reminiscent of X Japan's ballads, such as Endless Rain.

Except, uh, Su-metal sounds a lot 'nicer' and more suited to ballads than Toshi's voice ever did. Kinda figures since X Japan was a heavy metal band.

Blogger Student in Blue March 08, 2017 9:09 AM  

X-metal-tribute power ballads

Oh. Well, there goes my reading comprehension creds, Vox mentions it right in the OP.

Blogger VD March 08, 2017 9:14 AM  

I surgically excised and transplanted a lyric that means one thing in original context and something entirely different in a larger, broader context.

And thereby went off-topic. Don't do that.

Anonymous Cantostop March 08, 2017 9:15 AM  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxYAcIyk2Co

Wow. Looks like an awesome concert. I spent time in Japan as well, many moons ago... brings me back.

Anonymous Looking Glass March 08, 2017 9:24 AM  

@10 While they're not bad, it's generally bad form to ever admit you like J-pop Idols. It's barely acceptable in most of Japan.

@11 I think you win the comments section.

@12 The Japanese take their Live Shows seriously. Really, really seriously. Catching a concert DVD for a Japanese band on YouTube and just watch the crowd. The TruFans teach each other and the coordination I feel is the way they'd go about operating the next War they're caught up in.

Anonymous Cantostop March 08, 2017 9:39 AM  

@jSinSaTx "Watching Japanese fans is an experience. When the event is over they leave in such an orderly fashion."

This has me cracking up, because it's so true. They have this uncanny ability to seamlessly switch gears between whatever mode they're in and orderly cog in the machine. Even when they drink and "let loose" their behavior is sure to be in line with unwritten rules.

Actually, to go OT a bit, a great book on Japan was written by Jared Taylor in the 80s (https://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Rising-Sun-Critical-Japanese/dp/0688048277), and I had to check to make sure the Jared Taylor we know was the same one. My experience in Japan probably formed the foundation of my race realism and badthink, and reading the book you can see how it probably served the same function for him.

Blogger VD March 08, 2017 9:42 AM  

My experience in Japan probably formed the foundation of my race realism and badthink, and reading the book you can see how it probably served the same function for him.

Likewise. My subsequent experience in Europe only served to confirm it. The US perspective on race is seriously out of whack with the rest of the world.

Blogger Nate March 08, 2017 10:00 AM  

This has happened before... where some producer somewhere decides to take a bunch of absolute virtuosos and make a band out of them. it almost always reaches some kind of success but I can't think of any time its come together so perfectly as it has with Baby Metal.

The level of talent on display when Baby Metal decides its time to show off their chops is ridiculous. There are not a whole lot of bands out there that can literally do anything. Zac Brown Band... they can do damn near anything. Rush could do damn near anything. A7X... a few others. Baby Metal is one of those bands.

Blogger VD March 08, 2017 10:17 AM  

I can't think of any time its come together so perfectly as it has with Baby Metal.

The other producers didn't think to throw in three cute, highly-trained teenage girls who can sing and dance. Also, Japanese devotion to detail.

Blogger Nate March 08, 2017 10:24 AM  

they really are adorable.

Anonymous Sensei March 08, 2017 11:14 AM  

My experience in Japan probably formed the foundation of my race realism and badthink, and reading the book you can see how it probably served the same function for him.

My experience of living in East Asia has been similarly eye opening. You can't even explain in Taiwan how bizarre US mainstream progressive doctrine on this has gotten, there is too much pragmatism in the culture. ("Privilege" is precisely what half the island is working themselves to death to obtain.) They hierarchize the world's cultures/races based on success at civilization, and treat visitors accordingly. America had been the prestige non-asian culture since WW2 but we've lost a lot of respect in the past 10 years or so.
(SJWs are here too though, in the past 5 years they've been extremely active, and they're currently working on converging the education system.)

Anonymous Pax_Romana March 08, 2017 12:36 PM  

That first song is really good! (pardon the surprise) It reminds me of the closing song to one of the few anime I enjoy.

Blogger Nick S March 08, 2017 12:39 PM  

The US perspective on race is seriously out of whack with the rest of the world.

Some would call it exceptional.

Blogger cheddarman March 08, 2017 12:40 PM  

From my limited gaijin perspective, it appears as if Baby Metal is defending Japanese traditional culture from globalism. Making Japan Great Again. Now they just need to sing some songs about the heroic struggle of motherhood.

Anonymous Iacobus March 08, 2017 12:45 PM  

Love Babymetal. One of those quirky, fun bands the rest of the industry could take a cue from.

Anonymous elmer t. jones March 08, 2017 12:51 PM  

I understand your passion for this genre, which may baffle your family and business associates. I wrote some paeans to Khmer music but few in the manosphere share my enthusiasm. The women are divine. Your individual response may vary :

https://elmerslounge.wordpress.com

Blogger Thurston Pilgrim March 08, 2017 1:12 PM  

Please talk more about music! The things you praise about BM are the exact same things I love about Yes, Rush, and progressive rock in general. Awesome musicians pushing themselves to the limits.

Blogger Thurston Pilgrim March 08, 2017 1:24 PM  

Quite a bit more minimalist, but I like the band Hinto quite a bit. Syncopation and unconvential guitar phrasing abound.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4_QGrJBf6Y

Blogger D.R. Brooker March 08, 2017 1:41 PM  

This is how a super-intelligence trolls his readers.

I. Will. Not. Fall. For. It.

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable March 08, 2017 1:55 PM  

I. Will. Not. Fall. For. It.

Pretty much my conclusion. I'm more likely to believe the Supreme Dark Lord enjoys David Sylvian. There's something I connect with.

I play my red guitar, Vox.

Anonymous map March 08, 2017 2:55 PM  

The thing about this Baby Metal music is that it is highly derivative of the prog metal that existed in the 1980's. The guitar stylings are all Dream Theater, Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Andy Timmons, Paul Gilbert, Avenged Sevenfold and Metallica.

Which is good, because the Japs have actually kept this music alive when it's popularity died out in the US.

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable March 08, 2017 3:09 PM  

Ah, Steve Vai. Good times!

Blogger Student in Blue March 08, 2017 4:09 PM  

Which is good, because the Japs have actually kept this music alive when it's popularity died out in the US.

It's tempting to chalk it up to the declining music education in the US. At some point in order to actually be interested in anything beyond the most basic of basics, you have to be exposed to quite a bit of music after all.

Blogger Sillon Bono March 08, 2017 4:16 PM  

Can't separate Japanese music from video games or anime:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B6OM6jVjes

I like that everything they make is epic!

Blogger Jabari March 08, 2017 4:32 PM  

@36: Awww, looks to be blocked in the US. Happen to know a link that works here?

Blogger Jon D. March 08, 2017 4:45 PM  

Wow I hadn't listened to them before at all. I don't listen to metal, but this adds a fun quotient that is undeniable, I absolutely love this. It's like an intense anime fight scene or title sequence for the ears all the time.

Anonymous Alexandru March 08, 2017 6:18 PM  

Vox, I'm going to have to join the Chorus. I'm living in Japan right now and their view of race and society has turned me away from the suicidal embrace of multiculturalism. Moving out here from San Diego is such an eye opening experience. Living in a city where I don't have to lock my doors, stash away my bike, or worry when my wife goes hiking alone is amazing. When my friends back home ask me how welcoming the Japanese are I always reply with, "they treat me and my wife as guests, showing us around, and teaching us their culture. But, and a big but, the day we invite our friends to move in next door to us we will go from guests to invaders and no longer be welcomed."

Blogger Sojourner March 08, 2017 6:18 PM  

I've come to enjoy Wagakki Band in the same way though I won't say they're on the same level of Baby Metal. Something about Rock set to traditional Japanese song/voice just works.

Anonymous JAMES March 09, 2017 2:14 AM  

Vox every time you mention Babymetal I waste 45 min to an hour obsessively watching their videos.

Please don't stop.

Blogger Mr Traumaboyy March 09, 2017 8:52 AM  

Well Shit!! They Japs!!....Hang on....she sounds ok.....Wiat....My foot won't stop moving...Whoa....What kind of guitar is that....Cool dresses.....These guys ROCK!!!

Blogger SmockMan March 09, 2017 2:30 PM  

Hmm, I do enjoy some of it. I will download to listen to more of their stuff. For anyone interested in J-Pop that is a bit electro/upbeat checkout the REOL Sigma album.

Blogger dvdivx March 09, 2017 3:28 PM  

Well it could be worse. Plenty of bands in S Korea imatate the worse of black culture with crap rap. I can say you will lose your enthusiasm for Japanese ladies should you marry one. Great girlfriends not so great wives once they felt they got what they wanted especially after they are done having kids.

Anonymous Ain March 09, 2017 3:56 PM  

It's interesting how she timed the steps to her fairly long walk to start when the solo began, and arrive to the alter-like platform exactly when the solo ended. There are likely other technical feats that I haven't yet noticed.

Blogger idprism March 09, 2017 5:51 PM  

i would call myself a passing fan of babymetal. i admire what they do, but i hadn't bought into it yet (purchased albums etc). i would have to say that "From Dusk Til Dawn" just changed my mind. I'll have to give their discography an exploration and purchase accordingly.

Thanks!

Blogger Thucydides March 09, 2017 8:18 PM  

Just awesome to know that there is such talent in the world. There is hope, after all....

Blogger Tuatha March 10, 2017 12:03 AM  

Everyone worth their ears knows Bathory is better than underaged jap posers.

Blogger Jazzmanblue March 11, 2017 12:20 AM  

The Kari Band video was clearly edited for the sake of time, but they referenced a good number of 70's fusion pieces - Including Billy Cobham's Red Baron (Spectrum), Jeff Beck's Led Boots (Wired) and Diamond Dust (Blow by Blow) and Return to Forever's Vulcan Worlds (Where Have I Known You Before). This was a pleasant surprise and I will be researching the band to find available releases. They have great chops, and an admirable respect for the past. I wish them success, especially if they help keep this great music alive. Thanks for posting the video.

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