WHO ARE THEY? The colourfully kitschy Japanese kawaii metal duo of Su-Metal and Moametal, who remain one of the most wonderfully weird bands ever to emerge from Asia — which is really saying something.
WHAT IS THIS? Their third studio album since exploding onto the global metal scene in 2014, and their first since third member Yuimetal left the band in 2018, reportedly due to poor health.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? A headbanging odyssey. In keeping with its title, Metal Galaxy finds the maturing duo expanding their musical horizons — and reflecting their international travels — by incorporating a diverse roster of sounds and style, including Indian, Middle Eastern and Latin grooves and instrumentation, along with jazz, rap and more. But fear not: There’s still plenty of guitar crunch and speed-demon mayhem to satisfy the OG fans’ bloodlust.
WHAT SHOULD IT BE TITLED? Think Globally, Act Metally.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? While chugging sake, aggressively playing Pokemon GO and wearing leather bondage gear made by Hello Kitty.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Diverse, ambitious, expansive, complex, layered, adrenalized, pummelling, muscular, melodic, sugary.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? If it’s variety you want, try the Indian-flavoured Shanti! Shanti! Shanti!, the Latin-tinged Night Night Burn! and the hyperspeed jazz-funk of Elevator Girl. If it’s metal-thrashing madness you’re after, start with Da Da Dance, the doomy In the Name Of and the blazing Distortion.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS SAY? ‘I honestly didn’t think Babymetal could get any weirder. Clearly, I was totally wrong.’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? More often than you might expect — while these young ladies are still basically a novelty act, the sonic and stylistic variety on display here give you plenty to sink your teeth into.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A JAPANESE MASCOT, WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE? The one and only Nyango Star:
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? If you’re skeptical, start with the stream — but I bet you’ll be ponying up before too long.