Kawaii-metal overladies BABYMETAL celebrate a decade of defying expectations with epic double live album.

Mark Sutherland

And they said it wouldn’t last…

Strange to think it now, but when BABYMETAL first came up with the genius idea of fusing perkily bright J-Pop melodies with crushingly heavy metal riffs back in 2010, not everyone thought they’d be in it for the long haul. Even when they went viral around the world with Gimme Chocolate!!, some believed they were destined to be a short-lived, manufactured novelty. Some even thought BABYMETAL were an elaborate joke.

But here we are in 2021, the laughter faded years ago and SU-METAL and MOAMETAL find themselves still heading one way only: up. Here, we find them reaching the sort of zenith usually only accessible to bona fide rock legends: a 10-night stand at Tokyo’s storied Budokan venue to celebrate their first decade together, documented by a Deep Purple-style double live album.

SU-METALand MOAMETAL have become actual grown-ups along the way, but 10 BABYMETAL BUDOKAN does not mess with the deceptively simple formula that got them here. So, from the atmospheric intro of BABYMETAL DEATH (Shin Ver.) to the 15-minute closing epic that is Road Of Resistance, via viral hits such as KARATE and Doki Doki * Morning and guest appearances from Arch Enemy’s Alissa White-Gluz (Distortion) and rapper F.Hero (PA PA YA!), they combine irresistible catchiness with pounding heaviness to successfully ram the ABBA into Black Sabbath.

No wonder the crowd sound proper-metal-live-album feral throughout, despite being compulsorily double-masked due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Not even a pandemic could stop BABYMETAL, however. Their recent pledge to “disappear from our sight” on October 10 suggests big changes are on the way. But whatever happens next, 10 BABYMETAL BUDOKAN stands as testament to the fact that they who laugh last, last longest and rock loudest.

Verdict: 4/5

For Fans Of: DragonForce, Nightwish, Poppy

10 BABYMETAL BUDOKAN is released on September 24.

READ THIS: The 20 greatest BABYMETAL songs – ranked

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