BABYMETAL take an ambitious flight through unexplored galaxies on album four, THE OTHER ONE…

Emma Wilkes

BABYMETAL spent a year seemingly floating in the aether, filling the void with pitch black silence. Presumably, only the FOX GOD knew where exactly they were, and he’s not exactly a blabbermouth; the rest of us mere mortals were left to assume this band’s story was finished. Fortunately, however, we know now that not to be the case, and it’s all the better for it when the Japanese kawaii metallers have crashed back to Earth with some of their strongest material to date.

Judging by the sound of THE OTHER ONE, SU-METAL and MOAMETAL’s intergalactic gap year evidently bought them space to grow up gracefully. There’s not as much on their fourth album that will raise eyebrows or provoke a laugh, but BABYMETAL could never iron out all their eccentricity completely. Time Wave, for example, throws a Technicolour, Enter Shikari-esque chorus and synthesized wizardry mined from the ’80s into the mix, while Light And Darkness gleefully mashes together a metallic chug with a glittery pop refrain that could run away with the Eurovision title if Japan were ever to compete.

The duo also pull off some intriguing tricks with dance music. Divine Attack Shingeki sees the patter of drum’n’bass and mountainous riffs coalesce like they were always meant to find each other, while the stampeding Metalizm wouldn’t feel out of place at a rave, but its fret-burning soloing is a reminder that metal remains this band’s home planet. How could it not be, when the opening riffs of MAYA are big enough to sound like an earthquake?

Nonetheless, it’s hard not to have fun when every track here feels suitably like its own adventure, and impressively still, BABYMETAL sound like they’ve been steering the ship through these parallel universes not for the first time, but for years. Strap yourself in, and put those kitsunes up.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: DragonForce, Bring Me The Horizon, Enter Shikari

THE OTHER ONE is released on March 24 via Cooking Vinyl

Pick up the current issue of Kerrang! for a huge interview with BABYMETAL, and grab a limited-edition bronze vinyl here.

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