Hailing from Tokyo, Japan is a metal rock band known as Babymetal. In 2010, they originally formed as a trio. Suzuka “Su-Metal” Nakamoto, Moa “Moametal” Kikuchi, and Yui “Yuimetal” Mizuno are the founding members, but Mizuno reduced Babymetal from a trio to a duo in 2016 after first leaving due to an undisclosed illness. Instead of recovering and returning, as of October 19, 2018, she officially resigned from Babymetal due to her poor health not improving. As a kawaii metal band, they are produced by Kobametal from the talent agency known as Amuse. The vocals of Babymetal are backed with heavy metal instrumentation by various session talent collectively known as Kami Band at their performances. Combining the genres of heavy metal and Japanese idol music, Babymetal originally performed as a sub-unit for the Japanese idol group known as Sakura Gakuin.
Since 2013, after Nakamoto’s departure from Sakura Gakuin, Babymetal released their first debut album in February 2014. Now as an independent group, Babymetal has so far produced three studio albums, a compilation album (10 Babymetal Years), an EP (Introducing Babymetal), and twelve live albums. Also to Babymetal’s credit are a total of ten video albums. In Japan, the kawaii music metal scene was quickly earning full momentum. Elsewhere in the world, Babymetal was earning critical acclaim as a groundbreaking, world-class talent. According to the Los Angeles Times, Babymetal is classified as a Japanese concept group and is the most divisive influence in the heavy music genre. According to MetalSucks, they did not regard Babymetal as standard metal talent, but rather an example of the Japanese pop industry’s deconstruction of post-millennial metal and modern pop into a 360-degree entertainment experience.
Babymetal releases their self-titled debut album in 2011 and the single (Headbangeeeeerrrrr!!!!!) makes its mark on the music charts, peaking as high as #19 with Japan’s Hot Singles and at #20 Japan’s Oricon Chart. This marks as a favorite among the Japanese metal fans who’ve watched (with approval) the emergence of Babymetal as their own band after supporting the highly popular and successful Sakura Gakuin.
9. Shanti Shanti Shanti
The uniqueness of this song (Shanti Shanti Shanti) starts off with a music score that features classic Japanese culture, but shifts to heavier riffs, as if serving a reminder of what Babymetal is all about as a band that caters to the mix of heavy metal and Japanese pop idol music. This comes from their album (Metal Galaxy), which was released in 2018. On the charts, it scores as high as 11th place with the US Billboard World Digital Songs and is an often played favorite at clubs and venues that cater to various alternative metal music genres.
8. Pa Pa Ya!!
From the 2018 album (Metal Galaxy) is the single (Pa Pa Ya!!). This song was first released as a digital single on June 28, 2019. On the charts, it peaked as high as #12 with the US Billboard World Digital Songs chart and at #56 with Billboard Japan’s Hot 100 Songs chart.
7. Gimme Chocolate!!
The 2011 release of Babymetal’s self-titled debut album features what many of the band consider to be their personal favorite. The song (Gimme Chocolate!!) is heavy-hitting from the beginning and the music video on YouTube has so far reached over 147 million viewers. According to the US Billboard World Digital Songs chart, it reached as high as #5 and with Billboard Japan’s Hot 100, at #54.
6. Elevator Girl
The official music video for the single (Elevator Girl) was performed live and in the English language to cater to fans on an international level. Coming from their 2018 album (Metal Galaxy), if the worldwide popularity for Babymetal wasn’t enough at this point, their performance of Elevator Girl played its role to win over even more fans than they had already. On the charts, the song also did well by reaching #4 with the Billboard US World Digital Songs chart, and at #38 with Billboard Japan’s Hot 100 Chart.
Coming from Babymetal’s 2018 album (Metal Galaxy) is the single (Starlight). This successful track reached #4 with the US Billboard World Digital Songs chart and #24 with the Billboard Japan Chart. This song still hits hard with many of Babymtetal’s fans as it served as a farewell piece when Yui “Yuimetal” Mizumo had to leave the band due to health reasons. This song also serves as a tribute to Fujioka Mikio, who was known as Ko-Kami. He headed the Kami Band that performed with Babymetal as session musicians. On January 5, 2018, Mikio passed away not long after sustaining extensive injuries from falling off a high observation deck while stargazing.
According to the fans of Babymetal, the song (Karate) is one of their all-time favorites. The powerful single (Karate) comes from their 2016 album (Resistance) and it peaks to #2 on the Billboard US World Digital Songs chart. With the Billboard Japan Hot 100, at #17. Karate is also among the most viewed music videos credited to Babymetal through the channels on YouTube that list the band, the music, and this song as among their favorites. With over 68 million views on their official music video alone, it would be safe to say Karate is definitely a cult favorite.
(Distortion) is purposely released by Babymetal as a fast, hard-hitting, distorted metal single. Coming from their 2018 album (Metal Galaxy), it is the first of its five singles to be released. It has also been among their most successful, as it charted to #2 with the US Billboard World Digital Songs chart, #6 with Billboard Japan Hot 100, and #42 with Japan’s Oricon chart.
2. Ijime, Dame, Zettai
Starting off slow and melodic, this highly favored single (Ijime, Dame, Zettai) quickly bursts into one of the fastest and most aggressive metal performances by Babymetal. Within the music charts, it peaked to #5 with Japan’s Hot 100 Singles, #6 with Japan’s Oricon, and #14 with Billboard Japan Hot 100. The album this song belongs to the 2011 debut album (Babymetal) and, according to fans, put Japan on notice that the full explosion of explorative metal music within the nation had only just begun.
The most commercially successful song coming from the discography of Babymetal is (Megitsune) and it comes from their self-titled 2011 debut album. It was the final song released, which didn’t officially chart until 2013, but this wasn’t due to the lack of interest in the song by their fans, nor the critics. This album, which also received Gold Certification from RIAJ (Recording Industry Association of Japan), featured at least five of its singles continually played on the air by an audience that instantly became highly addicted to Babymetal’s music. According to the music charts, Megitsune reached #7 with Japan’s Oricon Singles Chart and their Hot Singles Chart. It also reached #14 with US Billboard’s World Digital Songs chart and #16 with Billboard Japan’s Hot 100 Singles.