To metal fans who take themselves way too seriously, Babymetal’s been relatively easy to dismiss as a joke or a gimmick. The three vocalists first hit the global scene as teenage girls who rarely (if ever) attempted to sing in the Cookie Monster-style more traditionally associated with heavy metal music. Their live performances include synchronized choreography, which is anathema to metalheads who hate fun. Also, Babymetal’s most famous song is about chocolate and chocolate is not brutal.
(Although I’d argue that while chocolate itself is not brutal, a chocoholic’s love for chocolate can be exceptionally brutal. So the song “Gimme Chocolate!!” is, in fact, thematically brutal enough for the metal genre.)
Meanwhile, metal fans who take themselves with the appropriate amount of seriousness have correctly recognized Babymetal as totally fucking kickass. This contingent should be happy to observe “Distortion,” the Japan-based organization’s first new track since 2016’s Metal Resistance.
Su-Metal, Moametal, and Yuimetal are all grownups now. On the one hand, that means calling the act “Babymetal” makes even less sense than it did when they were teens. On the other hand, increased maturity could explain the comparatively darker tone of “Distortion.” Nobody’s smiling or hopping around in a black tutu here. Instead, we’re treated to what’s ostensibly a live-action rendition of an overtly-Satanic iteration of Dungeons and Dragons.
“The new song ‘Distortion‘ explores the unrevealed Dark Side, The Apocrypha, the legend of seven metal spirits in which power is distorted through time and space,” explains the band in a statement propagated by MetalSucks. It seems the shift in direction comes at the behest of The Fox God, the diety worshiped by in-canon Babymetal and their pretend(?) cult of followers.
“The music video of this song presents this unknown side and marks the important beginning of a new legend.”
Sounds confusing! More importantly, it sounds a heckufalot more brutal than a song about chocolate.