Babymetal Dubbed 'The Best Thing Happened to Metal in Decade,' While Ghost Are Blamed for 'Destroying' It

An online petition demands Ghost to break up while music journalist praises the J-pop act.

Ultimate Guitar

As Babymetal are making quite a wave in the metal domain and getting props from all over the place, MetalSucks co-founder Vince Neilstein declared himself as a major supporter, sharing 12 reasons why the odd metal J-pop act is the best thing that happened to metal in a decade.

Calling them "the next big thing," and "absolutely incredible," the journalist noted, "I was initially completely baffled and even averse to the concept, but I've come to embrace it over time and you should too. Here's why:

1. It's something different.

For a genre that prides itself on being made by and for outsiders, metalheads are an extremely conservative bunch that are incredibly averse to change. Babymetal are completely different than anything you've ever seen - and you can be forgiven if you were completely bewildered the first time you heard their music or saw one of their videos - and we salute them for stepping outside the tiny, constraining box in which heavy metal is supposed to exist. Let's face it: metal has become very predictable. It's easy to spot new trends and uprisings in metal from a million miles away and they move at a snail's pace before burning up and fading out. Babymetal are completely out of left field, and they're a breath of fresh air.

2. Babymetal make "tr00" metalheads angry.

Nothing's better than watching a bunch of 30- or 40-somethings who've spent thousands of dollars having their bodies tatted up get completely emasculated by a group of teenage Japanese girls who didn't even know what metal was a few years back. Sorry bros, these girls have more talent in their pig-tails than your stoner-post-crust-doom band will ever have in your lifetime. And they wrote a song about chocolate - F--KING CHOCOLATE FER CHRISSAKES!! - that's better than your stupid song about beer or weed or whatever.

3. Their music is surprisingly and incredibly advanced.

J-Pop extraordinaire Marty Friedman summed it up thusly when I spent a day with him in Tokyo (I'm paraphrasing here): 'If you sit down to try and learn a Western pop song by an artist like Adele, her songs are great, but each song only has six chords in the entire thing. J-pop songs have something closer to 64 chords in them. They're incredibly complicated.' Though Babymetal's formula might seem like it's got a sparkly pop veneer, dig beneath the surface and there's nothing simple about it: it's complicated music painstakingly written. You think it's easy to write pop songs; it's not! So the three girls don't write the music themselves: who cares? Someone (or some people) does, and it's fantastic. Most lead singers in modern metal bands don't write the music either.

4. Excellent musicianship.

If you can't get into the girls and their vocals, take a look at the music itself: the guys who play in Babymetal's band are hella talented! As noted in #3 above, it's not easy stuff to play, either. Watch this clip of the band shredding from their world tour trailer:

YouTube preview picture

5. A Babymetal show is a theatrical experience.

Metal is best experienced in a sweaty, cramped venue 99% of the time, but there's something about a massive arena show that can send chills down your spine and elevate your conscious experience to another level like a typical metal show simply cannot (see also: Iron Maiden). Metal lends itself to a theatrical experience with a massive, elaborate stage show, and Babymetal bring all that and more. For fuck's sake, I get chills just watching this video, and it's just a trailer:

6. Siqq dance moves.

When This or the Apocalypse and Structures pull their choreographed stage moves they look like a bunch of chumps desperate to make their mediocre music stand out; it's a cry for attention. When the ladies of Babymetal dance it's positively mesmerizing! Their style of dance is also completely fresh to the Western eye.

7. They're Japanese.

That Babymetal come from a place so culturally different than America increases the appeal exponentially; you could even say it is the appeal. This cannot be overlooked: Babymetal would never work if the band consisted of three 15-year old American girls. Or Canadians, or Germans, or Egyptians, or what have you. The fact that they're from Japan in particular gives this entire thing a license to exist. And that's because Japanese culture is SO INSANELY FASCINATING!

8. The cute factor.

For real! Absolutely adorable. I could pinch their cute little cheeks all day long!Babymetal Choco

9. It's heavy metal you can listen to with your kids.

Rare is the band that's high-minded enough for adults to appreciate and simple enough for kids to enjoy. Call Babymetal the Seinfeld or Simpsons of heavy metal. Crank it up and headbang with the whole family!

10. Women in metal are always a good thing.

The subject of 'women in metal' is one that rears its head in the metal press once every few months or so, yet I've barely seen it mentioned in any coverage of Babymetal - it's just accepted and taken for granted that the band's members are girls. Which is a fabulous thing! Have we finally reached the point at which having women in a metal band is no big thing?

11. Babymetal can continue on forever.

In the tradition of all Japanese idol groups, when the current members of Babymetal grow too old (like, 18, I guess?) they'll be substituted out for younger, shining stars from the Sakura Gakuin idol group from which they came, ensuring Babymetal will never suffer the fate of growing old and stale like the rest of us mortals.

12. They're fun!

Metal these days is way too serious! It wasn't always, but somewhere along the way we lost the plot. There's plenty to analyze, rationalize, debate, pore over and get angry about when it comes to modern metal - and that can be totally fine - but sometimes it's OK to just get lost in the moment and enjoy something for what it is without letting cognition interpret how you feel about it in the process. Babymetal are all about fun: get sucked into their savory, delectable choruses, be entertained by their dance moves, become enraptured by the cult of their personalities and the absurdity of not only their existence but their widespread viability. Most metalheads these days hate fun.

"Let go, just enjoy!"

And speaking of "tr00 mutulheadz," an online petition has recently surfaced demanding that Swedish cult metallers Ghost cease to exist, as they are "destroying the real metal." As the piece reads, "We petition against Ghost of the heavy metal genre that continues to make albums and tour.

"Many people getting into metal think that they are the real deal and that we should forget the real bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, etc. They wish to destroy real metal with their carnival music nonsense. Seriously, is a song like 'If You Have Ghost' actually something that a real metalhead would listen to? They are not metal.

"People also make the erroneous claim that they are so directly inspired by King Diamond/Mercyful Fate, which is just wrong. They are, in fact, a watered-down version of BOC. We the people oppose Ghost continuing as a band, and they should be split up as soon as possible.

"We have petitioned to get the band Ghost to split up. We do not believe that Ghost should continue to make music. Ghost has done so much damage to real metal, so we petition that the band Ghost and their management be split up," the petition description concludes, fetching over 400 signatures thus far.

Any thoughts on the whole matter? Let us know in the comments.

154 comments sorted by best / new / date

    1. It something different: Yeah, but that doesn't make it good 2. Makes tr00 metalhead angry: Why would you wish to make someone angry? Sadistic bastard 3. Advanced music: Dragonforce is advanced, still lot's of people hate it. Rammstein is pretty simple, lots of people love it. 4.Excellent musicianship: The use the taltnt for something else 5. Theatrical Experience: Don't get me started on the list of bands that do the same 6. Dancing: In fact, metal was a genre based on the exact opposite, it was about the music, not dancing, the early NWOBHM was revolting against glam who did choreography! 7. JAPANESE: Go listen to Anatomia... 8.Cute Factor: SO. FUCKING. WHAT ? 9. Metal for kids: Go to almost any metal festival, you'll find kids with their parants, rocking out. LOTS of metal bands are for kids too. 10. Women in metal: They're kids.. (see 11) 11. They're young: Well, GHOST would be able to do the same. 12. They're fun: Devin Townsend, Kissin Dynamite, Twisted Sister, etc. look them up for a fun live-show.
    For rock and metal in general, not just Anatomia: X-Japan, Luna Sea, The GazettE, Mejibray, Malice Mizer, Dir En Grey, An Cafe, LM.C, Gackt, Kiryu, L'Arc~En~Ciel, Miyavi, hide with Spread Beaver, BUCK-TICK, Alice Nine, Versailles, Jupiter, Vamps (Not THAT Vamps), Diaura, just to name a few. Japan has a PHENOMENAL record for rock and metal music. I have nothing really against Babymetal, they don't matter a huge amount, but they compare only to the most mediocre of real J-rock bands.
    I can't believe you just listed japanese bands and didn't mention LOUDNESS or GALNERYUS
    Sorry for that, Visual Kei is really my scene, but yes, both of those bands are incredible too.
    Is this serious...? The music is alright but certainly nothing groundbreaking and I simply can't get over the singing and no it's not because I'm a close minded prick.
    link no1
    Groundbreaking? No, but it's still something relatively different compared to most new bands and they're the first band of this 'style' to get this much exposure. Plus, they're fun. They're one of the few metal bands on my iPod that are just fun. As for Ghost, it seems to me like you could have had pretty much any other band there as a comparison, Eg - They're not doing anything new and their music stays safe. I like them, but they're really nothing new.
    link no1
    Groundbreaking? No, but it's still something relatively different compared to most new bands and they're the first band of this 'style' to get this much exposure. Plus, they're fun. They're one of the few metal bands in my music library that are just fun.That could have pretty much been the entire of his reasoning, they're different and new. Their ethnicity, gender and actual amount of technicality in the music is irrelevant. As for Ghost, it seems to me like you could have had pretty much any other band there as a comparison, Eg - They're not doing anything new and their music stays safe. I like them, but they're really nothing new.
    and since when the music has to be "new" to make it worthwhile?? sometimes I think you guys take this shit too serious. The music just have to be music and if it's good that's what matters. I don't ****ing listen to music trying to find some new style on every band or artist...that's not enjoying the music.
    link no1
    I never said it has to be new to be worthwhile. I never even said Babymetal was more worthwhile than Ghost so please, get those facts of your right. Music does need 'new things' though otherwise it becomes stale and stagnant which with the internet being a place to saturate nearly any market pretty quickly, is something a lot of people want on a regular basis which simply doesn't happen, so it's great when something does come along and fantastic if it actually gets some recognition. As for me 'being one of those guys that takes it too serious', I like Iron Maiden, it's not as though I'm against listening to tried and tested styles that have been done to death. But please, do continue on telling me how I should be enjoying music. You seem to be an expert in the field and I would like you to be my Sensai.
    I don't care for it, at all... but more power to the people that like it. Furthermore, the way he called out the metal community was one of the few things that need to be done with the people claiming, "rock and metal has no boundaries, its for outsiders, its about not conforming," yet if you do not conform to a tee with their idea of how a metal band sounds, and looks, they completely, utterly, and intolerably attack that bands integrity, do everything they can to keep it off of radio, and tear them town until they don't have a shot at a career anymore. The same ones holding those of us who actually live by the non-conforming standards DOWN, and also holding the entire GENRE of ROCK to the ****ing floor. Elitist swine.
    It kind of is groundbreaking. When have you seen anything like this before. It's also fun, and there's the whole fact that it escapes the boredom that has come to be since a lot of metal has gotten stale. Yeah, there's still good stuff out there. . . like Babymetal.
    I'm curious if the three singers are writing most of this though, or the band is putting a ton of work into this too. The musicianship by the band is very good and I'm impressed by it. But they're kinda pushed to the side by the singers. It can see how it can be an exciting live experience but I'm curious how they're funding this, I could just imagine the kind of performance anyone could put on with the amount of money needed to do this...
    They'll be forgotten about soon enough, I doubt ghost will
    Of course. They have their similarities in that they both have images and music that mesh together to create a perfect theatrical and musical experience. The difference is, Ghost have something that will last, it's far more creative, Babymetal on the other hand? It has a shelf time limit until the novelty of mixing pop with death metal wears off. Which is probably why everything's gone mad on trying to promote them.
    Ghost will be forgotten soon too, because they didn't do anything new or groundbreaking either.
    JD Close
    Papa Emeritus II is a few months from being replaced. It'll still be Tobias, but they'll change their looks and add to the story a bit. Opus Eponymous said there would be three. Also, has anyone seen a live Ghost show? They're incredibly theatrical. I've always called Ghost a rock band, and I have no problem with them not being heavy enough.
    Pick 'n' Finger
    Yes I saw them live (In Oberhausen, Germany along with In Flames, Trivium and two other bands). Papa Emeritus is standing in one place and occasionally raises his hands as if he wanted to bless the audience. The Nameless ghouls won't move more than in a radius of 2 meters but at least they are moving at all. Theatrical? More like ridiculous.
    KerryKing01 please troll the trolls, troll
    KerryKing01's dead, he's locked in my basement! Ha-ha!
    Hey, media, how about you stop trying to shove Babymetal down our throats? It f*cking sucks, it has the same creative merits as a metal/pop mashup on YouTube. If you like it, fine, enjoy what you want, but don't act like it's ground breaking and new.
    "Different" doesn't always mean it's good... I seriously hope this is just a really bad joke.
    "The Best Thing Happened to Metal in Decade" . . . that's a bold statement. I'm pretty sure Black Sabbath reformed in 2011.
    Okay, I'm not a huge fan of Ghost, but seriously?? A petition?? since when can we decide who should and who should not make music?? It's freaking retarded...
    Want to know the difference between Baby Metal and every other metal band to use J-pop in their music? Baby Metal have "Kawaii Girls" as the lead singers. Not that they're bad, but they arent doing anything new, they most certainly arent the best thing to happen to metal in 10 years, its a gimmick, nothing more, nothing less.
    When you look past the gimmick, Babymetal are awful.
    Even with the gimmick they're awful. There's a number of idol/metal hybrid groups that do it much better. And yeah Ghost also suck, seeing them open for Opeth was one of the few times I've nearly fallen asleep at a concert.
    I agree. And they are definitely not metal. its practicaly pop music. ( I like one song though)
    Neither band is helping or destroying the metal scene... Its just a matter of do you like the music or not... I'd say its just immature to blame a band for "destroying metal" when its perfectly fine...
    I REALLY like the instrumentals actually. But holy shit I REALLY FUCKING HATE their singing.
    Reposting list articles from MetalSucks for content. Keep up the quality journalism, UG.
    The main reason why they're not metal ? They're a goddamn casting band with 15 year olds. (I don't have a problem with young artists, its just the combination..)
    I saw both Babymetal and Ghost the other week at Sonisphere festival, and think both are great, and fun!
    I might be the only one with this opinion but babymetal kick serious arse! I love metallica, iron maiden etc. don't get me wrong but none of those bands seem to show as much energy and theatrics as babymetal (I am aware of metallica's stage but the coil thing is ridiculous).
    I really adore both bands! (Ghost more so) I have been a fan a Jrock since early grade school and metal in general pretty much all of my life. I don't see why we have to constantly fight or bicker about the definitions of "REAL METAL" & so forth. "Black Sabbath is real metal! Judas Priest is THE ONLY WAY and all you other metal lovers are wrong!" Yes they may have been the first of their kind and pioneers of a genre but they are getting older and time must move forward thus, new types of metal and music in general will appear. Stop living in the past and embrace the present. Its ok to live, breath, and bleed Judas Priest but try to open your ears to other bands. Also stop trying to place your views on EVERYONE ELSE ! So you don;t like Ghost or Babymetal MOVE ON ! You sound like a bunch of children...
    Both are terrible, and neither are anything close to metal. Both bands are quite the opposite of what metal is, or should be.
    Baby Joel
    Also, babymetal is just as unoriginal and gimmicky as Ghost. If babymetal weren't made by kids, it would just be labelled as more generic j-metal. There's nothing wrong with a gimmick, but when you put one group over another, because of a gimmick, you need to sort yourself out.
    This whole nonsense about 'the next big thing' needs to stop. It doesn't exist and it hasn't for years.
    LOL, I'm guessing Ghost's petition is a troll, but if true, the only thing he is doing is giving more publicity to the band since webzines are posting these news everywhere.
    I don't mind these girls dancing all around and doing whatever they want. Same for the producers and whoever work on this. I listened to a few songs from Babymetal and calling it the best thing that happened to metal in a decade is probably the dumbest thing one can say. If you take away the Japanese girls and put women (I don't believe 12 years old are women, but I don't know what 12 years old do in Japan, so I'll let it pass) or man and all the fame is lost. This "band", if you can call it that, is pure gimmick.
    I like babymetal. It's interesting. The riffs are catchy and I don't mind the vocalists though I could see why others would hate it.
    I don't think babymetal are shit, even though I don't like them, but I just think that they don't have to be taken too seriously. And this, gawd, this is too much. Making a list of 12 reasons why they rock and opposing so much to another band, Ghost, is so ****ed up.
    The comment section so far,just keeps provin fact number 2 its true....
    No, "Fact" number 2 is a pathetic strawman argument. Nothing more. I don't know who this Vince Neilstein is, but he needs to get his head out of his arse and write something more intelligently thought out.
    Basically my favourite "trick": pretend you're writing something really "unpopular" and "controversial" and if anyone disagrees, in no matter how clever or well-argumented way, you just shout "UR BUTHURT!!!11 HURR DURR".
    Babymetal brings nothing new to the table, and to consider them groundbreaking in any way is a unwarranted. This group is doing what every major record label in the US are doing, taking Hard Rock groups, commercializing them, and then labeling them Metal to make kids go out and buy their shirts at Hot Topic. Babymetal is missing the most important aspect in Metal: The Spirit. (PS, this is probably the most fanboy article I've read in a long time, it's insane the lack of professionalism in the story.)
    Not a fan, but how many other metal bands out there are fronted by three young Japanese girls? So yeah, I'd say they are bringing something new to the table.
    Sigh, all I was doing was stating that they are, to the best of my knowledge the first metal band to have three young Japanese girls singing for them. I didn't say I liked them at all, just stating a fact... Wow...
    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion... though for many cases, it's best not to voice that opinion. I think this is one of them
    As a guitar player I have to disagree with the Ghost-hate comments. This shit is plenty creative, instrumentally, and tons of fun to play. This is classic-rock style influenced by the likes of Black Sabbath themselves....
    I don't like the band Ghost and never got the hype behind them. Give me a new Testament or Judas Priest record and I'll show you that metal is still alive and doing perfectly fine without Japanese girls or weirdos dressing as the pope.
    Women in metal? so like 12 year olds or how old they are counts as women in japan?
    I don't personally enjoy Babymetal OR Ghost. But both groups kinda makes me happy. I like things that have a distinct personality. There'll always be people whining about everything.
    What the **** is this shit???!!!The actual musicians in the background are pretty good and I can understand them being huge, but get those kids of the dam stage. We're all in respective bands trying to be the best we can and this shit is the next big thing in metal? Give me a ****ing break please!
    An assembly line-made musical act that throws away it's members once they get to "old ad not cute"(like, 20) like a retarded rich kid and a tiger cub, is the exact polar opposite of everything metal stands for. If anything, introducing this kind of artistic cancer will only have negative reprecussions. If anything, people following in Babymetal's example will RUIN metal, seeing as Japan is already formulating a bunch of copycat bands (although metalheads aren't that dumb, so I don't think it will go over well).