One of metal’s greatest marmite bands, Babymetal, have released a new single, somewhat out of the blue. This song is called Starlight and its, well, its another Babymetal song.
Babymetal pretty much flew in from Japan and took the West by storm. They went from being unknown to one of the most covered and talked about band in the space of a few short years. They have been on tour with the likes of Judas Priest, Korn and Stone Sour, played near the top of multiple festivals including the UK’s Download festival. Hell, they have even appeared on the popular US television chat show, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. With two albums under their belt, Babymetal and Metal Resistance, they have promised a change in their “mythology” with a new, darker sound.
Apparently their exploration of the concept of light is done with the first two albums and they are moving towards darkness. That was the same spiel for Distortion but I really didn’t see the difference. Perhaps it will show more on Starlight?
Starlight follows their recent single release, Distortion. You can read our thoughts on that one here. Fair to say I am not overly keen on the band though they are big. They are popular. I just don’t really see why. Generic music, cheesy lyrics, a band rolled off a manufacturing line by a “talent company” called Amuse Inc. Basically Babymetal, to me, stand for everything I grew up believing to be wrong in music. The reason I gravitated away from mainstream and popular culture towards metal. Having said that, you never know when or if a song is going to click so let’s try Starlight out and see.
Starlight is a short song, at just over 3 and a half minutes in length. We start with a bit of synth and “na, na, na” vocals before the guitars and drums kick in a bit.. It is quite a catchy start actually. A little guitar riff takes over as the vocals come in and start grating almost instantly. A djent like riff operates in the background and there are some decent blasts of drums and rolls and the like. It isn’t that the girls can’t sing, they can. They have great voices but I find that they clash with the more metallic instruments and sound like a pop band doing a metal cover.
A little burst of unclean vocals is welcome relief and while I actually quite like the main riff, too often it fades away into synth for me to ever really get into it. I am aware that the band had a terrible tragedy to work through when their guitarist, Mikio Fujioka died in a fall at just 36 years old. As a tribute to him, it is hard to say anything too bad about this song. It is a nice tribute, the ethereal synth sections alongside the title Starlight kind of give the impression of him floating to heaven as starlight and that is nice.
As often happens in metal, tragedy can lead to a darkening of the next few songs and you do get a sense of that here. It does feel darker and more emotional as Babymetal deal with a terrible and serious topic instead of asking for “more chocolate” or something stupid.
For it’s meaning, respect, and I can appreciate it a bit but we are hear to review songs based on their quality too and musically, it is just okay. A decent riff and solid drums but for me there is too much synth. Try as I might, I just don’t find their voices that appealing either. I am sure for fans of the band though, this song is going to be intensely important to them, being written on such a subject. I am sure they will love it, and so they should. For non fans though, it is just another Babymetal song. A little darker, more emotional, but not going to change your mind about them.
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Check it out on YouTube, here. You can also grab it on all the usual streaming platforms, like Apple Music and Spotify, now. Keep up to date with news from the band at their website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Starlight by Babymetal
- The Final Score - 4/104/10