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Single Review: BABYMETAL – “Distortion”

The last few months must have been exhausting for BABYMETAL manager “Koba-Metal” and the whole team behind the project. On all social media, BABYMETAL fans have been demanding new material from the band. And maybe the PR methods of Koba and Co. haven’t been very wise, either. BABYMETAL fans have been getting lots of promising teasers and cryptic images via the band’s official accounts, but the announcements these PR tricks led to were dissappointing for most of the fans. Now, after announcing the founding of the brand new label Babymetal Records, the upcoming release of a graphic novel and the launch of the clothing brand BMD Fox Apparel, the fans finally got what they were expecting this whole time. New music.

“Distortion” is the title of the surprise single that was released this Monday morning on the band’s official YouTube channel and on all of the usual digital platforms to kick off their upcoming world tour. The song is accompanied by a well-produced and visually impressive video that probably isn’t unsignificant in regards to what we can expect from the band in the future. Since there have been no further anouncements or any information on a new album, the song and the video is all we have right now to base our speculations about a new album on. So, let’s get into it.

One of the cryptic posts from BABYMETAL’s facebook page.

Right from the beginning, “Distortion” sounds and looks a lot like an anime opening. Visually, we are introduced to a dystopian landscape and seven superhero-esque characters who use their powers to fight giant stone creatures. The video might hint at the plot of the upcoming graphic novel Apocrypha or maybe even suggest the idea of a concept album about a group of seven super-human characters. Could that be what the cryptic posts on BABYMETAL’s social media accounts have been hinting at?

The song itself is upbeat and energetic right off the bat, and doesn’t really slow down at any point. Stylistically, “Distortion” combines metalcore-ish riffs and double-bass heavy drumming with electronic beats and lead singer Suzuka Nakamoto’s melodic vocals into a catchy and kind of weird piece of music that sounds very different from what BABYMETAL have released so far, but still feels 100% like BABYMETAL. And actually, that’s what the project has been all about since the beginning – creating surprising, more or less uncategorizable music that is one thing more than anything else – fun. And if you ask me, they succeeded once again. Once you get used to the strange “Can’t stop the power” verses, the rest of the song really is much more accessible, with a very nice melodic chorus and heavy guitar riffs. All in all, the song really feels more like a teaser than anything else, given its short playing time and abrupt ending, but that seems to be the point, after all.

“Distortion” took its time to really grow on me, but now I’m really liking it a lot. Whenever we are going to get  a full new BAYMETAL album, this song got me hooked and I’m excited for whatever they might come up with next.

You can stream or download “Distortion” here.

Check out BABYMETAL’s social media accounts as well:

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