Following the departure of founding member Yuimetal last year, the two-piece Japanese metal outfit Babymetal have returned with their third full-length album Metal Galaxy.
Babymetal do what they do best on openers Future Metal and Da Da Dance. Pulverising synth sounds, thunderous drumming and frantic keyboard arpeggios create a manic bubble gum-pop and power-metal hybrid explosion.
But from here, the duo really start to experiment with styles – with mixed results.
Elevator Girl and Night Night Burn throw in some jazz piano breakdowns underneath old-skool pop-punk vocals. Meanwhile, In The Name Of and Pa Pa Ya merge gothic choirs and doomsday-sounding church bells with Cuban-inspired reggaeton beats.
But the group save the worst for back-to-back tracks Shanti Shanti Shanti and Oh Majinai, an accordion-heavy sea shanty which could only really be described as pirate-folk-metal.
Saving graces include Kagerou and Starlight, while ultra-heavy metal closer Arkadia provides a dramatic ending.
All in all, Babymetal will really test your mettle with this one.