Mar 072014

Our fellow blogger Full Metal Attorney published a new post on his site today entitled, in intentional Buzzfeed-speak, “7 Metal Bands That Will Blow Your Mind”. He began it this way:

I’ve been reading about Babymetal since No Clean Singing first covered them two years ago. Now I’m starting to read about them everywhere, and it’s blowing the minds of regular people. Even my six-year-old son–who has grown up completely immersed in pop music and extreme metal–had a “WTF?” look on his face: “Why are those girls there?” You’re right, son, it doesn’t make any sense.

It hadn’t occurred to me that Babymetal would be so interesting to non-metalheads (outside of J-pop fans, anyway). So I started thinking: What else might blow the mind of a normal person? Metalheads, this list isn’t really for you: Share it with your friends.

And he then proceeded to provide a list — a list of bands who in very different ways have combined musical elements with “mainstream appeal” (my words) and elements more familiar to metalheads. The idea struck me as one that might generate some discussion here at NCS.

So, no, this isn’t yet another NCS post about Babymetal (because they’re even getting coverage from the likes of USA Today as well as currently holding down a spot on iTunes Top 10 Rock Albums chart in 7 countries — the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan and Sweden). Those of you who think Babymetal are the greatest threat to our way of life since the fluoridation of water can relax.

Here’s Full Metal Attorney’s list (he has sample songs from each band at his site.) I think you’ll get the idea of the theme, and if you’ve got bands who would belong on such a list, please speak up in the Comments.

Theatre of Tragedy: “Sticking with the synthpop theme of Babymetal for a moment, take Norway’s Theatre of Tragedy. Their albums Musique and Assembly sound like Rammstein teamed up with Madonna. What’s not to love about that?”

Apocalyptica: “A video was going around not too long ago, showing two men playing AC/DC on the cello, and, again, this was blowing people’s minds. Never mind that Finland’s Apocalyptica started covering Metallica almost 20 years ago, and have gone on to some commercial success with original material.”

Botanist: “Speaking of non-traditional instruments in metal, Botanist uses drums and hammered dulcimer to make some of the wildest and most unnerving black metal out there.”

Korpiklaani: “There is a genre called folk metal. They play metal with the added touch of accordions, bagpipes, flutes, violins, and all other manner of things. I sometimes forget how weird that is, and the way Korpiklaani combines metal with traditional Finnish music is too fun to ignore.”

Corrupted: “Going back to Japan with the last three, because Japan is crazy, there’s Corrupted. This band is the opposite of Babymetal in every way. No band photos are out there, they don’t do anything with the press, and their music is so slow I bet none of you will listen to this whole song. Also, a lot of their lyrics are in Spanish for no reason.”

Boris: “Boris isn’t exactly weird, per se. What makes them weird is that, even though they’re the same three people, you never know what band you’re going to get. Stoner rock? Drone? Dreampop? Ambient?”

Sigh: “Ah, Sigh. Japan’s biggest black metal export also dabbles in crazy. Their latest albumcombines “black metal, power metal, sexy jazz, circus music, Middle Eastern folk, French folk, dubstep, and a chill Latin jam.” Also, they have a saxophonist who dresses like a dominatrix and holds down a day job in a laboratory (she has a PhD).”


  1. He probably should have had Deafheaven on there. It’s post-whatever and hipster enough to appeal to a wider audience than say… Botanist?

    • Fuck hipsters. I wrote this for normals! And not necessarily to appeal to them, but to make them say, “Wow, that’s weird.”

      • Oh, I suppose I misunderstood. I thought it was a list of music that has crossover appeal to mainstream listeners. If it’s weird you’re going for, Botanist definitely does the trick.

    • Yeah, other than Apocalyptica, I don’t see most of these bands (I admit I’m not familiar with Theater of Tragedy) having mainstream appeal. Most of them don’t even have metal-mainstream appeal. I think it’s pretty much extremists like, well, NCS readers, that find them appealing.

      • ToT started out as good ol’ fashion gothic metal back in the day with proper “beauty and the beast” vocals (mid 90’s), long before the generic female frontet bands such as Epica / Within Temptation, but ended up as goth-pop. The Stavanger, Norway -scene also counted acts such as Sins of Thy Beloveth and Tristania. They all went pop (in my opinion). Try Perhaps you like it, perhaps you hate it.

  2. In this Corrupted video you can klick the gear and speed up the track:
    Thus making it sound “normal” 🙂

  3. If the world was just, Baroness would be chart-toppers.

    • If the world was just… I’d have killed you all a long time ago.

      • You killed us all 15 years ago, but then something in your brain snapped and you forgot about it all. You’ve been living in your head ever since, as if none of it happened. This is your subconscious trying to bring you back to reality. Time to awaken into the post-apocalyptic world you have created. Open your eyes to the destruction…

    • Now THERE is a perfect example of a band that you would think would have enormous mainstream appeal, yet doesn’t. Present day “The Hunter” era Mastodon is another one.

      • Agreed. Also, Junius. My mom likes their new EP, which gives me hope about their future, if put in the right hands.

  4. I think Whourkr is kinda weird. I have played it to some of my friends who are into metal and even they went “wtf”. Imagine what the “normal” people said.

  5. What about Artists Are Idiots, with their duck quack vocals?
    I’m pretty sure that would qualify as weird.

  6. i don’t think Babymetal is bad at all, just not my thing, really. if people love them, metalheads or pop fans, more power to them.

  7. I still have not figured out why some people in the metal community feel so threatened by BabyMetal. I do not classify myself as a ‘metal head’, more an aged punk/goth. I found Babymetal early this year, was hooked and actually saw them live with *huge groan* Lady Gaga. I’ve seen a lot of bands in the last 40 years, as I started going to shows when I was 13. I’ve seen early greats like early Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Floyd, etc. And I saw some of the worst shit to hit the word, mostly gg allin. So I”m asking you all, why do some metalheads feel so threatened by BabyMetal? I am serious and would like some intelligent answers, if possible

    • I for one don’t feel threatened by them — I like them (and I think most of our other writers do, too), which is one reason we’ve written about them so often at this site. I also think it’s kind of cool that they’re exposing more people to metal.

      I’m also not sure very many other metalheads feel threatened. I think the feeling is more one of disdain. And the reason for that? My guess is that it’s because unlike most metal bands they didn’t start in the underground and pull themselves up out of it, to the point of their current celebrity, through their own blood, sweat, and tears. They were a calculated J-Pop creation, with a twist (some would call it a gimmick).

      • I would add that those that do feel threatened are likely of the metal elitist ilk. The threat lies in the idea that BabyMetal are exposing their much beloved genre to the unworthy, the evil mainstream pop fanatics. It is a heretical revolt against the trve metal and all that it stands for, a stain on the robes of those worshiping at the altar to the gods of the world’s greatest and most extreme music. All such things (as well as all sub-genres ending in -core) must be destroyed in order to maintain the purity of metal! Of course, I could be way off…

        Generally, I just find them mildly entertaining and tend to forget all about them until they pop up on the ol’ interwebs again.

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