Are Baybmetal and Unlocking the Truth the future of metal, or just novelty acts that will be forgotten by this time next year? They’re definitely two of the biggest stories of the year, not just in metal, but beyond. Babymetal are a full-on sensation, and since we first mentioned them a year ago in passing, they’ve gone from headlining arenas in their native land of Japan to opening for Lady Gaga and playing a near-sold-out show at New York’s 3,000-capacity Hammerstein Ballroom. While their “metal” authenticity has been called into question since the three girls had never heard metal before being assembled, they’re nothing less than a phenomenon, and it seems like the album will finally get a proper US release next year.
Also in the news was pre-pubescent Brooklyn trio Unlocking the Truth. The band, which we also wrote about for the first time in 2013, went from playing subways in Manhattan to playing at Coachella. And when they allegedly got signed to Sony for as much as $1.7 million, they’re unlikely to make that much money unless they write the next Taylor Swift album. In fact, they have yet to release any music, even though they did play some Warped Tour dates and appear on the Colbert Report.
Both Unlocking the Truth and Babymetal are being spotlighted in this list not because both bands have teenagers in them, although that’s part of it. What they are doing is transcending the metal genre and getting mainstream press to cover metal in a way that’s not condescending. It’s lazy journalism, but many mainstream publications when covering metal tend to trot out boring cliches. Both of these bands have stories that are interesting enough on their own that there’s no way to really condescend. And if there’s one or two kids Unlocking the Truth or Babymetal’s age that decide to pick up a guitar or another metal album or two, then it’s just ultimately helping the metal cause, regardless of whether these bands are just a passing fad or just at the very beginning of their careers.
[photo via Gonzo666]