I found out about this group last year while researching for the unreleased Paul's Top 100 Songs of 2014. In my humble opinion, Japan's music scene is something not even the Japanese take seriously. I may be completely off-base with that opinion paired with my extremely limited understanding of the scene. They focus on what they call "Idol" music which is a highly quantified mix of youth, attractiveness, with an interesting past (whether manufactured or not). It's similar to American boy-bands and the American Idol process. It's been proven to make unlimited money for the companies who create them and wildly popular in that area.
BabyMetal is an innovative "Idol" project. The memebers Su-Metal, YumiMetal, and MoaMetal come from a heavy metal galaxy far, far, away to bring a "new style of heavy metal" to our planet. Pretty nice of them, I think.
BabyMetal is what it is; a gimmick slathered Japanese school-girl metal band but they are either an incredibly lucky mix of innovation and talent or marketing genius. It's very hard to tell. I was drawn into the unique idea of these cute little Japanese girls playing metal and when I heard "Gimme Chocolate" I said to myself - wow this isn't half bad. The backup band does most of the heavy lifting in this band bringing a legit technically brutal soundtrack to this over-the-top performance of these 3 girls. I listened to more of thier tracks like "HeadBangya!" (about a magic neck corset from space which gives you awesome head-banging skills) and "Metigsune" and I quickly became a real fan. Yes, a legit fan, for what they do.
The band as a whole is entertaining. That's what a good act is to me. If you're not going to inspire feelings through deep meaningful lyrics or pioneer new territory in a genre; you need to entertain. That's what BabyMetal is - entertainment.
Their viral success went from pointing and laughing at the novelty or the band turned into adulation and respect. BabyMetal's cult success earned them curious ears from metal legends Metallica who saw them while on tour in Japan and helped them further their exposure by doing a trailer for their IMAX movie. Now BabyMetal plays every major metal festival in existence. They've played with Slipknot, Metallica, Muse, Kiss, Faith No More, and are currently on a world tour.
It's easy to de-legitimatize a band like this as a fad or a gimmick and it wouldn't be unfair to say that but what you can't discount is the pure energy in BabyMetal's music and a true desire to entertain.