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Hanabie’s colourful, genre-mashing Reborn Superstar! has confirmed the arrival of Japan’s next great crossover metal stars

Mixing a tongue-in-cheek kawaii image with pummelling metalcore, propulsive edm and hyper-pop, Hanabie’s new album is unlike anything else you’ll hear this year



The surge of all-girl metal bands coming out of East and Southeast Asia in recent years has been thrilling to watch, and it clearly isn’t stopping any time soon. Japan’s Hanabie are such a band, and on second album Reborn Superstar! they delve further
into exploring their ‘Harajuku-core’ sound.

Blending bouncy, hyperactive J-pop with the melody and brutality of late-2000s metalcore (think Enter Shikari fronted by Babymetal), they also bring
a tongue-in-cheek kawaii image. But unlike their peers in Babymetal with their flawless choreography and uber-polished production, Hanabie are, endearingly, a little rougher around the edges. Founding member and guitarist Matsuri writes all of their songs, while singer Yukina can emit some truly impressive and disgusting (in the best way) screams, as on the thunderous Neet Game and single Run Away.

Amid the toy-like sound effects and the cartoonish squeals, there’s a hell of a lot going on here, from the dizzyingly heavy guitar chugs on Pardon Me, I Have To Go Now to the synth-heavy Be The GAL ~ Early Summer ver. ~ – at times reminiscent of Crossfaith, but more wackadoodle. It’s not an understatement to say that the record can often border on downright cacophonous.

Despite that, the songs are always anchored in infectiously catchy melodies and infinitely mosh-able rhythms. Warning! swings violently between showcasing the quartet’s youthful sweetness with a starkly contrasting harshness to great effect. It’s one of the album’s most enjoyable tracks, with a kitsch spoken-word section in the middle and an irresistible refrain of ‘Warning! Warning! Warning!’.

Hanabie have got ambition and talent in spades, and it shows on Reborn Superstar! –a multifaceted and massive record that deserves to make them an international sensation.

FOR FANS OF: Crossfaith, Babymetal, Enter Shikari