Anyone who has followed BABYMETAL for more than one minute knows that the one thing they love more than coming up with crazy new merch is posting cryptic tweets. Yesterday, they dropped a doozy:
Sunday, October 10th, 2021…
Together with all 10 episodes of METAL RESISTANCE coming to a close,
the 10-year legend will be sealed from the world.
Until that seal is broken, BABYMETAL will disappear from our sight.
Time is running out.
There is no eternity in God’s descent.
— BABYMETAL (@BABYMETAL_JAPAN) August 3, 2021
On the surface, this message seems to imply that, following the conclusion of their ten-year anniversary activities (on 10/10 no less), BABYMETAL will be taking a break until further notice. The announcement links to a timeline on their website outlining several TBA slots in the calendar between now and October 10th, and a final Stairway to “LIVING LEGEND’’ entry with nothing scheduled beyond.
Anyone who has followed BABYMETAL for more than two minutes knows that trying to interpret their arcane missives is an exercise in futility (primarily because KOBAMETAL regularly scans the entirety of global social media and then does the exact opposite of whatever BABYMETAL fans are anticipating). Still, this hasn’t stopped the rampant speculation.
My favorite theory so far was posited over on the venerable r/BABYMETAL making the connection that “Living Legend” was the name of the final album of Seikima-II. Since their subsequent disbandment in 1999, these progenitors of visual kei re-unite occasionally while their frontman, Demon Kakka, continues to perform as a solo act.
Whether or not yesterday’s announcement portends an extended hiatus, future reunion tours and the launch of SU-METAL’s solo career, it does seem that BABYMETAL’s three Avengers at least have now all moved on to other projects. Avenger Riho is pursuing a career as a soloist while Kano is a member of fellow Amuse unit @onefive. The final active Avenger, Momoko, who performed at all 10 BABYMETAL BUDOKAN shows, just joined Produce48-style reality show, Girls Planet 999 to compete for a spot in a K-Pop group.
For my part, I am doubtful that any BABYMETAL hiatus, while well-deserved, will last too terribly long. For the duration of the tenth anniversary year, while they generated dozens of Blu Rays, Vinyls, NFTs, tractor trailers full of merch and ten versions of a greatest hits album, one thing was surprisingly absent: new music. BABYMETAL has not put out a single new song since METAL GALAXY, almost two years ago. I can’t help but think that KOBAMETAL is sitting on a hoard of banging new tracks that are screaming to be released.
In the meantime, I honestly don’t understand all of the confusion, fear and doubt being voiced over yesterday’s ambiguous announcement. The meaning is obvious: there are eight lines to the tweet and eight letters in “YUIMETAL” ; “Time is running out” refers to her absence; Yui’s coming back!