From Babymetal to Dir En Grey and beyond
Louis Kerry, Andrew Trendell

13:39 7th July 2015

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Babymetal reign of world domination continues to sweep the globe, with their menacing blend of hard rock, pop, idol fantasy and mindmelting stage theatrics brainwashing nation after nation. This weekend sees the Hyper Japan festival take to the O2 in London, so we figured now is a great chance to celebrate the coolest and best of those Japanese metal bands that you so desparately need in your life. 

Unknown to most, Japanese acts have a huge history with the metal genre and often inspire bands across the pond. 2014 however, looks like it might just be the most prominent time in Japanese metal history. Producing a whole load of new metal bands, it's the perfect time for them to cross the shores announcing themselves to the rest of the metal world. 

Here's 11 of the most insane, bat-shit mental Japanese metal bands you need to check out

  • Crossfaith: Already a favourite on the UK touring scene due to their high octane live show, Crossfaith's Japanese metalcore meets electronica has seen them destroy the main stage at Download Festival and on the Kerrang tour with Limp Bizkit.

  • Dazzle Vision: If you found Babymetal a little freaky, you'll be scared shitless by Dazzle Vision. Female vocalist Maiko ranges from melodic J-Pop to unbelievable death metal growls.

  • Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas: Catchy as hell! With ferocious screams, breakdowns and keyboard solos in just the right places, the japanese dance metal band have all the makings to be huge.

  • Dir En Grey: Getting close to veteran status of the Japanese metal circuit, the experimental metal band have headlined the prestigious Tokyo Dome on two different occasions.

  • Man With a Mission: Yep, they dress as wolves. And nope, they never take them off. Their alternative take on Nu-metal makes us wonder whether it's Linkin Park hiding under those masks.

  • Maximum The Hormone: Probably the most ridiculous band to ever come out of the Japanese metal scene. The band have enjoyed worldwide success with their bizarre take on speed metal while throwing out a huge chorus every now then.

  • Sand: The Japanese hardcore band are unintentionally hilarious. With their badly translated English and Warriors themed clothing, the band won't be competing with Madball any time soon, but with an Upcoming US tour there's certainly some love for Sand.

  • Doll$Boxx - Probably the most colourful J-pop meets metal band. The kawaii group prove that looks can be deceiving as they don't hold back on going all out bonkers with their Japanese metal anthems.

  • My First Story: With millions of YouTube views, a knack for a decent chorus and a mainstream take on metal, My First Story have a huge career ahead of them.

  • Totalfat - Going down the more punk/speed metal root, Totalfat are Japan's answer to NOFX with added melody. We can only presume they're singing about skateboarding, getting wasted and eating pizza.

  • Babymetal: Slowly but surely taking over the entire world with their j-pop meets metal sound, Babymetal have scored millions of YouTube views, a triumphant performance at Sonisphere Festival 2014, Brixton Academy and a surprise appearance with Dragonforce at Download - not to mention a a tour with Lady GaGa. Don't let the young faces put you off, their live performances have to be seen to be believed. You will be converted. Miss them at Reading & Leeds at your peril.

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Photo: Press