Barbatos_Straight Metal WarJapan’s Barbatos is apparently a side project of Yasuyuki, vocalist/bassist for punk-metal combo Abigail. While the two bands are similar to the point of redundancy, Barbatos has been far less prolific, releasing only four full-lengths (and a bunch of 7″ splits) during a 15-year career. Straight Metal War is their first LP in nearly a decade, and it’s on Hell’s Headbangers — a label whose resistance to modernity is rivaled only by the Amish — so you KNOW it’s gonna be some old-school shit.

Besides Abigail, the other obvious comparison is Metalucifer, with whom Barbatos share both a home country and a love of true heavy metal. However, Barbatos also occasionally has lyrics about sluts (yay for diversity). Despite the sloppy-yet-competent musical performance, the obvious focal point is Yasuyuki. To be blunt, the man sounds like an Asian version of Olaf from Clerks, and/or someone doing extremely drunk karaoke. In addition, his lyrics are some of the most over-the-top, insane butchery of the English language I’ve ever seen.

While Barbatos couldn’t be any more blatant about their love of the old school, the stylistic execution is inconsistent at best. “Straight Metal War” bursts from the speakers like something off of Show No Mercy, holding down a classic thrash tempo while punctuating every verse with a completely insane guitar solo. On the other hand, “Heavy Metal Forces 3” and “World War 3” sound like long-lost early-80’s Motley Crue outtakes played at the wrong RPM. “Seven Teen” (sic) attempts a melodic, almost pop-punk approach, but in this context Yasuyuki’s never-on-key vocals don’t really work.

The obvious highlight, as far as I’m concerned, is easily “Fly To the Sexual World.” This is that one track where everything — sex-obsessed lyrics, slop-thrash riffs, ludicrous guitar solos — finally comes together to create a goddamn masterpiece. Words fail me, so I’ll let the music do the talking below.

barbatos

The sexy times continue with “Rockin’ Metal Sluts” and “Goodbye High School Girls” (it’s unclear whether Yasuyuki is leaving the high school girls, or vice versa). I can’t think of any “real” metal bands that sang about sex much, other than perhaps Sarcofago, so at least the approach is somewhat novel. And if that stuff seems icky to you, there are still plenty of songs about metal and Satan.

Interestingly, Barbatos currently has SIX different active lineups in six different countries, with Yasuyuki being the only common link amongst them. The idea of having various territories covered by local musicians, merely awaiting the arrival of one guy carrying a microphone, is actually kind of brilliant, and probably cuts down on travel expenses and potential visa hassles. That said, I have no idea which of these people, if any, performed on this album.

I don’t even know how to rate Straight Metal War. It drunkenly stumbles across the line between “really fun” and “pure shit,” resulting in something that’s way more enjoyable than it has any right to be. I was about to write something about “lack of repeat value,” and then realized that I’ve listened to it five times this morning. If you like your heavy metal raw, fast, and incorrect both politically and grammatically, perhaps you should fly to the sexual world with Barbatos [Will there be meal service on that flight?Steel Druhm].


Rating: 1.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Hell’s Headbangers
Websites: Facebook.com/Barbatos
Release Dates: Out Worldwide: 08.07.2015

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  • Dr. A.N. Grier

    Not gonna lie… I’ve been waiting for this.

  • Grymm

    There needs to be more flights to the sexual world. Goddamnit, Southwest Airlines, WHY ARE YOU NOT ONTO THIS?!!!?!

    • Dr_Fisting

      Sounds more like something JetBlue would offer, I think.

      • Dr. Scorpion

        Are dentists really doctors?

        • Dr_Fisting

          Yes. Or at least they tell themselves that so they can sleep at night.

          • Dr. Scorpion

            Are you a dentist?

          • Dr_Fisting

            My practice is a groundbreaking hybrid of dentistry and proctology.

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            You are the doctor that all doctors aspire to be.

          • Ass to Mouth M.D.?

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            That’s the one!

          • Alexandre Barata

            So huge work with Sasha Grey?

          • Dr. Scorpion

            ATMMD

          • Dr. Scorpion

            Why did your last album have such a low Dr score? :P

          • Dr_Fisting

            Because I’m a dental proctologist, not a goddamn mastering engineer.

          • Dr. Scorpion

            Do you like dream theater ?

          • Dr_Fisting

            I put things up people’s butts for a living. Of course I like Dream Theater.

          • Dr. Scorpion

            I think Grymm is better.

          • Dr_Fisting

            I do too.

          • Dr. Scorpion

            Is it possible to have five canines ?

          • Dr. Scorpion

            Tell me when i get on your nerves.

          • Dr. Scorpion

            Do you think of ever becoming a real doctor ?

          • Dr_Fisting

            How do you know I’m not?

          • Dr. Scorpion

            You said you were a dentist :P

          • Dr. Scorpion

            This is the last one.

          • Dr. Scorpion

            I lied :P

          • Dr. Scorpion

            I am Grymm

          • Dr. Scorpion

            I lied again. Grymm is not me.

          • Dr. Scorpion

            I always thought you were a dentist.

  • Martin Knap

    no idea how to rate this rating.

    • sir_c

      Somehow I think the airplane in the topright corner of the album should give a hint

  • Whiskeyjack

    I took a flight to sexual world but had a layover on Venerial Disease Island on the way home.

    • You know, Whore Island has a great all inclusive vacation package.

      • sir_c

        I like to fly with Easy Jett

  • Dr. Scorpion

    !

  • Is it just me, or does the lady on the cover look like Uma Thurman circa Kill Bill?

    • Dr_Fisting

      Uma Thurman is clearly the ultimate sexual fantasy for all Japanese headbangers.

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      I think you’re seeing what you wanna see…

  • sir_c

    Very tits! So guitar!

  • Dan

    I don’t post a lot, but I really had to thank you for the link with the lyrics Dr. Fisting! You made my day:)

    • Kryopsis

      I made the mistake of opening the URL at work. Now I’m laughing so hard, I can’t work.

  • Thatguy

    Easy

    Pure shit – this should have been the first (I think) 0.0

    • Sounds like someone needs a flight to the sexual world.

      • Thatguy

        Ha

        It ain’t the lyrics/song titles – that’s just purile and there is not much difference between purile and cheesy and I can’t understand the lyrics anyway

        It’s the musicianship, or rather lack thereof

        Still, you got to laugh

  • Celaeno

    Brilliant. (the review, that is)

  • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

    Best Worst Record o’ the Year?

  • The combination of the plane, the topless woman and the imperial flag is kinda strong together. I’m not enough of a fan of oldschool that I would be willing to put up with so much shit.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Still scratching my head, I think you could call this Post Metal…
    Fly to the sexual world comes out of the speakers like trash from a machine gun.
    I have to say I can’t help but like this … though I’m not sure I want to hear it again except as the sound track to a biker bar fight scene in a Z grade Korean bikini zombi film…

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    I can´t believe there are six different active lineups in six different countries waiting for this guy to drop by and “sing” over their playing. What is this? Is this Yasuyuki the William Hung of Metal?

  • Mark Z

    this sounds like it walks the line between “bad” and “so bad it’s good” – and then it drunkenly stumbles off that line and tried to have sex with the first thing it lands on top of.