Babymetal is a group which could only have hailed from Japan, could only have found success thanks to Youtube and could only have been chosen by Lady GaGa as a support act on her 'ArtRave' tour. Three teenaged girls in matching outfits singing and dancing onstage to ‘heavy metal’ music, Babymetal needs to be seen and heard to be believed. Yet after seeing it we’re still not sure if we didn't just imagine the whole thing.

BabymetalMeet Babymetal, the Japanese viral sensations

The origins of Babymetal are found in girl group Sakura Gakuin, a pop act manufacture by a Japanese talent agency, which employs an ever changing line-up. Basically when a member gets too old (ie around 16) they get kicked out (or graduate) from the group. One day the group’s manager had an idea for an interesting musical experiment. “Why don’t we try and fuse metal music with cutesy pop,” we assume he said, and thus Babymetal was created using Sakura Gakuin members Suzuka Nakamoto, Moa Kikuchi and Yui Mizuno.

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With their new identities as Su-metal, Moametal and Yuimetal the trio, who had never heard heavy metal music before, began recording music in 2011. Thanks to the unique concept didn't take long before the girls (who’s current average age is just 15), started attracting online attention thanks to their Youtube videos.

In their videos, the girls usually dress in matching cute gothic Lolita style outfits, i.e. lots of pretty high neck black blouses and tutu skirts. Behind them are a band of masked men who occasionally, but less enthusiastically, join in with the dance routines which include lots of jumping around and hand movements. It’s the kind of bizarre juxtaposition of music and images that the age of Youtube was made for. Once you see it, wether you liked it or not, you feel compelled to tell someone else to go watch it and before you know it, you’ve played a part in getting the video to over 6million Youtube views.

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The girl’s debut album, Babymetal, released in February of this year, quickly rose in the Japanese, UK and US album charts. It was also well received by critics who found it to be a fun, energetic listen which represented a very 21st century brand of genre bending music. No this is not metal, but it’s also not pop or dance either, we guess it's just Babymetal.

Lady GagaLady Gaga has selected Babymetal to join her 'Artrave' tour

Babymetal will be supporting Lady Gaga on five dates of her summer ArtRave: the Artpop Ball tour, hitting Phoenix, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City and Denver. If you like Slipknot, Shrillex and bubblegum pop and had been dreaming of the day you could enjoy them all blended together in one cute little package, then Babymetal might just be for you. If you’re a metal purist who can’t even stomach a bit of Black Veil Brides then stay well away from Babymetal, don’t even Youtube them out of curiosity. But for everyone else, if you want a bit of fun, give Babymetal a try. Wether you end up loving or  hating them, they’ll probably stick in your mind for a lot longer than most of the music you’ve heard recently.