How Stryper Became Part of Babymetal Lore

Upon watching a Babymetal performance of Onedari Daisakusen, I noticed something peculiar. Babymetal is a band that is said to be messengers of the sun god. This was also mentioned in the introduction when they performed live with Rob Halford. Japan is also a country where only 1% of the population identifies as Christian. So how does Stryper play into this?

Oddly enough, it makes sense in a way. Both are considered religious bands. Stryper is openly Christian, and while they can be as heavy as Judas Priest and as aggressive as Black Sabbath, they aren’t uber religious. It seems closer to ” they love God, in a relationship way” deal. Being a metal band, they clearly aren’t the traditional type. Babymetal claims to be messengers of their own god. Both acts also mix pop choruses and speed into a power metal routine with lots of powerful screams.

What brought this to my attention was a concert. Babymetal performed with a live audience and displayed a large painting. Then a narrator talked about how the girls of Babymetal played in the Garden of Eden. Also there was Stryper and Mayhem. From the picture it looked like Robert Sweet (drummer) was sharing fruit with a member of Mayhem. This was interesting, as Stryper and Mayhem were opposites. Stryper encouraged peace and love while rocking out. Mayhem was involved in church burnings, a member egged on another to commit suicide, and then himself was killed by a new member. It is quite the introduction to a song in their Legend 1999 performance.

Somehow bands representing 3 different religions were together in art. While I am an otaku and love Japan, learning another language is impossible for me. (I tried.) The story I heard (may not be true) is that Moametal and Yuimetal grew up in the garden of Eden. Stryper and Mayhem lived there in harmony. Also, it is said Stryper represented the good, Mayhem the bad. I don’t know, but as a fantasy lover I really wish I spoke Japanese now!

While it’s not exactly Christian metal, it does make one wonder if Stryper influenced Babymetal. They seem closer to the yellow and black attack than Mayhem, at least in terms of behavior. Whatever the case, Stryper is and will forever be a part of the Babymetal story. After all, when Enigma records limited Stryper’s original EP due to the lack of popularity in Christian metal, it was Masa Itoh who helped them gain attention. The rock/metal critic from Japan helped Stryper gain a loyal fanbase overseas. For a band whose first effort only had 20,000 copies pressed, it would eventually sell more than 150,000 copies in a few weeks after re-production. According to some sources it was actually certified RIAA Gold! This means Japan helped Stryper get noticed by sources such as MTV, which led to over 10-12 million records being sold worldwide! Stryper’s success started in a small island nation with almost NO Christian representation and became one of the more well-known metal bands in the 1980’s with several RIAA Platinum and Gold albums. With several GMA Dove awards and a Grammy nomination, Stryper proved that acknowledging Jesus (a proven historical figure who did miracles, died and came back) doesn’t mean you can’t headbang. In the end, Stryper and Japan will always be an amazing combination. Babymetal seems to agree with this sentiment. Rock on! Maybe we can even see them in concert together one day?? Until then at least we have this.

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