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Dethklok-Dethalbum

First album tie-in of the Adult Swim cartoon show Metalocalypse.

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A joke that's not funny. 17%

  • Nov 14, 2012
Rating:
-1
First of all, I'd like to say that I'm NOT a fan of the show Metalocalypse. In fact, I hate it. The show is among the least creative pieces of American animation I've seen, since despite the fact that there's some guest voices from various metal musicians and little references to underground metal bands Brendon Small looked up on Wikipedia, the meat of the show, which is the humor, is nothing more than an exercise in the most base stereotypes about how stupid metalheads are (these stereotypes are about as creative as making a Michael Bay movie). Other than a few light giggles here and there, I mostly found myself yawning throughout the few episodes I did see.

With that said, the “humor,” if you can call it that, is just as unfunny or the least bit entertaining in the “music” contained. Just as I predicted, this album is nothing more than an exercise in milking out money from gullible people, and apparently, it worked. I think it's extremely sad that there's plenty of death metal records out there that are authentic musical efforts yet people would rather listen to mock death metal.

MUSICIANSHIP

Honestly, the musicianship on this album isn't anything impressive at all. Brendon Small handled the vocals, guitar, bass, and keyboards on this album. Gene Hoglan handled the drums.


Small's “death metal” vocals are horrible. He puts no shred of emotion or effort in his vocals, as he sounds like he's whispering while lightly growling into the microphone. This is NOT how to do death metal vocals. In the vocal department, Small isn't even worthy of licking the boots of truly talented death metal vocalists like Martin Van Drunen, Karl Willetts, Mike Browning, Ross Dolan, and Alex Camargo. The only time it sounds like he's making any effort in doing proper death metal vocals is some parts of “Face Fisted,” and these attempts at doing proper death metal vocals are laughable. It also doesn't help that his vocals are extremely monotonous. I only recall any variation in vocals in the song “Hatredcopter,” and that's not really anything to sing praise to because it sounds like the idiot from Disturbed (one of the worst bands ever) did guest vocals on that one.

The guitar work may be flashy with its frequent solos and melodic licks, but they're merely window dressings to cover up the fact that the riffs in it are totally stale and lacking in creativity. So many of the riffs sound like neutered, half-baked melodeath riffs with the occasional “fast” riff here and there. The only times it sounds like Small is trying to make anything resembling any sort of heavy metal thunder is the beginning to the song “Awaken” and some parts of “Face Fisted.”

The bass wasn't really noticeable in this album, so I can't really comment on it.

The keyboards were relatively okay, I guess. They added some differing touches here and there, and they only seem to be used with any sort of effort in “Dethharmonic,” but they're overused in this song, and aren't even close to matching the genius of the keys used in the prime songs of Nocturnus and Psypheria.

The drums make me cry tears of blood, knowing that Gene Hoglan, the drummer in one of my all time favorite metal albums, Dark Angel's “Darkness Descends,” actually contributed to this fetid, commercial garbage. So many of Hoglan's talents are wasted on this album, since so much of his drumwork is the most basic type of beats and fills you'll hear in the melodic death metal niche. Dethklok is supposed to be “brutal,” so where's the blastbeats? Oh wait, this is a castrated metal record for the masses, there can't be any sort of authentic aggression in this album, because that would drastically cut back on record sales.

SONGS

Okay, I'm drawing some blanks here. So many of the songs here are interchangeable and therefore, difficult to differentiate.

I'll say that the first two songs, “Murmaider” and “Go Into the Water,” are among the most tepid “metal” songs that I've ever heard. Some songs like “Awaken” and “Bloodrocuted” amp up the aggression a little (but still don't have proper execution), but those two have way too similar-sounding main riffs. I really hate the song “Hatredcopter” because aside from lacking creative riff construction and loaded with generic drumwork, the fact that there “varied” vocals that are more fitting in a nu-metal album rather than a proper metal album (always remember that nu-metal is NOT metal, period). I honestly can't think of more since I don't want to listen to this album again.

PRODUCTION

Like all bad metal albums, the production on this album is too clean and sterile for its own good. There's no grittiness or foreboding atmosphere anywhere on this album. The vocals, guitars, keyboards, and drums all sound too polished, and they don't even bother mixing in the bass all that well, since it's virtually unnoticeable.

FINAL WORD

You're probably saying to yourself “Why are you taking this so seriously? It's just a joke album, so get over yourself.” I could, but novelty records have no place in my life, since I expect every artistic piece that I own, to be done with some sort of effort, and that applies to media that falls under “comedy,” too. Dethklok's “Dethalbum” isn't a labor of love, it's merely a corporate product made to cash in on a really bland cartoon on Adult Swim (just like the cartoon band's next two albums).

I won't recommend any good “comedy metal” albums, since I don't really think there's any good ones out there. However, I'll recommend some quality comedy albums and death metal albums instead for you to listen to separately.

Comedy

Bill Burr: Why Do I Do This?
Nick DiPaolo: Born this Way
Louis CK: Chewed Up

Death Metal

Asphyx: The Rack
Hail of Bullets: ...Of Frost and War
Pestilence: Consuming Impulse
Death: Human
Nocturnus: The Key
Psypheria: Gothic Disturbance
Bolt Thrower: Realm of Chaos
Immolation: Close to a World Below
Krisiun: The Great Execution

Melodic Death Metal

Amon Amarth: The Crusher
Carcass: Heartwork

The above albums are genuine articles in their respective categories. Don't settle for corporate, counterfeit metal like Dethklok.

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November 18, 2012
eh. sounds like I'll be avoiding the show, and while I am not familiar with this music, I think I can trust your word on this.
November 18, 2012
You won't gain anything out of Dethklok compared to listening to death metal albums that were genuine labors of love, while Dethklok is just a corporate creation made to cash in on a popular cartoon.

Thanks for popping by, Pakman!!
 
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About the reviewer
David Kozak ()
Ranked #3
I'm a morbid cynic who thinks very, very differently from most other people. Chances are, if the majority says X is the greatest in its category, I'll disagree with that notion, because I tend … more
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