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.
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.
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.
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.
Bill Burr: Why Do I Do This?
Nick DiPaolo: Born this Way
Louis CK: Chewed Up
Asphyx: The Rack
Hail of Bullets: ...Of Frost and War
Pestilence: Consuming Impulse
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
The above albums are genuine articles in their respective categories. Don't settle for corporate, counterfeit metal like Dethklok.
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