Dethklok: Dethalbum III
For those not familiar with Dethklok, they are the heavy metal alter ego to the band on Adult Swim’s Metalocalypse. Brendon Small also needs to receive huge credit for this output, as much for writing the show as brilliantly and genuinely making fun of the heavy metal genre. Dethklok can only be that, the name is absurdly self-referential to the genre, and the album, as part of an obvious trilogy (simply look to the Roman numerals at the end) is a masterpiece in satirical homage. Anyone who watches the show knows that the characters are over-the-top exaggerations of the heavy metal movement (and for early looks at this satire from Brendon Small, the character Duane from Home Movies, an animated show that Small starred in, is the same intense, but funny metal head.)
But, none of that is dismissive. The lyrics on the album even attempt to criticize the government: “Crush the Industry” is less about the music industry and the genre and more about the increased privatization of society and the profit-driven tendency of capitalism. They aren’t flushed-out entirely and if you want to ignore the political message, you easily can because the vocals are thick and growly, and the star is the heavy and skillful instrumentation.
Dethklok is the perfect mood music for head banging and emptying your brain. There’s a menace to the dark vibrations of the guitars, but also a light-hearted humor because it’s obvious that the music comes from a place of passion.
“I Ejaculate Fire” is a digestible lead single, and seems designed to be a regular single along side pop tracks, and traditional rock. What Dethklok is offering, despite a lot of conventional heavy metal pieces, is an accessible form of the genre. Each chunky guitar solo is balanced with a thrilling, melodic progression, while the atmospheric pieces that are added speak to genre slasher and noir film scores.
Dethalbum III is both soaring and guttural. It is a complement that works to produce a grisly, fan-pleasing album with some crossover appeal.