Dethklok - Dethalbum III
Record Label: Williams Street Records
Release Date: October 16, 2012
The premise of the Brendon Small’s Metalocalypse has always been relatively the same – insanely popular and uber-selfish metal band Dethklok live out their lives while seemingly dealing with worldly and otherworldly forces attempting to stop them from essentially controlling the entire planet. When Small releases a new batch of songs under the band’s name, that hilarity meets metallic seriousness in a way that has incurring the terms satire and comedic to say the least. Dethklok’s Dethalbum III certainly doesn’t hold back on the brash tongue-in-cheek nature of the show’s intentions, all while perhaps writing the band’s most aggressive and intriguing disc to date.
The signature sound of the band, from thundering percussion to high-flying guitars, is still very much intact through the disc. Lead-off track “I Ejaculate Fire” steps off on the right foot with memorable riffs and a very aggressive undertone, while “Impeach God” boils above a triplet-attack with some familiar melodies while slightly ridiculous lyrics like ‘Taste my word sword in your filthy mouths’ keep things from getting overly serious. There’s certainly no shortage of the heavy here, as “Andromeda” and “Killstardo Abominate” both feature relentless drumming and buzzing guitars that are sure to make you bang your head without fear of losing your life – remember, we don’t have to sign a death waiver to listen to the album itself. I would almost go as far to say this is the most intense and strongest of the three in terms of instrumentation, because at times the percussion and grinding rhythm guitars rumble so hard that they are tough to ignore when the solos and riffs come in.
But during certain points in the album, Small’s writing takes a turn towards things not particularly as heavy while still remaining innately metal. The proggy sounds of “The Galaxy” and the mid-tempo jamming of “The Hammer” stand out in particular, as the former leads us into a whirlpool of foreign melodies – much like the upper register lead riffs of “Biological Warfare” – dabble a bit in the sounds of Small’s Galaktikon without bleeding over entirely. There are also a few times where the tracks seem almost a little bit too familiar, namely “Skyhunter” and the percussive intro of “Rejoin”. I’m not entirely certain if they were done on purpose, but it’s a tough juxtaposition when you hear songs like “Ghostqueen” that seem the farthest away from the band’s sound at times as we’ve ever been. Keeping in mind that much of this music is featured to back a cartoon, it would be easy to keep it in that context when comparing it to previous songs. But outside of that, it stands as the biggest flaw of Dethalbum III that things run together almost too much in the end to truly engage us in ways earlier installations have.
With that being said, Dethklok has never been something to take too seriously, and in that sense, Small and company have succeeded again in their creation of such an on-point satire of seriously unserious proportions. Even with some hiccups along the way, the third edition of the Dethalbum is sure to rock you at times just as hard as the previous versions, leaving us only with the wonder of where this story will take us next.