Premiering last year on Adult Swim, “Metalocalypse” centers around the exploits of the biggest, most metalist band on this planet, Dethklok. As the band goes about their business, the evil Tribunal tries in vain to stop Dethklok from expanding their empire. Each episode features a new song from the band, and now the best of those tracks have been expanded, re-recorded, and put at the side of all new songs to make the album fans have been clamoring for. Prepare for an onslaught of bone-crunching Nordic riffs that’ll force you to your knees. The deluxe edition contains a second disc with six tracks, a video for “Bloodrocuted” and additional material for fans.
There’s a fine line between being funny and being a joke. Thankfully, the debut album from Dethklok, the band at the core of Adult Swim’s hit animated series Metalocalypse lands squarely in the former category. Performed by series co-writer Brendon Small (Tommy Blacha is Small’s creative partner)–with a large number of help from metal drum legend Gene Hoglan (Death Angel, Strapping Young Lad)–songs such as “Birthday Dethday,” “Face Fisted,” and “Awaken” tap into the unapologetic musical brutality of death metal, whilst highlighting the frequently confusing ambiguity of the genre’s lyrics. Progressive taxes (“Detharmonic”), the disappointment and seemingly endless cycle of higher education (“Go Forth and Die”), and the obligatory kiss-off to moist-palmed computer geeks who spew vitriol from the safety of Internet chat rooms (“Fansong”), give you the fodder for Small’s hilarious, subtle, intelligent and highly quotable lyrics. Make no mistake: The Dethalbum isn’t going to supplant your favorite At the Gates or Slayer recordings, but it’ll provide hours of amusement and joy–perhaps the very enemy of death metal itself, perhaps the very thing that makes Metalocalypse one of the vital funniest shows on cartoon TV nowadays and Dethklok the truest rock band since Spinal Tap. –Jedd Beaudoin