Release Date: Oct 16, 2012
Record label: Williams Street
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
Though Metalocalypse might focus on their ridiculous bombast of heavy metal, it's clear that it comes from a place of love, poking fun at the genre and its tropes in a way that only a true metal fan can. And while show creator Brendon Small might like to joke about metal, Dethalbum III, like the two installments before it, shows that heavy music is something he takes very seriously, delivering another album of the epic death metal that serves as the soundtrack for the animated series. Going along with the plot of the series, the album feels more sweeping and apocalyptic than the past two Dethklok albums, upping the stakes musically as the world of the show edges closer and closer to the series' titular end time with titanic riffs and sweeping keyboards.
Reviewing a Dethklok album is a tricky proposition. On one hand, this is ostensibly a joke. The band are in fact a group of animated cartoon characters and band members, which are the principals in Adult Swim cartoon Metalocalypse, which is about a death metal band that become the most popular musical act in the world. It could be an afterthought, an auxiliary to the show and nothing more, and with song titles like "I Ejaculate Fire" it would be easy to dismiss it out of turn.
What happens when a work of satire becomes larger and more successful than the subject matter? Brendon Small, multi-instrumental lead vocalist of cartoon band Dethklok, is faced with this conundrum thanks to Metalocalypse, his sinister televised study, spoof, and tribute to all things metal. The Adult Swim program features five oblivious death metal band mates whose unprecedented global success, religiously devoted following, and dark brand of cultural imperialism unwittingly play a pivotal role in fulfilling ancient Sumerian end-time prophecies. Each episode of the show climaxes with a violent musical summation of the animated heroes’ adventures.
Brendon Small, creator of the Adult Swim cartoon series Metalocalypse, which chronicles the adventures of fictional extreme metal band Dethklok, is a better than decent guitarist, and a serviceable if uninspired vocalist. He knows enough to hire seriously talented players—bassist Bryan Beller and drummer Gene Hoglan—to back him on these albums of songs supposedly by the band, too. So from a musical standpoint, each of the Dethalbums offers competently played melodic death-metal songs with fierce blast beats, grinding guitar riffs and guttural growls.