I was thrilled, as I am sure many metal fans were, to learn there was an animated TV series that revolves around a death metal band. Metal has perpetually received second-class treatment from the rest of the world, but Metalocalypse delivers metal into the mainstream spotlight without compromising the integrity of the music or the culture. (Whether mainstreaming is good or bad is up for ferocious debate I am certain). Sure, it pokes some fun at the metal community, but in a good way that we can laugh about rather than be insulted by. This is a metal show for metal fans by a metal fan.
I watch Metalocalypse and listen to the Dethklok CDs, but it never really occurred to me to review any of the albums. A lot of the early songs were over-the-top tongue in cheek songs that played into the humor of the show, so while I thought it was cool, it was still more humor than actual music for me. Then a few days ago I was texting with my friend Buke and he told me I should do a review of the latest Dethklok because it sold 20,000 copies in its first week and landed at number 10 on the Billboard chart; something never achieved by a death metal band.
This rocked me back on my heels a little bit. As a metal fan I have learned not to give a flying fuck about Billboard or its charts because good music almost never ends up on their list, let alone in the top 10. Sure, the occasional Metallica album or whatnot, but mostly this is the territory of Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. Now here I learn that a death metal album has made the top 10. Of course it would take a popular TV show to get the music there, but still, quite an achievement regardless of what I think of Billboard. This is more a testament to metal fans than the corporate machine. As Metalocalypse creator Brendan Small said “Thanks to the fans for actually buying music in a world where they don’t have to.” This achievement makes me proud of the fans that stepped up and put down their hard-earned money to support a metal band, fictitious or not. This reinforces my belief that metal fans are the most rabidly loyal music fans around. \m/
So after I finished talking with Buke I hit up the iTunes store on my phone and bought “Dethalbum III.” Any reservations I had about reviewing Dethklok quickly melted away. The songs on this album are just as legitimate as the music by any other metal band, and to be honest, a hell of a lot better than most. These songs fucking kill. Dethklok songs are technical, brutal and masterfully produced, and it certainly doesn’t hurt to have the mighty Gene Hoglan pounding the skins. This album proves that Dethklok, while animated characters on a screen, are a real band that should be taken seriously. I haven’t been so taken with a TV band since I was a little kid singing along to The Monkees.
All hail Dethklok! Check out this hilarious video for “I Ejaculate Fire.”