Dethklok – Dethalbum III

Dethklok

Dethalbum III

01. I Ejaculate Fire
02. Crush the Industry
03. Andromeda
04. The Galaxy
05. Starved
06. Killstardo Abominate
07. Ghostqueen
08. Impeach God
09. Biological Warfare
10. Skyhunter
11. The Hammer
12. Rejoin

[10/16/2012]
[Williams Street Records]

Another Dethklok offering “born of evil in a fiery volcano,” Dethalbum III is the latest album spawned by the hit animated show Metalocalypse, which first aired in 2006. Spearheaded by the multitalented Brendon Small (one of the three actual personnel behind the music), the series is centered around a hilariously idiotic and narcissistic death metal five-piece band called Dethklok and all their debaucherous antics. While making seasons three and four, Small was clearly focusing harder on the musical aspect of the show more than ever, as Dethalbum III, a collection of music resulting from these two seasons, illustrates. It sounds more like the product of a “real” band. But does that mean it’s really better?

While it’s arguably one of the more listenable popular metal recordings of recent times (it charted in the Billboard Top 10 in its first week, a huge feat for extreme metal), one notable drawback is that the album contains watered-down versions of the songs on the show. The songs from this album were much heavier-sounding when they appeared in bits and pieces during the episode run of season two, three, and four. Dethalbum III doesn’t seem as delightfully random as its two predecessors did, either. It’s cool that Dethklok’s production values kick the ass of those a lot of popular metal bands work with today, but the more tailored approach to the music diminishes some of its comedic value. After the catchy hilarity of Dethalbum I and Dethalbum II, the tertiary installment leaves a little “something” to be desired.

The more melodic death approach Small and Co. are going for on this newest effort is a little off-putting too. Nathan’s vocals seem different and weaker, sort of lost in the mix where they were more intelligible and distinguished before. On the plus side, it is neat to chart the progress of Small’s project, as the seasons and albums are all individual victories for the metal world. One can hear a lot of Swedish-influenced tones, songs that appear to be inspired by bands like Amon Amarth, In Flames and Arch Enemy – so fans of the aforementioned bands and of the genre at large can definitely appreciate Dethalbum III.

Aside from the overdeveloped melodic touch, the technicality of the guitar and drums are most stellar and well-pronounced, rising together to the forefront with pomp. ‘Impeach God’ is a very catchy highlight that will definitely have listeners tapping and humming along. The escalating guitar work and stop-and-go vocals mate well to make a climactic track. Album opener ‘I Ejaculate Fire’, kicks off in a pretty grandiose way, too. One thing Small has managed to master is the art of creating a “building” sensation in his music. It’s incredibly dramatic and exaggerated, just like the television program and its five virtual band personnel.

There’s not really anything “wrong” with the album, and technically speaking it’s very tight and precise; it’s just not what was expected. Even still, one has to commend the very gifted Small for making this show the TV gold that it is, and for producing yet another solid record and bringing his world of caricature to life. Fans of this records will also very likely enjoy Small’s other new musical undertaking, GALAKTIKON, which is a Dethklok-esque project consisting of the same real-life lineup (Small, drummer Gene Hoglan, and bassist Bryan Beller) as touring and recording Dethklok.

Dethklok – Dethalbum III gets…

4/5

– LH