REVIEW: Dethklok – The Dethalbum II

dethalbumiiArtist: Dethklok
Album: The Dethalbum II
Genre: Metal
Label: Williams Street

Any band that originates on a television show should, by general rule of thumb, not put out an album. Sure, it worked for the Monkees back in the day, but that was an entirely different situation, Picture Jessie and the Rippers from Full House. Sure, they seem amusing, but it would never have sold any great amount of change the world of rock [most likely] and, much like Bruce Willis’ Bruno stage, it would have only been a dark mark on the career of John Stamos. However, this mold/idea was shattered when Dethklok stepped onto the scene.

For those of you unaware, Dethklok is a cartoon band whose adventures in the world of heavy metal are documented on the show Metalocalypse in which the group tours, writes and records, and causes mischief of an adult and childish nature. Brought to life by creator Brendon Small and friends, the “group” is gearing up to deliver their second record, The Dethalbum II. Containing both songs from the show and a few new originals, this record filters a lot of brutality into a limited amount of time and leaves you simply destroy by the heaviness of it all.

I know, so far my details have been scarce as far as the labum sounds, but true fans already know what too expect, so Iw ill enlighten the rest of you. Dethklok plays a very, very heavy brand of metal that focuses generally on some [not so run of the mill] topics that the “band” encouters on the show. For instance, the first episode of Season 1 found the band playing a volcano turned coffee pot to perform a jingle for the coffee conglomerate. Ridiculous, I know, but through amazing craftsmanship and hardwork, Small and crew are able to take these elements and created superb metal that hits nearly harder than “true” bands. Fans of the show will most likely recognize the tracks and find the production quality to be exceedingly better than the previous album and those unfamiliar may be turned away based on the premises of the material, but really, this isn’t a release for you.

The real gold to the record however, comes from the two non-episode based tracks: “The Cyborg Slayers” and “Murmaider II: The Water God.” The first of these tracks, “Cyborg Slayers,” is the result of Small wanting to create a song that used a certain tempo that the previous season [Season 2, the source of the album’s tracks] did not allow for him to create. Small has gone on record saying the title arose from a desire to make the listener picture what alternate reality would involve the band fighting off cyborgs and its that light hearted fun that, when combined with sheer brual metal, creates the surprisingly approachable Dethklok sound. Following that tracks just a bit later, “Murmaider II: The Water God,” continues the epic that began on the first Dethalbum by expander the story of mermaid murder. Once again, hilarious, yet brutal.

In the end, this is a record for two very select groups of people: Those who worship Small’s created band and those who simply love metal. Music critics and lyric/songwriting snobs are not welcomed nor encouraged to listen to this record. This is as close as a false band can get to connecting with their fans and it comes across with stunning results. To put it simply: This album takes the so-called “heavy acts of today”, ties them to a table in some cavernous underground lair, and forces them to listen and understand what true metal is all about. This isn’t for “fans” of metal, it’s for the true die hards and here’s hoping they heed the call of this great, vicious, sound.

Score: 8/10

James Shotwell
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6 Responses to “REVIEW: Dethklok – The Dethalbum II”

  1. […] Read more: Under The Gun Review » Blog Archive » Dethklok – The Dethalbum II […]

  2. Holkie says:

    Ah, you have your episodes mixed up there. The one you discribe- Dethklok playing a coffee jingle with a volcano used as a coffee pot- was the 4th episode of the second season, aka Dethdoubles.

    The 1st episode of the 1st season, The Curse of Dethklok, did have Dethklok playing the Duncan Hills coffee jingle at a concert in a way out of the way location with coffee pots pouring hot coffee on the fans. But no volcano was involved.

  3. Blammo says:

    Re: the comments from “Holkie”…this isn’t a review of the show, it’s a review of the album. If the description of the show gives an adequate impression of its content, who cares where the volcano shows up?

    To James — great review, and it’s good to see publicity. One point, though, regarding your comment “Music critics and lyric/songwriting snobs are not…encouraged to listen”. While metal as a scene certainly doesn’t care much what mainstream music has to say, it bears mentioning that the first Dethalbum scored higher on the Billboard charts than any other heavy metal album in history. There certainly is a universal musical merit to Dethklok, and many music afficionados who’ve never listened to a drop of metal in their life are now testing out the genre because of Dethklok’s appeal. Small’s composing is musically sound, and the instrumentation and timing are really pleasing and precise, with a smooth mixture of grind and melody. Any critic would have to give the band kudos for that, so let’s not pigeonhole before the album is even out of the gate. Everyone should give this one a try, “critics” and “snobs” included.

  4. James says:

    Well said Blammo. I apologize for my comment, I didn’t mean it as such. There is musical merit to it and that’s awesome, but I feel the purpose of the record is to make the whole world of Dethklok more real to the fans. That’s the intended purpose of my comment

  5. Theron says:

    Well done. I’m now waiting for my preorder for the Deluxe edition even more.

    I always liked Dethklok because instead of focusing on usually one thing, they have one of the weirdest and widest ranges of things to sing about than I’ve seen or could’ve thought of. And it’s that sheer comedic and brutal genius that makes me come back for more.

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