Dethklok is William Murderface, Skwisgaar Skwigelf, Nathan Explosion, Pickles, and Toki Wartooth. No wait, that’s not right. Dethklok is a band created by Brendon Small and Tommy Blacha (performed by Small, Gene Hoglan, and Bryan Beller) for the cartoon network animated television show Metalocalypse. The release of Dethalbum III marks the third outing by the real life counterparts and takes it’s tracks from seasons two, three, and four of the show. Dethklok is both loved and hated by the metal community that it started off parodying, though they have, in my opinion, moved from being an observation on a subject to being peers in a group. Dethalbum parts II and III stand as far better melodic death metal than a lot of bands I’ve heard. Are they the best? No. Are they the most popular? By far. Especially with mainstream audiences. Taking into consideration that this started as a joke, that’s pretty damn good.
The album has already slammed onto the Billboard 200 chart peaking at number 10 and selling over 20,000 copies in its first week. This outdoes it’s predecessor Dethalbum II as the highest charting death metal album in the history of music. As we have come to expect, Dethalbum III is mostly riff oriented, however there appears to be an attempt at expanding on the melodic aspects which I approve of greatly. Dethalbum I was great in it’s ability to turn snippets of music heard on the show into full songs with breakdowns and solos etc. (huge props on Mermaider). Part II shows us what a band like Dethklok would actually sound like without any need of the show (though the songs do still show up in Metalocalypse). There is a departure in style vocally and musically that seems to carry on. Part III shows more diversity and how well rounded the band can be in reality. The vocals are about on par with the previous album, though they occasionally sound a little forced or strained. The bass is often missed in the mix, but really shines in the track “Ghostqueen”. The drums by Gene Hoglan are entirely great throughout. They are not overly technical or speedy, but amazingly precise and tight.
The album expanded enough to attract new fans of melodic death metal, while staying true enough to the sound of the band and show to keep diehards happy. I’m looking forward to November when the vinyl record edition drops.