Sound — 9
The mighty Dethklok returned to impress fans and critics alike with the Dethalbum II on September 29, 2009. Though the Deathalbum was a hefty release, putting to rest any thoughts of the album being just to hype Metalocalypse, the bands sophomore release pushes away from the violent gore of death metal into more melodic territory. The overall sound of the album shows great advances in technicality and musical prowess. This release will surely place Dethklok on a mighty pedestal of metal notoriety. The album begins with Bloodlines, which is somewhat of a transitional song, between albums. The pure brutality of the first record, mixed in with the melody of this one, leads to a powerful and promising lead single. Great leads near the end and somewhat of an unforgettable main riff. Next is The Gears, an energetic call to the Klokateers. Though strong, this song can get old and repetitive near the end. Conversely, this is a high point in technicality, with furious basslines and thrashing drums and tremolo picking. Then you have Burn the Earth, which pummels through every second and scorches your brain stem. With a skillful solo and chugging riffs, this is definitely one of the stronger songs on the album. The fourth track, Laser Cannon Deth Sentence, suffers from the same syndrome of The Gears: technically sound, but quite monotonous. Though the chorus is quite epic, this is one track that can be skipped after a few times of listening. Black Fire Upon Us is a big step towards new territory for the band, with soaring leads and epic lines like The sky will break/Black fire will wake and tonight we ride on clouds of fire/We're damned by gods our deths conspired. This truly sees Dethklok moving into the melodic death metal genre. Up next is Dethsupport, which runs in the comedic vein Dethklok has become well-known for. With violent riffs and some hardcore blast beats, it makes for a hard-hitting song you'll want to hear a few times, but after that, change the song. The next track, called The Cyborg Slayers, is a fiery track that runs between old-school heavy metal riffs and a Pantera-esque bridge. It truly shows the tendencies of Dethklok to sound somewhat old-school (somewhat like Castratakron) and turns out as a good song. Eighth on the card is I Tamper With the Evidence at the Murder Site of Odin, which calls to viking metal, such as Amon Amarth. One of the strongest tracks on the record, this song again shines upon Dethklok's ability to excel in melody. The leads are masterfully played and certainly set the atmosphere for the murder of a god. The next track on the album is a sequel to the opening track of their first album, called Murmaider II: The Water God. Built upon the same basic riffs and structures, with a few twists thrown in, such as an early and frightening solo about a minute and a half in, this builds to a solid track. The Comet Song is another stand-out on DAII. Though you may not see it at first, this is one of the best tracks, galloping at the beginning, crashing in the middle and, with a spacey solo ending the song, you absolutely cannot deny this song. Symmetry, the next track is basically a track you could skip. The beginning catches your attention, but the rest doesn't keep it, though the riffs are very hard and heavy. Finally, Volcano is another track that you can skip if you wish, as it is, in my eyes, the least-strong track of the album. Overall, Skwisgar Skwigelf and Toki Wartooth (aka Brendon Small) truely masters of their art, despite "music dyslex-kia."
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics on the Dethalbum II have evolved far from the comedic first album. Moving to new, more mature lyrics, such as Deth-filled streets/Killed with tusks/Once held life/Die like husks, from Burn the Earth, Dethklok is showing great advancements to more serious territory. Also, Nathan Explosion's (Small again) vocals have shown great improvement, reaching from the usual death growl to a high scream, showing high levels of improvement. A downside, though, is the death growl is still low and quite unintelligible, like on the first record and you still almost have to pick up the lyric book to be sure of what is being said.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, this is a fantastic album. There isn't too much bad to say, besides some songs should be stronger or less repetitive or have more/longer solos. Nit-picking really. This is an album you can't miss if you're a fan of the band, show or just plain good extreme metal.