Sound — 8
Brendan Small and Tommy Blacha created Dethklok in 2007 as a real band to play the songs written by the virtual band from the cartoon "Metalocalypse". After creating the band and releasing the first album in late 2007, "The Dethalbum", they charted at 21 on Billboards Top 100 list, being the most popular melodic death metal album to ever be released. Suddenly, people were buying death metal albums who had never been a fan of the genre before thanks to a cartoon and Brendan Small's comedic and musical genius. The follow-up to their debut release was the aptly titled "Dethalbum II" that came out in 2009. Dethklok has toured with Mastodon, Chimaira, and Converge among others. They had been scheduled to co-headline a tour in North America with Lamb Of God, but this was canceled due to Randy Blythe's legal troubles. In 2011, Dethklok played the Mayhem Festival in place of Megadeth. Currently they have a tour planned to begin in just a few weeks with Machine Head, All That Remains, and The Black Dahlia Murder. Though they started as a virtual band in a cartoon series they have since proved themselves through solid music and touring. "Dethalbum III" has 12 tracks and clocks in at a little over 50 minutes. The album is mixed well, the guitar tones are great and the drums are intense. The album was recorded by Brendan Small, Gene Hoglan (who has also been on the previous two releases) and Bryan Beller on bass guitar. The music and lyrics are all written by Brendan Small, who also performs guitar, keyboards and vocals on the album. The melodies all have an almost epic quality more like "Dethalbum" than "Dethalbum II". The riffs stay engaging, and the guitar tone is awesome. The album was produced by Brendan Small and Ulrich Wild. The album definitely sounds less "death metal" than they have on previous releases to me the melody is much more pronounced and has more dominance in the mix. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though, as the album is still heavy, pounding and chugging underneath the melody. The double bass pedal got a little old a few times, but I think that is just because of my personal distaste with double bass beats lately.
Lyrics — 7
Nathan Explosion... I mean Brendan Small... Does a great job with the vocals finding the delicate balance in black metal vocals where the lyrics are still discernible when listening. If you think of Dethklok as a gimmick (which a lot of people tend to want to do) you still have to admit that musically the songs are on par with any other melodic death metal releases coming out, and Brendan Small's vocals are definitely better than some well established bands in the genre. The lyrics, however, are all based around episodes of the cartoon series and occasionally delve into a good dash of humor which could turn a lot of death metal fans off the album but if you have listened to their previous releases then you should know what to expect. On the song "Ghostqueen" Brendan sounds like Lemmy doing death metal vocals. The lyrics from the first single from the album, "I Ejaculate Fire" follows: "I ejaculate fire/ A venomous fluid, cantankerous druid/ it kills when I breed with my death seed/ checkmate, the world dies when I procreate/ a bloody mess bubbles with heat/ fear the splattering acidic de-mattering/ it burns! I'm fried to my loins/ testicular propane, tanks exploding! / I perpetuate bile/ a build up congestion/ epididymal retention/ my semen is flames/ flagellum is pain/ f*ck fate/ Earth's crushed from atomic weight/ with a hardened thrust/ deep in the core/ a seismic tunneling/ a rhythmic pummeling/ Incinerate! / The molten rock/ A rancid genetic/ cannon fire/ Murdering knew nothing outcast/ choke on gas/ kill my sperm/ fate won't lead fast enough/ come coagulating blackness/ when can I redecorate/ save for me the glorious death threats! / gasoline pumps through my heart/ poison coursing somewhere/ down in that place/ I feel the anger pulse again/ its been building/ its been building/ explode! / found my mission/ death ambition/ exploitation/ explode/ short edition/ new tradition/ extradition/ explode! / F*cking fear is contagious/ go spread my flames so fellatious/ f*cking fear is contagious/ explode!"
Overall Impression — 8
My favorite songs on the album are "Galaxy", "Ghostqueen" and "Skyhunter". I don't really have a least favorite song. The whole album is solid for what it is and very enjoyable. I would absolutely recommend purchasing this album if you enjoyed the previous releases by Dethklok, if you like "Metalocalypse", or if you want a gateway band to see what melodic death metal is about. I keep finding myself humming the intro melody from "Skyhunter", and that may be the first time I've found death metal music stuck in my head to find myself humming it. Even if Dethklok is a virtual band, this is an awesome album from beginning to end. I'm a bigger fan of the band, having heard this album.