Sound — 10
Brendon Small has outdone himself again! This time with a bigger all out effort on "Dethalbum III". It has been three years since "Dethalbum II" was released and with plenty of music to choose from in that time, Small was able to redefine and polish Dethklok's sound. The album is a lot more melodic than previous attempts. Each song has a set flow and groove that is audibly magnificent. No song is the same yet they all seem to fit in the mold together leaving no song to bore the listener. The rhythm guitar riffs have been simplified from "Dethalbum II", but that's not to say that they are uninspired or uninteresting. Every song on the album is so melodic and well paced that before you realize one song is over, the next song has snatched you in its groove. Songs like "The Galaxy" and "Rejoin" start slow and explode into a giant thematic song that kicks the energy into high gear. Small has definitely improved his musicianship tenfold in the past few years. His guitar writing is phenomenal; better than most metal musicians who are making their income strictly off of playing metal shows. His solos for songs are nearly impossible to play anymore. He has incorporated even more mind-bending sweeps, string skipping, and technical prowess in his solos, especially in "Crush The Industry" and "Ghostqueen", showing the best examples of his technique. Brendon switches up the formula slightly in songs like "Killstardo Abomniate" and parts of "Impeach God" to add even more aggressiveness to the album. These songs are more heavily influenced by death metal. "Killstardo Abominate" is hands down, Small's most aggressively written song. The one thing that I wasn't fond of about "Dethalbum III" was the recording process. The ultimate sound was a little too processed and took away from the explosiveness of the band at times. This album is bassist Bryan Beller's first full recording with Dethklok and he makes his presence well known. In songs like Ghostqueen, the bass helps add the missing element of edge to the songs. It helps tie the loose ends of songs in an intuitive way, rather than just having someone else record the bass in another style. Beller is truly able to add his own input in songs. The hands down best songs on "Dethalbum III" are "Skyhunter" and "Biological Warfare". "Skyhunter" adds instant energy and doesn't slow down until the last note is played. The layers of guitars are harmonized perfectly and flow into the main riff. The selling points of this song are the high paced drums mixed with the main riff. Although repeated throughout, this rhythm somehow doesn't lose it flavor. "Biological Warfare" is the gem of the whole album. I had no idea what to expect for this song. Although the song starts off in a typical Dethklok fashion, it hooks you in shortly after the solo. The riffs Small wrote for this song are the best riffs he has produced yet. The pattern shift of the drums behind the melodic guitar riff is so well executed and powerful, it threw me off, thus making it one of the two best songs on the album. The drums in the album were as usual excellent. Another job well done from Gene Hoglan. I'm convinced that the guy is like a machine at this point. "The Hammer" is the slowest song on the album, drawing its inspiration from the early days of Dethklok. The song doesn't incorporate any keyboards and makes up for the lack of through the different small layers add in each bridge. This song is very reminiscent of "Dethalbum I", more specifically Castratikon. This song is another strongpoint of the album despite its slower nature.
Lyrics — 9
Like the transition from "Dethalbum I" to "II", Small changes the sound of vocals going into "III". At first listen, it's clear that this is even more of an improvement from previous albums. He maintains his own sound and adds more inflection into his voice this go around. He hits more lows and even some highs, which is very uncommon for Dethklok songs. The lyrics have become serious although retaining some humor like in "I Ejaculate Fire". "I ejaculate fire! / A venomous fluid, cantankerous druid/ It kills when I breed, with my deth seed." Small is even able to control the rhythm through his vocals in some songs such as "Andromeda" and "Rejoin".
Overall Impression — 10
This album is everything I was expecting and more. The guitar playing has been kicked up a notch while maintaining the amazing drum patterns. The bass has come around to be an important part fo the mixture and Small vocals have drastically improved. For those Klokateers that have been patiently waiting for "Dethalbum III", there was good reason to. Dethklok is back and more powerful than ever in their best effort to date. Small is just making it harder on himself from here on out.