Sound — 7
Dethklok is the fictional band from the animated series, "Metalocalypse," but it is also the live touring band of Brendon Small (the creator of "Metalocalypse"). They have been touring and playing the music composed for the series since 2007, as well as releasing albums. Ironically, their debut album was the highest charting album from the death metal genre historically. Brendon Small has previously recorded the majority of Dethklok's material himself in the studio, but for the first time his touring guitarist, Mike Keneally, has joined him in the studio for the recording of the album (though, oddly enough, he is credited online just for vocals). Gene Hoglan performed the drum parts on the album, and Bryan Beller completed bass on the track "Blazing Star." The album, being an "opera" has vocals for multiple characters and several of the characters are voiced by guests such as Jack Black, George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher, Mark Hamill, and Malcolm McDowell to name a few. "The Doomstar Requiem - A Klok Opera" isn't a normal type of album, so I won't be doing a normal type of review. Instead of going song by song, I'll just touch on a few specifics. The album is actually the soundtrack from the "Metalocalypse" special of the same name, and the album really is more enjoyable with the cartoon. There are 21 tracks, and the vast majority of those tracks are under 2 and a half minutes. The track "Blazing Star" was released as the lead single for the album mid-October. There are still some strong points from a strictly musical standpoint, but the album was created to go along with the actual animated special. The first thing that always surprises me about Dethklok is that even though they are technically a "virtual band," the music is seriously good. "Abigail's Lullaby" stood out on the album for me because it is like what you would imagine as a standard type of musical song except for the lyrics, which as Nathan Explosion would say, are truly "brutal." "Some Time Ago..." definitely has the best guitar solos from the album. The track "Partying Around The World" is a fun track, but not seriously musically relevant – it is much better with the "music video" or montage included on the animated special. I was enjoying several "Queen" moments on the album, which I guess would be hard to avoid in a metal opera. "The Duel" is a fun track, capturing an over-the-top guitar duel. "Before You Go" is a cool musical monologue by the band's manager which I enjoyed immensely for reasons I can't quite articulate. "Givin' Back to You" is almost a pop song but with elements of dance music or possibly industrial, which is actually pretty enjoyable. "Morte Lumina" is a lot more metal than a lot of the other tracks, but still with vocals from the animated characters, as well as some orchestral additions to the track. The lead single, "Blazing Star," is probably the only track that would fit (mostly) seamlessly on previous Dethklok releases. Also, the orchestral bits are exceptionally well done. The last 24 minutes of the album, titled "The DOOMSTAR Orchestra" is all orchestral music from the animated special.
Lyrics — 7
As the vocals are actually the voices of the animated characters from "Metalocalypse," for the most part you aren't hearing a lot of death metal vocals but instead you're hearing a lot of singing in ridiculous voices – which is still fun. My absolute favorite guest vocalist on the album is Jack Black - he's seriously awesome on here. Of course, I still love the vocal lines performed in the voices of Skwisgaar and Toki. As a sample of the lyrics from the album, I don't see how I could choose anything except "Partying Around the World": "I feel this feeling/ and I think I'm unhappy/ since whats-his-face and whats-her name have been missing/ the mood around here has been crappy/ but as bad as it gets/ our duty is knowing/ that we have a job to keep this party going" with the next verse provided by Skwisgaar, "Crystals Meth! / My name is Skwisgaar/ (something something)/ drinks some brewskis/ and we'll get some smoothies/ then we'll get slurpies/ maybe gets herpes/ keeps the parties going/ keeps the parties going!"
Overall Impression — 7
Enjoying this album is completely dependent on the attitude that you approach it from. While the other Dethklok albums are more straight-forward melodic death metal (though the lyrics definitely ran towards the realm of the silly), this album is absolutely not death metal, though it does briefly touch on the genre occasionally. This album follows a definite narrative which is loosely told through the album, and is entertaining in its own right. Now, I have noticed that a lot of other metal fans aren't very open-minded regarding things that go against "metal purism" or whatever you want to call it, but if you don't enjoy this album then you probably don't have a sense of humor. If for no other reason that the orchestral parts, this album is seriously fun.