Metal, or all rock and roll for that matter, exists due to two necessary components: lies - fantasy a more fitting title if you’re into prog rock - and boisterous showmanship. This truth then makes the next statement undeniable: Dethklok is the best metal band ever!
How do I figure this? Let me analyze the grounds I set in the first sentence. In order to be successful in metal a band must have a somewhat fictitious persona and their daily exploits must be far beyond the realm of sensible living. They must be off the proverbial deep end at all times.
Take Spinal Tap for example: first the band is completely made up, created only for the purpose of a “mockumentary.” If one has seen said “mockumentary,” it’s hard to disagree that they failed to make one sane career choice. They were a bunch of British loonies. Still their power was felt, securing their status as a staple in all things metal. One might even argue that Spinal Tap is the cannon of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Who else could justify having amps that go to eleven? Spinal Tap brought the rock more than other band at the time while never being a “real” group.
Given the fact Spinal Tap was fabricated yet still consisted of carbon-based life forms eschewing all rational thinking, this means Dethklok can only supersede them. Not only are they not a real band, they aren’t even tangible people. Being a band constructed of celluloid film, their accomplishments are astonishing. While thousands of human Hessians and devil worshippers parade around the world, burning churches and trying to be like Mayhem, they fail to captivate the masses, instead alienating hordes of people with the final impact being a few sensationalist news stories on shows like Geraldo and Inside Edition “exposing” the evil of metal. Dethklok, untouchable due to their animated composure, was then able to create the heaviest, most sinister and brutal album to ever reach the top of the sales charts. This effectively brought their dark vision of the apocalypse to hundreds of thousands of people, opening the door for bands like Burzum and Gorgoroth to legions of fans that may turn to the word of Satan.
So having the lies and make believe taken care of, the question “Do they shred?” still exists. In short, you better fucking believe it.
If you couldn’t discern it from the text, the first four paragraphs were a joke in the same way that Dethklok is a joke. The Dethalbum is no joke though. If you could combine the last thirty years of metal and present it on one album, it would be The Dethalbum. Metal has made some rocky career choices in the last ten years but Dethklok weaves even those into their style without sporting Adidas superstars.
Imagine if The Darkness were a metal band, or if Dragonforce played less Final Fantasy. Nathan Explosion and his bandmates are sociopaths who picked up instruments rather than axes and knives. The song “Murmaider” details the steps necessary to commit manslaughter leagues under the sea with the key line being “There are no finger prints underwater, nothing to tie one to a crime.” To be sure they’re never accused of not being extreme, almost every track features double bass drums played at blistering speed, almost to the point of being considered blast beats, and a guitar solo that shrieks self-aggrandizing wankery. It is metal decadence. But they have all bases covered. “Go into the Water” could be classified as Viking metal, similar to Amon Amarth, being heavy but mid-tempo, creating an epic sound that’ll wake the beasts that lurk in deepest, depths of the ocean. “Bloodrocuted” and “Better Metal Snake” have the emphasis on the groove, similar to bands of the late nineties (Deftones, Machine Head), but do it with a little more dignity and a lot less of that awful slap bass.
While most of the other songs don’t ring of specific styles they nod to the other subgenres. The album flourishes with Peter Steele-type vocals, keyboard accompaniment similar to Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir and twin guitar harmonies perfected by Iron Maiden.
Even if you’re not a fan of more extreme metal this album is still worth a listen for the way it parodies everything metal heads covet. If you are, this album has everything you could ever want in a metal album. Except for Ronnie James Dio.
8.5 / 10
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