Who honesty would’ve thought that a cartoon on Adult Swim would result in a real band doing real tours and releasing real albums? And yet that’s exactly what happened, resulting in Dethklok’s Dethalbum breaking records as the highest first-week album sales for a death metal act before Dethalbum II broke that record. As silly as that sounds, it’s reassuring for this metal fan to know that people can relate to metal, even if it’s in as ridiculous (read: awesome) a format as Metalocalypse.
And now the band returns with, you guessed it, Dethalbum III. Packed with 12 blistering tracks, does this album meet my expectations or fall short? Find out below.
Opening up like something out of a classic horror film, the album kicks off with “I Ejaculate Fire”. A static-y cinematic melody that sounds like it’s coming out of a ham radio begins the song before everything coalesces into a modern sounding production, distorted guitars and syncopated drums slamming into a furious double-bass burst of energy.
However, something felt a bit off while listening to the song. I was enjoying it and I was hearing all the traditional Dethklok tones that I’ve come to know and love over the past several years. But something was lacking. Something was missing. And then it hit me: I just wasn’t having as much fun as I thought I would be. And this is my main complaint with the album.
You see, the production is great. It sounds damn good! It’s as dynamic as a metal album of this variety can be and there are enough guitar licks and leads to make any bedroom YouTube guitarist become a hermit for weeks. So that’s not the issue.
Nope, the issue is that I expected to laugh and have more fun with a Dethklok album and I just didn’t get that. I headbanged a bit, I rocked out a lot, I tapped my foot almost the whole way through, but I never felt that childish mindless glee that Dethalbum brought me. Songs like “Thunderhorse” and “Murmaider” were just so ridiculous that I couldn’t stop quoting them or getting them out of my head.
Perhaps that is what this album lost: That catchiness, that over-the-top aspect that made Dethklok so engaging, just wasn’t there.
The Final Word: As a metal album, Dethalbum III features some fantastic songs. But as a Dethklok album, I wanted something more over-the-top, more light-hearted, and more fun. And since I am reviewing a Dethklok album, I’m gonna have to say that I’m left a bit disappointed.