Thursday, September 17, 2009

"The Metalocalypse Has Begun. . ."

As a huge fan of Cartoon Network's Metalocalypse (and an even bigger fan of the show's fictional band Dethklok and their output), 2007's The Dethalbum was a breath of fresh air. In a world of ├╝berserious metal and bland, selfish introspection, Dethklok's pounding, soaring and goofy anthems touched a nerve most groups don't even try for. Once again, a novelty band beat the big names at their own act - The Dethalbum was hilarious, well-written and heavier than it had any right to be.

The songs could be appreciated without any knowledge of the source material, but in context served as a perfect companion piece to the show. Was it necessary to know that "Go Into the Water" was written for fish, or that the band was attacked by missile-bearing jets and a trained assassin during their first ever performance of the song for humans? Or that the lyrics for "Awaken" were taken from a Finnish book of necronamic spells and unintentionally summoned an enormous lake troll when performed (and all during an apology for destroying half of Finland on their previous tour to boot)? No, but knowledge of the episodes lend the songs much of their context and humor. And associating the sarcastic graduation theme "Go Forth and Die" with the accompanying: "Didn't you have anything to fall back on after your band was killed by blackbirds?" seems to make it doubly rewarding.

From a band whose morbid image and unintentional barbarity comes less from personal unpleasantness than a slavish devotion to metal culture, song titles like "Bloodrocuted", "Hatredcopter" and "Murmaider" (also written for fish) are doubly hilarious. Though it seems unlikely that the second Dethalbum (due to be released in less than two weeks) will live up to the first (from the cuts I've heard so far the songs seem far too homogeneous and unmelodic), it's nice to see the show's creators continuing to take the band seriously as real musicians, albeit cartoon ones.

Gotta love that cover art though.

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