Review Summary: A Melodic Death Metal album with a menacing, sinister atmosphere unlike their last effort which was rather gimmicky and boring.
Metalocalypse started off as a show about a fictitious band called Dethklok touring the world and being as Metal as anyone could possibly be. The show became really famous because of the gore, the humor and mostly because Dethklok, a cartoon band, became so famous in the real world almost overnight. Viewers loved everything about them, from their appearance to their attitude, to the long awaited segments in the show where fans of theirs would be killed in some bizarre way like get sucked into helicopter blades, being dismembered or “bloodrocuted”, Nathan Explosion seeing a corpse and saying, “I’m hungry” etc. Watching the show, one would get the impression that anyone who wouldn’t listen to Metal, wouldn’t deserve to live.
The brains behind the entire show and the man who writes most of the songs, Brendon Small had something daringly different on his hands when Dethklok suddenly became so popular, he had to tour, promote the show and make new, innovative songs. He quickly teamed up with former Strapping Young Lad, former Death drummer Gene Hoglan to record the band’s first album, The Dethalbum which was received well by fans and critics. Mike Keneally and Bryan Bellar would join them on tours to support the band. This was followed by the second season of Metalocalypse which had some of the songs featured here on this album. This album, like the previous one, has full versions of songs featured in the television show. Small once again played all the instruments here except the drums as well as managed the vocals.
The songs this time around are slightly less catchy than the last time, but are more innovative and less repetitive than before. A short burst of drums opens the album with “Bloodlines” which is a very impressive and technical song. Brendon or Nathan Explosion, as I tend to think of the character singing the songs instead of Brandon, does his usual Corpsegrinder vocals on this one which, may I add, have improved a great deal. His voice is a lot more crisp and he can scream a lot louder now. This song changes tempo and draws to an end with a nice solo and Nathan screaming “I’ll take your life!” repeatedly. The next song, “The Gears”’ intro is a total face shredder, has another catchy solo and ends with the song getting way heaver than the intro, the drums on this song are outstanding. Bryan Bellar who only plays live, played bass on this song and it’s pretty audible because the production on this album is tight much like the last one. “Burn the Earth is an average song with the usual Dethklok formula of song structuring and soloing. “Laser Cannon Death Sentence” is a lot better with some catchy riffs in the middle and some melodies towards the end. The pace of the album slows down considerably for the next song “Black Fire upon Us” which is a slow track and sort of stands out because of this. A slow paced song like this in the middle and then suddenly; BANG! The next song tears you to ribbons! Dethsupport is a nod to Death where the main chorus of the song is “Pull the Plug”. Not a very interesting solo in this one, but the riffs are really catchy. “I Tamper with the Evidence at the Murder Site of Odin” may have a lame song title, but has an intro with intense riffage that rips everything up and sees to it that your interest doesn’t dwindle mid album. These catchy riffs continue throughout the song and lead into a solo which has the punch and intensity that the other solos on the tracks before this didn’t. "Murmaider II: The Water God" is not from any episode and is an original, it’s based on the original Murmaider from the previous album, but I like this version better. “Volcano” is another song that stands out and is a good way to end the album. I would have liked “Impeach God” to be on this album though. That’s song is something that’s really missing here. That about wraps it up for the tracks that really caught my attention and stood out.
As for the vocals, they’re a lot better, although Brandon can’t do inhales very well, his growls and death –grunts are a lot more crisp and loud. One could have argued before, that his performance was one dimensional and monotonous, but he has altered his vocal style to be more diverse this time around. This album contains some of his best constructed songs so far. Gene Hoglan is good as usual on drums and the bass is audible because as I mentioned earlier, this album is very well produced. To conclude, Dethklok are a gimmick, but the music is pretty serious. The Dethalbum II can create mysterious, sinister, epic atmospheres, but one should just think of this as an album and not a soundtrack to get the proper feel of it.
Better song structure
Songs may not be as catchy as the last album.
Certain songs follow the same formula.
Unfocused? I reviewed the tracks from a listeners point of view in detail. I can't go about saying that the guitarist should have used this tone here or that chord there, coz frankly reviews aren't only from a musicians point of view and neither is that my style of reviewing. I also explained his vocal style and parts that I liked and disliked. There's not much more to say about this album, coz many of the songs tend to just blend in with each other.
I was the one that negged, sorry I didn't explain why, but here are my thoughts:
Your intro could use a little work, or be removed completely. The point you're trying to make doesn't serve much purpose. A lot of the sentences could be reworked to sound more concise. For example:
The show became really famous because of the gore, the humor and mostly because Dethklok, a cartoon band, became so famous in the real world almost overnight.
You need a comma after humor, but I would revise it completely. I would probably split the sentences into 2 seperate ones, saying something like:
The show became popular because of the humor and gore, but mostly because of the band Dethklok. Dethklok also rose in popularity in the real world with the release of The Deathalbum.
Or something to that effect...I know what you're trying to say, but I think it could be reworked a little better.
Similarly, in the next sentence you say:
Viewers loved everything about them, from their appearance to their attitude, to the long awaited segments in the show where fans of theirs would be killed in some bizarre way like get sucked into helicopter blades, being dismembered or “bloodrocuted”, Nathan Explosion seeing a corpse and saying, “I’m hungry” etc
Wayyy too much going on here. Try to define "them" when you start a new sentence, because it could mean a number of things judging from the previous sentence. I won't go into detail on how to fix this one because frankly I don't think it is needed.
The run on sentences happen a lot during the review, making it sound unfocused and 'ranty' as Zipper said. I would go back and proofread. Try to use commas sparingly.
I generally like the second paragraph. It gives a brief introduction of the band, and presents some good information. I would keep that one, but again, just check over your grammar. An easy one that I would change is the last sentence:
Small once again played all the instruments here except the drums as well as managed the vocals.
You already introduced Small as the main songwriter in the first sentence, so it is repetitive to say it again, but if you want to keep it, I would reword it. Maybe something like:
Small, who plays every instrument on the album (excluding drums), is also the lead vocalist.
But again, its very repetitive because all of that information was said in the preceding sentences.
Couple of errors here:
Brendon, or Nathan Explosion, as I tend to think of the character singing the songs instead of Beandon, does his usual Corpsegrinder vocals on this one which have improved a great deal.
Try and define "this":
'Bloodlines' song changes tempo and draws to an end with a nice solo and Nathan screaming “I’ll take your life!” repeatedly
Instead of doing a description of each track for the third paragraph, I might try highlighting the best qualities and worst qualities of the songs as a whole. That is totally up to you though. Just read over that one again too, there are some small grammatical and typos in there.
As for the vocals, they’re a lot better, although Brandon can’t do inhales very well, his growls and death –grunts are a lot more crisp and loud.
The last paragraph is your best, just take the first sentence you, you have already stated that information in the previous paragraph. One more thing I would change there is:
To conclude, Dethklok are a gimmick, but the music is pretty serious.
I really like that sentence, just take off "pretty", it makes you sound unsure of yourself, and makes your statement sound weak. I would throw out "to conclude" as well, but thats just me.
Sorry to nitpick, but I think with some work this could be a great review. And sorry again for negging without explaining, I just wanted to write up a constructive post when I had the time.