Thursday, November 1, 2007

Dethklok: Life imitates art imitating life

Part of my musical schizophrenia includes a heavy metal fetish. Is it as strong as my interest in roots reggae? Sure. As potent as my submission before the altar of Gangsta rap? Not a chance. I am selective, but the metal I like, I love. Metallica's Master of Puppets, Sepultura's Roots, anything by Faith No More.

Anyhoo - Adult Swim (the evening and late night block of original programming and imports on cartoon network that targets adults who actually enjoy cartoons [i.e. not my wife]) has a show call Metalocalypse. It's a gruesome, bizarre and ultimately hilarious send up of Black Metal. For those of you who don't know and are still reading, Black Metal is taking Dio to extremes - masturbatory guitar solos, rolling drums, and absurdly dark nihilistic lyrics. The band in the show, Dethklok, does for real metal, what Spinal Tap did for lame-ass, post Zeppelin hair metal.

So this fall, unbeknownst to my usually omniscient self, the creative team released a full album: The DethAlbum. Not surprisingly to those who have sampled the show, the album is really good. What did surprise me, is how good the album is. Sure, the lyrics are still a little overly absurd (a little, mind you, black metal is already lyrically absurd), but musically, this shit's toit. Even better - the vocals and all of the instruments, save for the drums, are played by one guy - who wrote all of the songs and produced the album. The guy is a metal savant. Even crazier, Brendan Smalls is the creator of a few shows on Cartoon Network. So music is just a small part of what he does. Way to make me feel like a waste of DNA.

Short story long; Metalocalypse may be a little too much for most people (there's a lot of cartoon blood and guts), but if you have even a passing interest in metal (it really is the 20th's century's interpretation of classical music), should check out The DethAlbum.

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