Dethklok, ‘Dethalbum III’ – Album Review
It’d be easy to forget that Dethklok are seen as an animated band, since braintrust Brendon Small is such a skilled guitar player, and the music isn’t secondary to the hilarious and bombastic plots of the show ’Metalocalypse.’ Strip away the funny and fantastical elements of the ‘Metalocalypse’ cartoon and listen to the music of ‘Dethalbum III,’ and it’ll become painfully obvious why metalheads love the show, the band and Small.
First of all, the guitar riffs rip and snort. They are as well-constructed and as gnarly as it gets, fitting squarely into the melodic death metal categorization. But here is where the humorous aspect certainly adds some levity to music that is serious as a delinquent tax bill.
How can you not have a chuckle at a song titled ‘I Ejaculate Fire’ before launching into fast and furious headbanging, courtesy of guitarwork so swift that it likely burned the fingerprints right off Small’s fingers? Small has rendered himself a more than capable riffsmith.
Journeyman drummer Gene Hoglan’s footwork is as complex, propulsive and powerful as ever, with the percussion and blast beats being a signature and anchoring element of Dethklok’s sound.
‘Crush the Industry’ is a death metal gem, loaded with fills, guttural growling and overall chilling atmosphere. Put simply, it crushes skulls.
‘Andromeda’ sounds like it could have been reared in Florida, after hang sessions with Cannibal Corpse, Six Feet Under and Obituary, as it hacks a deep groove, thanks to its riffery. The galloping solo is as potent as moonshine.
Most of the songs hover at four to five minutes, which is just enough time to get in, scramble your brain and get out, moving on to the next slab o’ metallic goodness.
‘Dethalbum III’ is certainly not extra progressive nor is it dynamically dazzling or esoterically experimental, but we don’t want it to be, either. It’s the extremity of the music that keeps us tuned in for 12 tracks.
Another standout track is ‘Impeach God,’ which features an opening salvo so vivid, you can almost imagine fingers sailing up and down a fretboard.
‘Killstardo Abominate’ is a battering ram, as is ‘Biological Warfare.’ The riffwork on ‘Skyhunter’ is also exceptionally standout.
‘Dethalbum III’ is able to take a super serious (and often gore-slathered) genre like death metal and make it ‘deth metal.’ That is, it fuses skilled playing with a sense of humor, which is often not the case in the genre’s offerings. Big ups to Small for having created and continued his own genre.