Metalocalypse – A Review

Posted on January 11, 2008. Filed under: Reviews |

Metalocalypse – A Review

Since High School I’ve been a fan of everything Metal. I was a fan of Metallica before the “Black Album”, I had a Sepultura logo sticker on my SUV and anything with double-bass made me shiver with Metal glee. Anyone who has been through a Metal phase (or is still going through one) knows exactly what I’m talking about. Almost like a drug you seek out the bands and the songs that are more brutal and more heavy hitting than anything that came before. With this in mind, Metalocalypse brings in the mother lode.

The brainchild of Brendon Small and Tommy Blacha Metalocalypse is a cartoon featured on Cartoon Network’s [adult swim]. Short in running time but long in laughs, these mini-episodes bring us the greatest metal band ever: Dethklok. An amalgamation of Scandinavian and American heavy metal band mates Dethklok is the largest and most successful band on the planet (the band itself is the 12th largest economy in the world.) Their fans are willing to go to any lengths to appease them and the band members are just as willing to appease, well, themselves.

Metalocalypse ingeniously parodies everything in the metal genre. Featuring Nathan Explosion on vocals, Toki Wartooth and Skwisgaard Skwigelf on guitars, William Murderface on bass and Pickles on drums, the band is the cartoon version of the Three Stooges.. The band’s enormous mansion, Mordhaus, seems as though it’s been ripped from an album cover in some obscure half-off sale dustbin in the back of a music store.

With obscure references (like a fast-food joint named Dimmu Burger, an allusion to the Norwegian band Dimmu Borgir) and guest voice over work from various musicians and singers (Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield from Metallica make appearances) there is something for fans from every point on the metal map. There is even a real Dethklok album for those who can’t get enough of Heavy Metal Coffee jingles and birthday songs (there’s even a Dethklok tour coming to an area near you.)

Now, one might wonder how another cartoon along the lines of South Park and Beevis and Butthead could even remotely have anything to offer an individual and society as a whole. Other than the laughs from the antics and entertainment you’ll get from the music, what can this show offer? Just like those two previously mentioned cartoons, Metalocalypse has more to say than you might see at first glance.

The fans of Dethklok, while amusing, serve as a reminder that following the pack and those that are leader can be a dangerous proposition if thought is left out of the equation. These people are obviously a parody of the mindless music fanatics that appear in every musical genre. From rap to country, from rock to folk music, there are those people who toss their minds out the window when it comes to what a group of people has to say about something. Music SHOULD stir the soul, music SHOULD put to prose new ideas and enlightening thoughts but the listeners of that same music SHOULD also think before they leap.

It’s very closely related to the issue of fans fawning over political or spiritual advice from actors and actresses simply because of their status in our community. There are professionals for that kind of thing. I don’t ask a carpenter for advice on how to write a review, I don’t ask a priest or a pastor how to prosecute someone on trial. Though these same people may have some background in it and they often times have their own strongly held opinions on different matters, theirs isn’t the advice that I would seek in those matters. As a people and a society who thrive on entertainment, we must constantly be willing to have ourselves challenged by the views expressed by the entertainer but also we need to engage that part of our intelligence that examines what is laid before us and dissect it for what it really means.

All told, Metalocalypse definitely isn’t for the faint of heart. It is not a cartoon that you sit and watch with your kids (or even if your kids are awake in the other room, wait until they’re at a sleep over or they’ve been knocked out for an hour or two). If you are easily offended by the offerings of the South Park gang, steer well clear of Metalocalypse. But if you have iron for skin and you wash your sensitivities with a pad of steel wool, I’d give this short cartoon a whirl. Whether or not you are a fan of this musical style, you’re sure to get some laughs.


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One Response to “Metalocalypse – A Review”

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You picked up on all the factors I love about the show. Though I miss Home Movies, Brandon came up with a follow-up series that has just as much comedic insight and intelligence as the earlier show, but with even more incredible musical accompaniment (and given the music on Home Movies, that’s saying something).

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