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Dethklok is a cartoon melodic death metal band created by Brendon Small and Tommy Blacha for the television cartoon Metalocalypse. The band is sometimes cited as an example of "comedy rock" on par with bands such as GWAR or Spinal Tap, though the overtly comedic aspects of the band are usually reserved for show episodes. Dethklok released their first album in 2007, and the music itself is relatively straightforward (melodic) death metal. The band's less common typeset moniker, Dëthkløk, includes the heavy metal umlaut.

Their debut album, released September 25, 2007, was entitled The Dethalbum. Creator Brendon Small wrote the lyrics and music and also performed the guitar, bass, and vocals; former Death/Dark Angel/Devin Townsend/Strapping Young Lad drummer Gene Hoglan performed drums on the album. The album debuted at #21 on the Billboard Top 200 list, making it the highest charting (melodic) death metal album ever.

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DETHKLOK Discography

DETHKLOK albums / top albums

DETHKLOK The Dethalbum album cover 3.90 | 15 ratings
The Dethalbum
Melodic Death Metal 2007
DETHKLOK Dethalbum II album cover 3.81 | 8 ratings
Dethalbum II
Melodic Death Metal 2009
DETHKLOK Dethalbum III album cover 3.47 | 6 ratings
Dethalbum III
Melodic Death Metal 2012
DETHKLOK The Doomstar Requiem – A Klok Opera album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
The Doomstar Requiem – A Klok Opera
Melodic Death Metal 2013

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DETHKLOK The Dethalbum

Album · 2007 · Melodic Death Metal
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"The Dethalbum" is the debut full-length studio album by US metal act Dethklok. The album was released through Williams Street Records in September 2007. Dethklok is both a virtual band featured in the Adult Swim animated series "Metalocalypse" and a real band assembled to play live shows. Dethklok was created by Brendon Small and Tommy Blacha. The latter does voice-overs on the album, while the former performs all vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, voice-over, and handles production. The drums on the album are played by prolific drummer Gene Hoglan (Dark Angel, Death, Strapping Young Lad, Fear Factory...etc.). "The Dethalbum" features tracks from the Tv-series as well as unreleased material. So this is like the heavy metal equivalent to Gorillaz or something like that.

Stylistically this is melodic death metal with strong traditional heavy metal leanings. It´s not a particularly hard edged death metal release, although the music is powerful enough. The band make good use of guitar harmonies, but also powerful riffs and rhythms. Hoglan is as always an incredibly skilled and powerful drummer who knows exactly what to play at the right time to push the music forward in the most effective way. The vocals are a bit odd and took a bit of getting used to. They are essentially growling vocals, but they are clearly processed and sounds more like they are spoken, put through effect filters, and turned up in volume, than actually sung. Personally it was a bit on an issue to begin with, but after getting used to the vocal style, I see know that it´s just another feature to make Dethklok stand out.

The material on the 16 track, 52:16 minutes long album is well written, catchy, and effective. The tracks are relatively accessible, featuring easily recognisable vers/chorus structures, and quite a bit of repetition both in the vocal department but also in the way the drum patterns and the riffs are arranged. Sometimes a bit more variation between tracks would have been nice, but overall the material is strong and memorable. It is great for the variation though, when the band introduce a few symphonic elements on a track like "Dethharmonic".

"The Dethalbum" is very well produced, featuring a powerful and detailed sound, which suits the music perfectly. Great emphasis is put on making the drums sound as great as possible, and when you have a drummer like Hoglan playing for you, that makes perfect sense. "The Dethalbum" is upon conclusion a high quality release by Dethklok. It´s certainly one of the most unconventional and different sounding melodic death/heavy metal albums on the scene, but it´s probably also an aquired taste (so consider yourself either warned or intrigued). A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.


Album · 2012 · Melodic Death Metal
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With each passing Dethklok release, the cartoon metal band feels less like a parody and more like a credible metal force in its own right. The vocals are still comedic ("I Ejaculate Fire", need I say more?), but at the same time the joke there is wearing thin and I suspect the participants know this, with the instrumental backing exploring a broader range of metal styles. Whilst melodic death metal is still the baseline, excursions into other forms occur - there's some segments of Starved, for instance, where black metal seems to be creeping into the picture. Some metalheads will never take Dethklok seriously, but one thing is for sure: Dethklok certainly take metal seriously.


Album · 2009 · Melodic Death Metal
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The second Dethklok album finds Brendon Small continuing his laser-accurate tribute to extreme metal. Actually, whilst the first Dethalbum's songs mainly presented a fairly accessible brand of extreme metal, on Dethalbum II Small mixes up both more accessible numbers and substantially more complex material, broadening the range of the project considerably. There's a few points where the joke seems on the verge of wearing thin - did we really need a sequel to Murmaider? - but otherwise the Dethklok schtick continues unabated across the entire album and another entertaining melodic death metal opus is produced by a band of cartoon dudes from a flash-animated Adult Swim series. Don't you love the 21st Century?

DETHKLOK The Dethalbum

Album · 2007 · Melodic Death Metal
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Brendon Small's Metalocalypse cartoon might poke fun at some of the more buffoonish antics of musicians and bands, but every single episode drips with love for the genre, right down to the band names slipped in here and there in the background (like having a fast food outlet in one episode be called "Burzumburger"). I think that's why the Dethalbum succeeds so well at both being a hilarious parody of extreme metal and yet, at the same time, a really good melodic death metal album in its own right.

Any doubts about Small's ability to develop the snippets of Dethklok's music we hear in the episodes is dispelled with the opening track Murmaider, a song which is more crushingly heavy than many serious death metal bands are able to compose, and keeps going through a series of excellent tracks that don't let up until the end. I can take or leave the bonus disc, but then again I never let bonus tracks affect album scores anyway; on the whole, I have to give this one five stars.

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