Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Metalocalypse: Season 1

Nothing gets you in the mood preparing for Valentine's Day like DEATH METAL.

This was a very spur of the moment series I was watching, really just to see what it was all about cause I'll be truthful I have never heard anyone talk about this show or knew anything about it. And this was out around the same time as Robot Chicken, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and Squidbillies, with me maybe seeing a few seconds tops until this year. Another oddity is the show started in 2006 with only 4 seasons to it's name with almost every episode being 11 minutes long, and there was a huge time gap of 3 years between the third and last season before it was cancelled in 2013. Adult Swim man, that is a whole different beast of programme broadcasting! And it is as off the wall as all their other original shows. Centered on the biggest band in the whole world (how I wish it was true here) death metal quintet Dethklok comprised of vocalist Nathan Explosion, guitarists Toki Wartooth and Skwisgaar Skwigelf, bassist William Murderface, and on drums Pickles. The series so far is just a pure hyperbole soaked parody of metal bands, the U.S. government, the entertainment industry, and death. Unless you have a stiff stomach, I fully recommend not eating while viewing this show. It's actually a bit difficult to review, because like I said the episodes are just bite sized pieces, there's no real plot besides a super secret board room trying to eliminate Dethklok, but honestly I think you can say that about every Adult Swim show so consider this more an awareness PSA of this series and all the madness within. Now with me still very much a novice metalhead, with no hard exposure to death metal music, I only got some of the references but I feel this is a series where you don't have to know the music to enjoy it. If you have a sick ass sense of humor, and want something lavishly ludicrous seeped in blood, with head thrashing bits of music, and an art style while basic and not well funded has backgrounds worthy of any metal album cover at times, then this is for you. Not of course to say the animation is bad and bash it, it's detailed in the backgrounds, it's gruesome in it's cartoonish violence, and the animation team knows how to work well with very little. Maybe it's more a stylistic choice than a budget constraint, what do I know. But the writers man, they crafted something very good here. The humor is ludicrous and more often based on visceral death, but the choices made for dialogue, sound effects, the fact the censor noise is a guitar distort noise, they did put thought into all of it. The parody is almost palpable with this Big Brother government wanting people to remain dumb and obese, where every problem imaginable stems from Dethklok, and every episode they bring a new expert to form a plan to break the band. It's not even a veiled flaming fuck yourself to the PMRC three ring circus of horseshit that happened in the 80s, an event that still enrages me that taxpaying citizen's money was wasted and would have been better used to wipe their ass with. Obviously because the show was made in the early 2000s it simultaneously mocks and yet preserves that paparazzi obsessed corner of media that still needs to die brutally in this day and age. And last but not least is the absurd view of death metal bands, metal fans, and the culture at large but the show never degrades it or anything, you can tell the creators were indeed fans of the genre, with some easter eggs thrown in for good measure. It really does revel in the metal while having some fun with it. No small part to this series is the voice cast with Brendon Small and Tommy Blacha together voicing the band which is actually really impressive especially if they kept swapping voices in scenes, with reoccuring voices aplenty from Mark Hamill (Hell yeah.), we of course get some metal performers in there like George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher, Kirk and James from Metallica, and King Diamond himself which is great and really cool they were down to do some voices for a handful of episodes. And while I'm on the subject of sound, again I must state I haven't waded into the waters of death metal and while I know the songs showcased are probably more on the exaggerated side, but I could get into this genre. I really, really liked the music! Props to you Brendon for these brutal songs! I kinda need more angry music in my life for those brief periods of human hating, furniture abusing, cussing galore of a maelstrom until I'm back to normal. Favorite episode? I give it to Dethfam, it had me rolling the whole way through and it sheds some backstory on the bandmates! And I'm pretty stoked to jump right into season 2 I gotta say, I know by no stretch it's for everybody but I very much enjoyed it and wanted to spread the word about. A simple but good start to the show, 4 stars, solid 8/10!

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