Metalocalypse – Seasons 1-3

Posted: February 8, 2011 in TV & Webisodes

If you haven’t seem Brenden Small (Home Movies) and Tommy Blancha’s (ex-Conan O’ Brien) show Metalocalypse, you are missing something special. The writer’s have developed the craziest, loudest, funniest, head-banging program ever to grace cable television.

Following the daily activities of death metal band Dethklok–idiot vocalist Nathan Explosion (voiced by Small), self-loathing bass player William Murderface (Blacha), balding Midwesterner Pickles the Drummer (Small), “the world’s fastest guitarist” Skwisgaar Skwigelf (Small), and Norwegian native Toki Wartooth (Blacha)–“Metalocalypse” certainly allows its characters to ramble incoherently, but its premise demands such focus that even the incoherent rambling has to lead somewhere.
Bigger than Jesus and The Beatles combined, with revenues that rival most countries’ gross national product, Dethklok enjoys the epitome of creative control, which often results in situations that go madly awry. The band frequently indulges in extravagant, homicidal stage shows attended by millions of fans all too willing to be exploited, mangled, or killed if it means a brief brush with this aggressive cultural force. As wild and exaggerated as this premise may be, Dethklok claws its way to the top tier of “fake” bands for its concerted effort to create quality music. Surpassing the masturbatory silliness of Tenacious D while stopping just short of omplete homage t Spinal Tap, Dethklok and their songs may parody popular personalities and conceptions of real-world metal (such as “Fansong,” a lament for “a bunch of banks that I’d like to rob”), but everything is backed by a genuine sense of dedication, and it becomes impossible to see it all as anything other than a reflection of the (real and fictional) artists and their attempt to embody metal in its entirety. “Metalocalypse”, then, is a bit more earnest than what a surface reading might indicate. Indeed, brief cameos from recurring character Dr. Rockzo, the Rock n’ Roll Clown (a shrill amalgam of Gene Simmons and David Lee Roth (“I do cocaine!”)), directly point to the creators’ unwillingness to reduce everything to a series of pop culture point-and-laughs, creating a successfully hilarious 15 minutes for such desires and leaving it at that.

Most of “Metalocalypse”‘s humour, in fact, derives from the band’s inability to do anything that doesn’t involve the realization of their dark, brutal art: they’re completely incapable of performing the most menial and automatic of tasks. (Skwisgaar fails an on-the-spot test given him by Pickles: “Quick: name something that doesn’t have to do with the guitar!”) The world wilfully plays along as the band reshapes cultural institutions they can’t comprehend in their own image. Comedy (1.6, “Dethcomedy”), religion (1.16, “Religionklok”), film (1.19, “Dethstars”), and, yes, other genres of music (1.14, “Bluesklok”) fall before Dethklok’s violent tinkering–and suddenly you realize that the tribunal that monitors their actions represents a complex reaction to the double-edged sword that is art’s influence on society. Metalocalypse’s comfort with every aspect of itself eventually throws the burden of examination back on us: it poses how much we really “know” about our artistic idols against what we expect from them and considers how much slack we’re willing to cut them when they don’t live up to our expectations.

The show is absolutely brilliant, in its dark, brutal way. Do you need to be a heavy metal fan to enjoy it? Probably — but plenty of the humor is more about the life and less about the music.

Season three saw a change for the show. While the dedication for all things brutal remained, Small wanted to expand episodes, citing the need for deeper storylines and better character development. All the episodes in season three aired for 30 minutes (instead of the usual 15), but due to time deadlines limited the season to 10 episodes. Season Four is scheduled to premiere in the fall of 2011.

Dethklok as a band actually hold their own on the metal scene. Taken from the episodes of season one, the band released Dethalbum in 2007, and actually toured (with Small and Blancha performing in the dark with animated members playing along on screen.) Gene Hogland of Strapping Young Lad joined the pair to play drums for their live performances. Dethalbum II was released in 2009 to coincide with Season 2, and a third album is currently in development.

The Nutwork highly recommends this show for its level of adult humor and for it’s hilarious take on all things metal. Take a look for yourself by clicking the links below (clicking the red episode name directs you to the download). Most episodes have a guest appearance by a metal legend or two – but you usually need to view the end credits to find out who…

Metalocalypse airs Sunday nights on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.

Wiki: Link | On Adult Swim: Link

Season One:
Episode 1: The Curse of Dethklok | Episode 2: Dethwater | Episode 3: Birthdayface | Episode 4: Dethtroll
Episode 5: Dethkomedy | Episode 6: Dethfam | Episode 7: Performance Klok | Episode 8: Snakes & Barrels – Pt. I
Episode 9: Mordland | Episode 10: Detharmonic | Episode 11: Skwisklok | Episode 12: Murdering Outside The Box
Episode 13: Go Forth and Die | Episode 14: Bluesklok | Episode 15: Religionklok | Episode 16: Dethkids
Episode 17: Dethclown | Episode 18: Girlfriendklok | Episode 19: Dethstars | Episode 20: The Metalocalypse Has Begun

Season Two:
Episode 1: Dethecution | Episode 2: Dethlessons | Episode 3: Dethvengeance | Episode 4: Dethdoubles
Episode 5: Dethfashion | Episode 6: Cleanzo | Episode 7: Deth Wedding | Episode 8: P.R. Klok
Episode 9: Dethcarraldo | Episode 10: Dethgov | Episode 11: Dethrace | Episode 12: The Revengencers
Episode 13: Klokblocked | Episode 14: Dethsources | Episode 15: Dethdad
Episode 16/17: Snakes & Barrels – Part II | Episode 18: Dethrecord | Episode 19/20: Black Fire Upon Us

Season Three:
Episode 1: Renovationklok | Episode 2: Tributeklok | Episode 3: Dethhealth | Episode 4: Dethmas
Episode 5: Fatherklok | Episode 6: Fertilityklok | Episode 7: Dethsiduals | Episode 8: Rehabklok
Episode 9: Dethzazz | Episode 10: Doublebookedklok

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