Dethklok, the world’s greatest cultural force, return to earth in ‘Metalocalypse Season 4,’ as foretold by prophecy, to record the most important album of their career. The ups and downs of this process make for some serious metal-driven funniness. But one of the coolest things about this series is that you don’t need to be a metal fan to enjoy it. Examples of the universal human themes lampooned in Season 4 include: fan love, smoking , ‘-Con life, global economic health, catch phrases, black licorice, urban life, prison life, binge drinking, global travel, unemployment, moms, amusement park life, drum solos, band-mate life, perfectionism, culture clash, chicks in the workplace, summer camp, diabetes, rivalry, gluttony, vikings, bullying, brotherhood, vanity, low self-esteem, divinity, hot tubs, debt, Tijuana, award-show life, and Frankenstein (the monster, not the Edgar Winter song)
The 11-min episodes make for quick blasts of humor whenever you need them, the video version of the bathroom reader. But for those hankering for a more extended journey, one of the bonus features included here is the 90-min. ‘Nathan Reads Shakespeare 4: Comedy of Errors,’ in which frontman Nathan Explosion reads one of the shittiest Shakespeare plays ever for an audio book with bassist Murderface running the board. Stoners, rappers, a review of ‘Rock of Ages,’ an alternate cause-of-death for Darth Vader, and a surprisingly (and hysterically) existential view of life emerge along the way.
Season 4 really hits full stride, and goes full metal, with its final four episodes. ‘Going Downklok’ is perhaps the season’s best ep., with the band experiencing the hazards of recording in isolation. ‘DethDinner,’ details all the perils of the standard record-industry dinner, while ‘Breakup Klok’ is an emotional examination of how much life sucks once the band implodes. (Not really, it’s funny as shit). The finale, ‘Church of the Black Klok,’ however, does take a turn toward the serious, with the fate of the earth hanging in the balance as the possibility of global salvation through a Dethklok reunion emerges.
The artwork in the episodes is pleasantly reminiscent of the ‘Heavy Metal’ comic mag. That in the remaining bonus materials – ‘Pickles’ Flyby,’ ‘StaresDown,’ ‘MurderThoughts,’ ‘The Prophecy,’ ‘Dr. Rockzo’s Greatest Hits,’ ‘CFO Raps,’ and ‘The DethGame’ among them -- is simplified somewhat, but the fact of the matter is ‘Metalocalypse,’ Season 4 or otherwise, is all about the dialogue, which is good enough that the show could work just as easily on the radio as on TV.
Adult Swim will release ‘Metalocalypse Season 4’ Oct. 30 on DVD and Blu-ray. Special guests on the two-disc set include Corpsegrinder (Cannibal Corpse), Cam Pipes (3 Inches of Blood), Dweezil Zappa, Joe Hamm, and Werner Herzog. The release is Dethklok’s first DVD appearance in 2 years.
Dethklok’s third album ‘Metalocalypse: Dethklok Dethalbum III’ was released Oct. 16 via Williams Street Records. A vinyl edition of the album with special etching will be released Nov. 6.
Dethklok is: Nathan Explosion (vox), Skwisgaar Skwigelf (lead guitar), Toki Wartooth (rhythm guitar), William Murderface (bass), and Pickles (drums).
Dethklok has allowed a human band consisting of Brendon Small (vox, guitar), Gene Hoglan (drums), Mike Keneally (gtr, backing vox), and Bryan Beller (bass, bckg vox) to perform their music. The band is touring now with Machine Head, All That Remains, and The Black Dahlia Murder in support. The tour runs through Dec. 8 at Tabernacle in Atlanta, Ga., including a stop at Houston’s House of Blues Dec. 2. A full tour schedule is available here.