As a fan of Dethklok and the Metalocalypse TV show, I couldn’t wait for this album to be released. In fact, I’ve been not so patiently waiting for this release since I finished the previous album for the first time, and let me say right off the bat that it was completely worth the wait. The Dethalbum II invokes a sense of epicness and grandeur like no album I’ve ever heard. In fact, the closest thing that I can think of that gave me goosebumps like this CD is Amon Amarth’s Versus the World from several years back.
Everything that stood out on the first album is here except, if you’ll pardon the over-used expression, cranked up to eleven. Every riff, it seems, is fine tuned to melt one’s face off, particularly tracks like Laser Cannon Death Sentence, Cyborg Slayers, and I Tamper With the Evidence at the Murder Site of Odin. The aforementioned eipcness and grandeur shines through most of all on the track Black Fire Upon Us, which is my personal favorite song on the album, perhaps even my favorite song of all time.
From beginning to end, each song feels like there was a lot of thought put into the arrangements and pacing, with a few changes to the brief clips from the show where appropriate. Brendon Small changes up his vocal style a lot more here than on the previous album, incorporating a more black metal feel to some songs and a few screams peppered here and there. The illusion that you’re listening to Nathan Explosion is still maintained, and in my opinion, the wider range of vocal styles used is refreshing and absolutely appropriate for the more advanced music on the album.
That brings to mind another point, that being the excellent guitar work showcased on this album. The riffs and solos here would be impressive if done by a full band, but when considering that they were all written and executed by one man, it becomes nothing short of amazing. Brendon Small is truly a guitar legend in the making, and I can’t wait to hear what he has for the next season of the show and inevitable third album. Mention should also be given to Gene Holgan who, as always, delivers a second to none performance.
The Dethalbum II, at the very least, is one hell of an album and should be a necessary addition to any metalhead’s collection. If you’re at all a fan of the show, pick this up. You will not be disappointed.