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DETHKLOK

Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem — A Klok Opera

(Williams Street Records)

Reviewed by : Kelley Simms
Rating : 9.0

Doomstar Requiem — A Klok Opera is the soundtrack to the hour-long special from fictional band DETHKLOK of the animated series Metalocalypse, which aired on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim in October. Consisting of 21 tracks, the disc features a 50-piece orchestra and special guests Jack Black, Mark Hamill, Malcom McDowell and CANNIBAL CORPSE’s George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher. Mastermind Brendon Small handles bass, vocals, guitars and keyboards while journeyman drummer Gene Hoglan mans the skins and Bryan Beller carries the low-end. Bear McCreary (Battlestar Galactica, Walking Dead) conducts the orchestra arrangements superbly.

This is a rock opera in every sense of the word and it's far from a full-on death metal album like previous Dethklok releases. The musical concept is somewhat comparable to Small’s 2012 solo project, GALAKTIKON. There are so many varied influences contained within from such bizarre sources such as Sesame Street, MICHAEL JACKSON’S Thriller (see ‘Givin’ Back To You’), Jesus Christ Superstar, A Nightmare Before Christmas and Star Wars. A bevy of great QUEEN moments consisting of various choir vocal harmonies also pop up regularly.

Even if you’re not familiar with the series or the characters in the “band,” the storyline (although way too massive to discuss here), is humorous, playful and believable. Every song consists of captivating melodies, splendid vocal harmonies, catchy choruses and yes, silly but believable humor. The majority of the tracks are under two and a half minutes and with the exception of the 23-plus minute orchestrated finale, the album clocks in at 52 minutes. There’s quite a few memorable guitar solos as Small is an accomplished guitarist; underrated even. Check out ‘Some Time Ago …’ and ‘The Duel’ for examples of his prowess, with the latter being one of the most memorable trade-off, harmonized guitar solos you’ll ever hear.

Comedy, a strong storyline, dynamic music and vivid art all blend together in one stellar package. It’s a highly entertaining musical and the players have done a commendable job. Diehard fans of the animated show might be a little more critical of the plot, but as a standalone rock opera, I think it flows rather well. Come with an open mind, as the album is funny yet emotionally-driven. Well done Mr. Small & Co.




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