Dethklok: The Dethalbum II
By Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal
Release Date: September 29th 2009
Record Label: Williams Street Records
My rating points:
The highly anticipated second studio album by animated death metal band Dethklok is ready for release. Their previous album 'The Dethalbum' became the highest charting death metal album ever. Lets see if this one is good enough as a follow up! We've already heard most of these songs as part of the second season of the Adult Swim animated series Metalocalypse. Now it's the chance for fans to own them as a new album.
The album kicks off in typical Dethklok style with some brutal riffs and aggressive vocals in the song 'Bloodlines'. The song follows the same pattern till near the half way point where the keyboards kick in and lead to the slow interlude. The song builds up gradually after that and ends with a repeat of the intro riff. That's a pretty good package for a song which is just 3 and a half minutes long.
The next song 'The Gears' starts off with a deadly combination of fast, heavy riffs and double bass drums. The keyboard parts throughout the song have given a lot of impetus to it. The guitar solos and rhythm guitar parts to go along with them are really good, and make this technically one of the best songs of this album. I'm sure this will be a great live song and the band will play it regularly whenever they decide to tour again. I also love this song as it comes off of one of my favourite episodes 'Dethsources'.
'Burn The Earth' comes next on the album. The intro riffs are pretty much repeated for the whole song along with some pinch harmonics and a few melodic riffs for rhythm. The guitar solo at the end is pretty good, but nothing new or unique as compared to other Dethklok songs. But I really loved the way it was picturised. This was in the episode where the band tried to record songs on water to get the purest analog form!
'Lasor Cannon Deth Sentence' is one of the darkest songs in the album. I love the vocals on this one. This comes off of the first episode of the second season, and its played by Dethklok while they execute hundreds of death row inmates. Musically the song fits well with this theme. The keyboard parts in this song are as good as on any other song in the album.
The hard-hitting death sentence song is followed by 'Black Fire Upon Us', which has a slow tempo to it. It certainly isn't as heavy as the other songs and the vocals are the only aggressive elements in it. The guitar and keyboard parts are pretty generic. Visually it comes at a pivotal point in the series, when Dethklok release a new (fictional) album to the world.
The shortest track on the album 'Deth Support' follows. This song is based on the theme where Dethklok play a benefit concert for their wounded fans. From what I could decipher, its lyrics are pretty funny, even mentioning the names of a few diseases. Other than that it's just one rhythm riff throughout the song with a short lead guitar part at the end.
Then comes the first of the two original tracks recorded for this album, 'Tne Cyborg Slayers'. This is a slow one. Other than the vocals, it sounds pretty much like sludge metal, more like a Down song. It's a decent song but nothing really stands out for me. This song has no keyboards for the most part, and the only thing closest to a guitar solo is hardly 15 seconds long. Although, it will be interesting to see where they choose to use this one in Metalocalypse.
The next song 'I Temper With The Evidence At The Murder Site Of Odin' has a very good opening riff. This was in the episode in which Toki starts taking guitar lessons. I think it is the best song on this album. The guitar riffs and solos combined with the keyboards are possibly the best of the entire album. This one truly stands out!
The only other original song 'Murmaider II: The Water God' is a sequel to a song on the first album called 'Murmaider'. When I saw the track listing, this was the song I was really looking forward to hear, because Murmaider is my favourite song off of the first album. Its much longer than the first one. It builds up quite slowly and the solos don't start until the fourth minute of the song. The main riffs and general tempo are similar to that in Murmaider. Overall its good and mucially it offers more than its prequel, but I still think Murmaider is better.
'Comet Song' comes next. This one's another technically good song. This comes in the episode where Pickles gets a PR lady. The guitar solo at the end is awesome. I hope this song gets played live as I would love to see the guitar parts being performed on the stage! For anyone who has never heard of Dethklok, I would recommend this as a good starting point. It's the quintessential Dethklok song!
This is followed by 'Symmetry' which comes off of one of the funniest Metalocalypse episodes 'Dethfashion' where the band gets a fashion designer to make their clothes. This one slows down the momentum built up by the previous song. I think it would have been better had it been a little shorter. There are guitar riffs throughout the song of course, but I didn't catch any solos at all.
The last song of the album is called 'Volcano'. This is a great song. Its dark, heavy and melodic all at the same time. Brendon Small has done a brilliant job with the guitar and keyboard parts on this one. The double bass on the drums when combined with those riffs give it the heaviness.
On the whole, Brendon Small, Bryan Beller and Gene Hoglan have done a good job on this album, but it doesn't come close to the previous album and I don't think it will break chart records or win the same kind of popularity. Having said that, there are some truly outstanding moments in there and I would love to see some of the better songs being played on their next tour. I would recommend 'The Gears', 'I Temper With..', 'Comet Song' and 'Volcano' as the best songs on the album and a couple others like 'Lason Cannon Deth Sentence' and 'Bloodlines' which you might start enjoying after a few listens. For people who are huge Dethklok fans, I'm sure it will be worth picking up the deluxe edition which comes with a 52-minute long bonus DVD. A very good effort!To buy the CD and for more information, check out www.dethklok.org
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