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Dethklok - "Dethalbum III" (CD)

Dethklok - "Dethalbum III" CD cover image

"Dethalbum III" track listing:

1. I Ejaculate Fire (3:38)
2. Crush the Industry (5:29)
3. Andromeda (3:27)
4. The Galaxy (5:15)
5. Starved (4:57)
6. Killstardo Abominate (2:31)
7. Ghostqueen (4:18)
8. Impeach God (3:34)
9. Biological Warfare (4:35)
10. Skyhunter (4:08)
11. The Hammer (4:28)
12. Rejoin (4:52)

Reviewed by on October 28, 2012

"'Dethalbum III' is more mid-tempo death metal featuring world-class musicians, although oddly, the end result falls a bit flat considering the amount of talent present."

A new season filled with the brutal antics of everybody’s favorite blundering metal heads is hitting DVD, and that means it’s time for another accompanying Dethklok album. The metallic powers of Brendon Small and Gene Hoglan again unite to give the animated Metalocalypse group a presence in the real world, and fans of the previous albums will know what sort of overall sound to expect here. “Dethalbum III” is more mid-tempo death metal featuring world-class musicians, although oddly, the end result falls a bit flat considering the amount of talent present.

“Dethalbum III” finds a speed it likes early on and never lets that go, sticking essentially to the exact same mid-paced sound for the entire run time, with almost no dips into either faster or slower material for variation. It’s a shame too, because there’s actually quite a bit going on musically, and saying it’s merely “technically proficient” would be a bit of an understatement. Unfortunately, it all ends up sounding not just flat, but essentially soulless. There are underground metal bands with half (or less) the skill of these players that make significantly more interesting music. The unchanging, mid-tempo death growls don’t help the situation, and some extra range in the vocal delivery or even a few guest vocalists would have really livened the album up quite a bit.

That being said, there are a few moments that break out of the standardized format of the album for a more engaging listen. “Starved” features a sexy melodic guitar solo played over all the instruments unexpectedly, along with Meshuggah-inspired riffage, and “Biological” has some fun power metal chords. Ending track “Rejoin” finally ups the speed just a smidge and adds in some much-needed energy. There’s of course also something amusing about owning an album with song titles like “I Ejaculate Fire” and “Impeach God.”

While there’s definitely a certain novelty of an animated band releasing an album, overall “Dethalbum III” feels like it’s a good 10 or 15 years too late to the party. This would have been great in the ‘90s played back-to-back with some old Deicide, but there’s really nothing interesting or new here. Considering the source material and the ridiculously metal antics of the show’s characters, you’d really expect something more bombastic or brutally evil, instead of an album that straddles the line and comes off as essentially boring.

Highs: As always, Gene Hoglan has stellar drum skills, and there's a few interesting guitar twists.

Lows: The unchanging pace and total lack of vocal variation create a flat-sounding album.

Bottom line: There is some stellar musicianship here, but unfortunately, the constant mid-speed and uninteresting vocals create an oddly boring album.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)