Life is brutal. Just think about it for a second, the inevitability of our condition, always on our downward slide towards the end. It doesn’t matter if you find a sliver of happiness, a glimmer of hope or a small ray of light at the end of a tunnel. Life will find a way to remind you that it can all end in a bloody and violent mess instantly and quite frankly, Dethalbum IV seems a fitting way to embrace our futility.
From the depths of Mordhaus, and after a decade since The Doomstar Requiem, Dethklok returns with their fourth and presumably final LP. This album is bent on reminding you that even with such a long absence (yes, we know about Galaktikon…) Brendan Small has not lost his touch for crafting memorable, heavy riffs, and pairing songs to ridiculous cartoon mayhem, which we can all take in courtesy of Army of the Doomstar. Having Gene Hoglan on drums again can’t hurt either…
Dethalbum IV starts off much like an episode of the original Metalocalypse series. “Gardener of Vengeance” very quickly thrusts the listener into a nightmare of gory and graphic peril. We’re met with the sounds of people being mutilated by weedwhackers; all while being pummeled at full speed by the band. If you were looking for an album that would not only do its best to kick your teeth in sonically and captivate your imagination with visions of real terror look no further.
With an album like Dethalbum IV it’s hard not to get caught up in the humor of it all. Metalocalypse and Dethklok were born from a sincere love of Metal music and its culture, and a desire to make the most horrific and darkest parts of the genre hilarious. “Mutilation On a Saturday Night” is an especially ridiculous example of this as the song immediately takes you to the worst party you’ve ever been to all while a group of metalheads go out on a bender, intent on destruction. Even if the release of the album wasn’t accompanied by the new film, it would be quite entertaining reading the lyrics aloud and trying to imagine the insanity unfolding before you.
When you take a second to consider what Brendan Small created here with Metalocalypse/Dethklok you can’t help but be impressed. Multiple seasons of the show, a rock opera and now a feature length film. Pair that with 4 full-length albums and that is quite the creative output. Small’s vision is still clear and precise after the long wait between albums as well. If there’s any one thing that takes away from Dethalbum IV is that the songs could fit in on any of the previous albums. Everything sort of sounds the same, and while that might not necessarily be bad, it could make you curious if Dethklok’s sound could have evolved more along the way.
Bottom Line: All in all, Dethalbum IV picks up where Doomstar Requiem left off and while it might offer more of the absurd and gory lyrics and epic, melodic metal the band is known for, Dethklok’s latest effort doesn’t do much to set itself apart from its previous work. It’s a brutal, comedically violent, and well-executed sonic epilogue for the Metalocalypse saga.