Lambgoat Watches: Metalocalypse - The Army of the Doomstar
The world continues to endure an onslaught of various evils; economic collapse, war, civil unrest, pandemic, global warming, and most troubling of all, over ten years without new music from Dethklok. Fortunately, we’ll all soon be able to listen to their new album and be shown why the wait was so long thanks to Army of the Doomstar, the new film and final chapter of the Metalocalypse series.
In Dethklok’s last epic, The Doomstar Requiem – A Klok Opera¸ we endured guitarist Toki Wartooth’s abduction, learned the history of Dethklok and its beginning as a band, and go with the band on a mission to save their bandmate. That’s a lot of action, and musical shenanigans to top, but luckily for us Dethklok’s closing chapter picks right up where their last adventure ended, with the Doomstar looming large and William Murderface being overtaken by a dark, ominous power from the wound on his arm.
The story once again puts Dethklok at the center of a worldwide and potentially universal conflict, revolving around the band's efforts to somehow save humanity through the mysterious “Song of Salvation”. Dethklok also confronts their own insecurities and flaws as they try to write the song and find themselves in some seriously grim situations that even had not dreamt of before.
The film’s not all dark and dismal, (though it is blacker than the blackest black times infinity) as there’s plenty of Brendan Small’s trademark sense of humor throughout and it’s only bolstered further by the return of familiar characters. Army of the Doomstar boasts an impressive cast featuring the likes of: Mark Hamill, Malcolm McDowell, Jon Hamm all of Hollywood fame, and brings some of Metals’ biggest icons in: Kirk Hammett, Scott Ian, Amy Lee and King Diamond himself.
When you add all this up, Army of the Doomstar feels like an episode of Metalocalypse still. Even with all the action, the deeper storyline, the cinematic scoring, the betrayal, and some well-placed gore and violence, it still goes by quickly like the 11-minute episodes on Adult Swim used to. If there’s anything to gripe about, it’s that the movie feels too short, even though it’s an hour and twenty minutes long. Maybe that’s a product of the story moving faster than most films seem to these days. There’s no waiting for anything to happen, the film just goes full speed right out of the gate.
The format of the original show seemed like we got a different song from each Dethalbum in every episode. In Army of the Doomstar there are only a few moments with the new songs, and while these moments are as epic and absurd as the show regularly provided, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though it might leave the die-hard Metalocalypse/Dethklok fan wanting more.
Bottom Line: Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar succeeds where many “revival” films fail. The story is ridiculous and completes the arc that the Dethklok began over a decade ago. Whether you’re a fan of the music or not, this movie gives devoted fans and the most casual fan of metal music or the Adult Swim era of Cartoon Network something to enjoy, an escape into an absurd adventure if only for a short while. Considering how nihilistic and grim the members of Dethklok were at the beginning of their adventures, the movie and their story ends in a fulfilling way.