Friday, October 8, 2010

Ryan Watches A Motion Picture #63: Metalocalypse Season 1 (2006)

So the end times really must be near, since never in my wildest imaginings would I have expected this show to grace the screens. Not even via the twisted hearts working within Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. Metalocalypse is clearly the cartoon comedy I hadn't realised I wanted.

Here's the deal: Dethklok, a death metal band, has become the most popular musical force on the planet. An album’s delay will result in world-wide rioting. Their home-base and recording studio is the size of a small country; their staff a standing army, darkly hooded and fitted with medieval weaponry. The band’s mission is to make all things metal. Clowns, sea-life, coffee, doorknobs, everything. It is the Metalocalypse, and each episode a secret society comprised of religious figures, military generals, and specialists (voiced by various heavy metal legends) try to stop it from coming to pass. It’s a wicked engine of hilarity and heavy metal hooplah, filled with absurd violence, satire, fantasy, nods to subculture, and genuinely well-crafted death metal. A live incarnation of Dethklok tours now and again (I managed to see them in concert last year with Mastodon), lead by series co-creator Brendon Small of Home Movies fame. Small is apparently music grad and evidently a master shredder. 'The Dethalbum' features the amazing songs from the show and belongs in any honest metal collection.

It’s all absolutely wonderful. You’ve guessed, I’m sure, that this is pretty much a dish served for metal heads and geeks, and that if you’re neither of the two, there won’t be much for you to appreciate. But that might not be entirely true – if you’ve seen and liked any Adult Swim cartoons, I dare say you might like this. The humour is in the same vein, chiefly delivered through bizarre, meandering conversations and random occurrences. But, this time, with a heavy touch of heavy metal.

So: Can't recommend this show enough. One of my favourite shows of all time.

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