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ALBUM REVIEW: Dethklok - Dethalbum IV
Animated death metal band Dethklok have reawakened from their darkened slumber after a ten year hiatus with their new album "Dethalbum IV". The brainchild of Metalocalypse, the show the band appears in and centered around, vocalist, guitarist and bassist Brendon Small teams back up with legendary drummer Gene Hoglan for the album. With a new album, a new animated film coming out "Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar", fans of the band have a lot of new Dethklok to digest, but was their new album worth the ten year wait?
Opening the album is "Gardener of Vengeance". With a chugging opening riff with blasting drums and a rising death growl, the record starts off strong. Definitely getting the melodic death metal sound on the verses and bridge. Vocals aren't as deep as in previous releases, but I like it since it changes the tone almost of the song and adds a new, darker, almost Corpsegrinder style to the album. Hoglan is relentless on the drums, and with the ending of weedwhacker murder, it is a strong opening track.
"Aortic Desecration" opens with Hoglan's pummeling drums, hitting you hard in the mix. Coinciding with a chugging opening riff, the song kicks off again with the intensity of these animated titans. Vocals do sound a little buried on the track for my liking. With a nice short-burst guitar solo into the second verse, showing off Small's impressive playing. The chorus has more of a groove to it before a descending riff back into the verses, brings it back into the band's take on death metal. With "Poisoned By Food", I love the slow down, speed up guitar playing in the opening, giving off a feel of old school death metal. Another nice guitar solo with pounding double bass and precision drumming from Hoglan. The song does fly by ridiculously fast, almost a feeling on ending abruptly.
"Mutilation on A Saturday Night" is one of my favorites off the album. With a nice opening chugging riff, along with matching kick drums, similar to Fear Factory in the feel. The song mutates into a thrashy/crossover song with elements of death metal. The drumming is fast-paced and aggressive and is a headbanger of a track. "Bloodbath" has a slower build with the guitar, and the addition of choir and orchestra, along with synths, gives it dynamics. With the random synth sections on the track, reminds me of elements of Children of Bodom. The ending of the song is so grandiose and epic, closing out the track after a brutal building crescendo.
"I Am The Beast" has a great opening growl and guitar section. The song sounds like different variations of death metal. It has elements of Morbid Angel, combined with Amon Amarth in the vocals and in the chorus. I love the riff on the verse section, definitely giving off a slow headbanging feel to it. "DEADFACE" open with an ominous, almost floaty feeling acoustic guitar passage into a chugging, slow-burn style riff with reverbed drenched drums. The song has a melodic death/doom feel to it, which I like along with the atmospheric ambient guitars in the background. The album closes with "Murmaider III". Building with ominous alarms into that recognizable chugging opening riff and matching double bass. The song seems more sludgier when the verses kick in, giving that automatic stink-face slow head bang feel to it when you listen to it. Hoglan's drums punch through the mix, especially the double bass in the verse sections. A nice, dynamic and intricate guitar solo by Small at the halfway mark shows his musicianship. The song builds with strings and choir before closing this album out from metal's favorite animated band.
Overall, the mighty Dethklok have returned with a very strong and unique record compared to their previous albums. Adding elements of other genres like death/doom and incorporating characteristics from other popular death metal bands, the album has some good moments and shows the band still has it after a ten year break. In my opinion, I do feel some songs just don't hit as strong as previous releases, and with Small's vocals sometimes too low in the mix, it affects the punch that his vocals delivered on previous records. A good record overall, and hopefully we will get more Dethklok, cause ten years was way too long of a wait for the fans.
SCORE: 8 / 10
1) Gardener of Vengeance
2) Aortic Desecration
3) Poisoned By Food
4) Mutilation on A Saturday Night
6) I Am The Beast
7) Horse of Fire
9) Satellite Bleeding
11) Murmaider III
FFO: Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, Cannibal Corpse