Of all the shows ever released on Adult Swim, I (admittedly very biasedly) believe Metalocalypse to be among if not the very best. From the title to the content, Metalocalypse draws you in and though (as the name implies) the show is centered around heavy metal and the apocalypse, it is hilariously entertaining and engaging, even for those whom aren’t necessarily fans of the genre. The subjects of Metalocalypse are Dethklok, a death metal band, or more accurately, the world’s most popular musicians and the most popular band (of any genre) of all time. Dethklok makes incredibly catchy songs about death, violence, and (like most absurdly famous musicians), the difficulties of being ridiculously rich. This would all be well and dandy and perfectly in line with death metal bands of days past, except for one thing: Dethklok’s popularity has reached an apex so great that it is literally ushering in the apocalypse. Oops!
Band members Nathan Explosion, Skwisgaar Skwigelf, Pickles, William Murderface and Toki Wartooth all carry a large among of baggage from their differing pasts as well as their abundantly privileged present. Together with their manager Charles Foster Offdensen, the band tours the world, performing shows that are sold out decades in advance for a worldwide fanbase who are literally obsessed with them. Sounds like a hard life. There is a small but elite and very influential group, known a The Tribunal first monitor then routinely try to foil Dethklok and prevent the increasingly huge and inexplicable disasters which always follow in their wake, but to no avail. Dethklok’s popularity is so vast that they eventually become the seventh largest economy on the planet and chaos proceeds their every step. The band’s complete disregard for the safety of anyone, including their fans, create an atmosphere where fans are more likely to die at their concerts that anywhere else, and those fans are totally willing to take that risk.
Dethklok fans are willing to die and kill for them, to convince themselves that they like whatever the band likes or endorses. Meanwhile, the band is portrayed as both wildly (albeit unintentionally) dangerous, and dangerously naive. They squabble among one another like children, their individual and group tantrums always injuring others, and at the end of the day, they are always able to get on stage and perform in from of their adoring fans. Flawlessly both a parody and a pastiche of metal culture, Metalocalypse is both surface funny and littered with quips and inside jokes, as well as numerous pop culture references. The show is also enhanced by original music from singer-songwriter, musician, and co-creator Brendon Small. An original dark comedy for adults, Metalocalypse never let up on the laughs, which (surprisingly) were never at the expense of a marginalized group, and the creators went above and beyond to slowly but effectively develop the band members, both as individuals and as part of the group.
I give this one 4.75 stars.