Metalocalypse
What do you do when you create a highly respected animation series surrounding a fictional death metal band that usually features one brutal song in their eleven minute episodes? You take some of the songs and put them on a CD called The Dethalbum for the fans. Now what do you do next? Thanks to co-creator Brendon Small, you take that shit on the road and sell out nearly every single venue you play at.
Writer:  Diesel Aug 04 08
    12 Comments




Photographs by Diesel
What do you do when you create a highly respected animation series surrounding a fictional death metal band that usually features one brutal song in their eleven minute episodes?  You take some of the songs and put them on a CD called The Dethalbum for the fans.  Now what do you do next?  Thanks to co-creator Brendon Small, you take that shit on the road and sell out nearly every single venue you play at.

 

Brendon Small may not be a name you may know but he is kind of a big deal.  He with help from Tommy Blacha created the television series Metalocalypse featured on Adult Swim.  The show, which carries very high ratings for Adult Swim, showcases five Scandinavian and American death rockers in their band Dethklok.  The series mixes elements of comedy with blood and gore topped off with a sick death metal soundtrack.
 

Dethklok are portrayed as the greatest band in the world with die-hard fans and when I say die-hard, I mean the fans literally are killed during performances.




In the cartoon, Dethklok are portrayed as the greatest band in the world with die-hard fans and when I say die-hard, I mean the fans literally are killed during performances.  Fronting the virtual band is Nathan Explosion on vocals with William Murderface on bass, Pickles drumming, Toki Wartooth on rhythm guitar, and cartoon sex symbol Swisgaar Skwigelf on lead guitar.  Each character in the band has their own distinctiveness to themselves with hilarious attributes making for every episode something to laugh at and later bang your head to.



With the success of the cartoon series, co-creator Brendon Small sought to take the show on the road to try a different approach at entertainment.  Brendon Small may have appeared to only contribute to the cartoon but he is also a talented musician and with help from seasoned drummer Gene Hoglan, progressive rock genius guitarist Mike Keneally, and talented gun bassist Bryan Beller Dethklok became a touring band. 

With the success of the cartoon series, co-creator Brendon Small sought to take the show on the road to try a different approach at entertainment.




I admit I was curious how a cartoon could tour.  I know the Gorillaz had pulled it off in the past, but this was different.  The Gorillaz did not have a high rating TV series with millions of fans all over the world buying The Dethalbum CD making it the highest selling death metal release in history.  There was a little more pressure here.  I had to check it out, I had to see how they were going to pull this off and more notably see how others would react.




Luckily the Dethtour featuring Dethklok, Chimaira, and Soilent Green rolled through my city recently selling out within weeks of tickets going on sale.  Desperate ticketless fans waited outside of the House of Blues in
Cleveland hoping to score a spare ticket but achieved no such luck.  I passed them up not to make eye contact for fear they might resort to killing to obtain entry and made my way inside.



Soilent Green was already on stage by the time I got situated.  This Louisianan sludge metal band already had the fans going crazy just after their second song and continue to rip through their catalog while also supporting their latest release Inevitable Collapse in the Presence of Conviction.  Many new listeners with myself being one of them, cheered in approval as they left the stage.




Following Soilent Green was
Cleveland’s very own Chimaira.  The hardcore/thrash metal band seemed to dish their performance out 110% to their hometown fans and hardly paused doing so.  Tracks like “Worthless” and “Resurrection” really blew me away.  The songs sounded amazing live and the energy that Chimaira exhumed made it all the better.  Just before Chimaira ended their set lead vocalist Mark Hunter commented on how awesome it has been touring with Dethklok and how great the guys were to hang out with.  Fans went insane upon hearing this and then pleaded with the band to play one more song once they finished up, but Chimaira was done for the evening.

 

The headliners were finally up with many questioning what to expect.  The back of the stage was a giant white back drop that would soon turn into an almost drive-in theater sized screen for the animated Dethklok to perform on.  The lights went dark and the white screen went black with the Dethklok logo appearing solely.  I was about to witness one of the greatest metal shows I had ever witnessed but I was not aware of it just yet.
 

Brendan Small and company took stage and turned a once seen fictional band in to a full forced non-fictioned experience.




After an introduction episode on the screen featuring a plot to kill Dethklok Brendan Small and company took stage and turned a once seen fictional band in to a full forced non-fictioned experience.  The sold out crowd lost all control as they played out some of the best sounding melodic death metal I have ever heard. 




To make matters even better, Brendan Small and crew were completely in synch with the animation that was being displayed of the cartoon band Dethklok playing to the crowd.  The animation was hilarious with scenes from episodes past along with inserted humor such as the birthday wishes to one of Dethklok’s very own black hooded employees.



“Murmaider” and “Go Forth And Die” were to me the most entertaining tracks of the evening musically and visually as was “Go Into The Water”.  Combining virtual with reality made the show even more impressive especially when the screen showed Nathan Explosion singing and the vocals were on point.  Scenes of Dethklok music videos kept fans entertained especially when William Murderface exited the screen only to be found by the rest of the band to be peeing while sitting down declaring “it is easier on the knees”.



While I saw no eyes bleeding in person nor and human heads decapitated, I was treated to some amazing guitar work and drumming while visually entertained with lots of slaying on the screen.  The show was heavy and fun at the same time and I can honestly say I have never been to a show quite like this.   How many times can you say you saw a death metal show that made you laugh?  I didn’t think so.



With that said the Dethtour proved to be the greatest metal show I have been to this year and perhaps this decade.  If you are so lucky to have Dethklok grace your city do yourself a favor and witness what happens when virtual and reality collide.



 



(12 comments)
hellsbelle  -  Fine Artist
 
Saint Louis, MO
40 / F - Attached
Posted: 08/04/08 at 07:13 PM 
so brutal. i wish i was there.
omniphiliac  -  Writer
 
San Francisco, CA
41 / M - Attached
Posted: 08/05/08 at 09:10 PM 
Sounds like a bloody amazing experience. I was so so mad at myself when I missed their show. Great review, yo.
Amythest
 
Whitwell, TN
37 / F - Attached
Posted: 08/06/08 at 03:09 PM 
I went to the show in Atlanta... and it fucking rocked hard!!!!!!

They truly do shell out 5,000% for their fans and for the show... it was something that I will never forget!

^ _ ^
Belle
 
Winston Salem, NC
37 / F - Attached
Posted: 08/07/08 at 01:50 AM 
i'm totally married to toki.
totally.
i wish i could have gone when it was in SC.
Sarin
 
Mentor, OH
41 / F - Attached
Posted: 08/07/08 at 09:15 AM 
I Toki so much, but could never date him because everything he loves dies. He's so friggin' adorable, though.

I really wish I could have been at that show with you, ! Woe unto me for waiting too long to get tickets!
Diesel  -  Writer
 
Akron, OH
122 / M - Married
Posted: 08/07/08 at 04:54 PM 
Perhaps next time!
Krimsonnox
 
Austin, TX
39 / F - Open Marriage
Posted: 08/14/08 at 05:33 AM 
it was an awesome show i wish i could have stayed for the whole thing. but my only criticism is they could have made the drum set and stage set up look more....BRUTAL ...like in the cartoon lol.
seshasevers
 
Key West, FL
33 / F - Attached
Posted: 08/31/08 at 09:51 PM 
That show is fucking brutal. So mad that they didn't come to Florida.
Bathory
 
Bellaire, OH
36 / F - Attached
Posted: 09/28/08 at 02:36 PM 
I missed this.  I love Dethklok.
Metro  -  Model
 
Winnipeg, MB
32 / F - Attached
Posted: 10/30/08 at 09:35 AM 
i am in love with nathan explosion
MeaganFilth  -  Model
 
Charleston, SC
35 / F - Attached
Posted: 11/11/08 at 07:15 PM 
Funny story:: We had a guy come into my work the other day that looked like nathan explosion come to find out he was the guitarist for Morbid Angel....mwhaha It was so priceless. He was sexy as hell though...yeah I was peekin'.
Sibylline  -  Model
 
Regina, SK
34 / F - Single
Posted: 12/10/08 at 07:27 PM 
 They wont even touch western can locations other than vic in any case. I would love to see the music live. 

"What do you mean booze ain't food? I'd rather chop off my ding-dong than admit that!" 


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