Dethklok is a phenomenally successful black metal band; so successful that they are rated as the twelfth largest economy in the world, beating out Belgum. So successful that when they go months without releasing a new record, mass suicides and depressed stock markets are the result. So successful that a shadowy cabal called the Tribunal keeps tabs on their every move, occasionally sending out agents to thwart them, or even kill them, as the band's power seems to grow exponentially.
Of course, as this an Adult Swim cartoon, Dethklok is also a bunch of mega-rich clueless idiots, helpless to do anything not concerning music, drinking, or negotiating record contracts. That they survive the Tribunal's mechinations and even thrive from the result is more a case of dumb luck than any skill whatsoever, and that, of course, is where much of the comedy lies.
A great advantage of taking in an entire season this way is that one comes to realize that there actually is a story being told in the background. Season One is largely about a splinter group within the Tribunal, composed of representatives from the Military and the Church-with-a-capital-C, who are plotting to assassinate the rockers, against the wishes of their leader, who may be... the Antichrist? Odin?
In fact, I find myself hoping that the mysteries of Metalocalypse never get fully unravelled. This ain't Lost; it's doled out in weekly 15-minute doses, and is a lot funnier. The intrigue definitely takes a back seat to the comedy, causing me to appreciate it even more. Uh, the intrigue, not the comedy. In fact, to appreciate the comedy in Metalocalypse, you had better also be able to find the humor in movies like Gates of Hell. It is, as the members of Dethklok would testify, "Brutal."
Fresh from the computer graphic files; couldn't be better.
The packaging is agreeably metal, and promises the enclosed discs to include "exactly one cubic metal ton of hidden Murder features". Speaking of which...
There isn't an "extras" menu per se, but doing some stupid remote tricks will net you the "hidden Murder features". On Disc One is uncensored outtakes from the filming of Dethklok's video for Thunderhorse, and lead singer Nathan Explosion recording an audio book of the Complete Works of Shakespeare. Disc Two has much more, such as a guided tour of the group's castle, Mordhaus, and a "Murder Reel" of all the gory moments in the series (Lucio Fulci should have gotten a honorary credit), as well as interviews with an increasingly drunken Dethklok..
Moving your cursor around the episode menus will net you sequences scissored from the series for various reasons. I leave you with the joy of discovery - there's a lot.
There is obviously a lot of inside humor in the series if the viewer has any familiarity with death metal. That an old fogey like me can still dig on the rest of it, without that knowledge, is a mark of good (if twisted) entertainment.
Dr. Freex, 1/06/2008