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Shopping for the metal fan
Are you looking for the perfect gift for a heavy metal fan? For the uninitiated, getting a heavy metal gift can lead to disastrous results. Knowing someone's taste in the music, and then trying to find something new is daunting even for the advanced practitioner. If you're thinking about giving the gift of heavy metal, consider the cartoon show Metalocalypse. This comedy follows the antics of a fictional death metal band Dethklok. While bands and styles are hotly debated among metalheads, I have yet to meet a single metal fan that doesn't like this show. I have also yet to meet anyone with all 3 dvd seasons, the two Dethalbums, and a t-shirt, which means there should be plenty of room for a heavy metal gift.
The World of Metalocalpyse
Imagine a band so popular they're the seventh largest economy in the world. A death metal band. Enter the world of Metalocalypse, the show revolving around the antics of the death metal band Dethklok. The fictitious band members would credit the Metalocalypse's popularity to the band being dark, brutal, and filled with hatred. The viewers will recognize the band dealing with all the problems that any death metal band faces: keeping together 5 self-absorbed, inconsiderate, hygiene-compromised assholes and the constant pressure to always be more brutal without being monotonous. Dethklok just does it with style.
By style, I of course mean without any consideration for the welfare of their audience or the world in general. Their concerts are dominated by a long string of over the top cartoonish gore along with inevitable industrial accidents that are always graphically depicted. (See video below.) All in all, the show is a great parody or celebration of the mindset of a genre that might seem utterly humorless to outsiders. It speaks not about individual bands (which are up to the tastes of the listener) but to experience of being a metalhead. Thus It transcends style and is the perfect gift for any metal fan.
A Typical Dethklok Concert
Metalocalypse Season DVD Reviews
For true Metalocalypse collection starts with the Metalocalypse season DVD's , (or the Blu ray option for season three) so any metalocalypse gift should include them. Just check to make sure the recipient doesn't have the particular season you're looking for. Being quite familiar with the metalocalypse seasons, here are my personal reviews.
Metalocalypse Season One
Season One of Metalocalypse is pretty much the most metal of the seasons. Unlike seasons two and three, that can veer off into indie rock, dance, or singer/songwriter style songs on some (but definitely not all) pretty much every song in metalocalypse season one is metal, and just about every episode contains a metal song. This is also the most "topical" of the seasons. There is an episode on family, religion, dating, etc. and the topic (usually with an unrelated side plot) is what dominates the episode. Or put another way, this season is more plot based. As the show progresses in later seasons the characters become a more driving force. As far as a metalocalpyse gift is concerned this is the one true essential. As someone who quotes and discusses the show regularly I've noticed this DVD has the most recognizable and essential episodes such as the troll episode and the religion episode (referred to as Dethtroll and Religionklok respectively). I'd also say this DVD has the best extras, but you do have to look for them with your dvd remote. The only problem with getting this DVD as a heavy metal gift is that the receiver might already have it. (Check for a black and silver DVD case)
Metalocalypse Season Two
Metalocalypse Season Two:
While I still recommend getting Metalocalypse season 2, I do consider it the weakest of the seasons. Metalocalypse season one is more tightly focused. Metalocalypse season three's half hour episodes leave room for less plot and more jokes. The second season does contain episodes I don't find funny, especially in the beginning. I was a bit disheartened to open metalocalypse season two and find three unfunny episodes, but with Dethdoubles the show picked up steam again. The DVD is worth it. But if given the choice between "play all" and "episodes" I definitely pick episodes.
Metalocalypse Season Three
Metalocalypse Season Three DVD:
Sorry I can't talk about the Blu Ray release, because I don't have a Blu Ray player. There's supposed to be an extra hour of extras. (This must be where the good extras are, because the DVD ones suck). Metalocalypse Season Three episodes are twice as long as the episodes on seasons one and two. I think this extra time gives the writers room to breathe, to make jokes that are tangental or don't relate to the main plot. This season pulled the show out of its second season slump and every episode is funny.
The Dethalbum I and II
The Dethalbum I and II
A show about music is of course going to sell its soundtrack. The Dethalbums contain music from the show in song length versions of 3+ minutes, whereas most songs on the show are often less than a minute. It would be hard to like the show without liking the music, which is in just about every episode. However, there isn't an absolute guarantee that a fan of the show will like the albums. They aren't, in the strictest sense, death metal albums. Death metal albums do not contain decipherable lyrics, rarely depart from break neck speed, and contain no melody. For many people these traits make death metal unlistenable. While inspired by the most extreme bands, the Dethalbums contain more accessible songs than death metal records do. You can hear the lyrics and melody is present. While these albums would make a great heavy metal gift for most fans, fans of the more extreme subgenres of metal (such as myself) might find them a little weak. The Hatredcopter music video below should give you an idea of the sound.
The Dethalbum contains 16 tracks (mostly show inspired but with a few originals) and the Deluxe edition contains an additional 7 tracks. The majority of tracks appear in the first season.
The Dethalbum II contains contains 12 tracks with the majority of tracks appearing in the second season. The Deluxe version has a DVD of music videos that were composed for use on tour for 2008 tour of the live version of Dethklok.
Both Dethalbums have guitar tab books.
Metalocalypse Hatredcopter Video
Anyone searching for clothes won't have any problem shopping for the metal fan, as the typical look is a black band t-shirt with black jeans. There are a great number of Dethklok shirts available, from small to 3XL. The following are just a few examples:
While the band presented in Metalocalypse is fictional, Dethklok does have a live touring version of the band. Members don't represent the actual characters on the show, rather they play songs from the show and the Dethalbums. The band toured in late 2007, June/July 2008, and October 2009. Their only current tour date is for the Mayhem Festival in San Bernardino on July 9 2011. If you live in the area you ought to consider getting tickets because I honestly don't know how much longer if there will be a Metalocalypse season four and thus this might be one of Dethklok's few remaining live shows.