Metalocalypse: Season Two (DVD)
Black metal fans, fear not--the men of Dethklok have returned to make your world a little darker (and funnier) with Season 2 of the animated series Metalocalypse
. Though the show is as densely plotted--often to absurd levels--as any Adult Swim program, and riddled with inside references to the metal scene (from which spring many of the guest vocal talents, including members of Metallica, Dimmu Borgir and Arch Enemy), one doesn't have to be a fan of either to enjoy the show. It does help, however, to have an appreciation for dark humor, as the season opener, "Dethecution" illustrates; having survived the near-fatal attack by their nemeses, a military cabal called the Tribunal, Dethklok decides to return to public life by giving a concert that doubles as a mass execution for 200 death-row inmates. Dramatic changes like this--and the mayhem that follows them--are the crux of Metalocalypse
's second season, and include guitarist Toki taking lessons from an ancient master to up his value to the band ("Dethlessons"), an ill-advised trip to the Amazon in search of hallucinogenic drugs (a terrific Herzog spoof titled--what else?-- "Dethcarraldo"), drummer Pickles' disastrous reunion with his former flash metal band (the two-part "Snakes 'N Barrels), and the cliffhanger conclusion, which finds Dethklok releasing its latest album at the same time the former fans-turned-terrorists known as the Revengencers launch an all-out assault on them ("Dethrelease"). Burning questions in regard to the origins of the buffoonish Dr. Rockso and Nathan's love life are also addressed, and fans get a deeper glimpse into the band's lunatic lives, most notably in the hilarious "Dethwedding," which introduces Pickles' deadbeat brother Seth. Again, enjoyment of the show is entirely dependent on one's tolerance for absurd and often crude humor, but its lampooning of rock excess remains as sharply focused as ever.
As with the first season set, the extras are strewn about the two-disc set in the form of Easter Eggs, though they're not particularly hard to find on the main and episode selection menus. Once located, fans will find everything from extended scenes and videos for "Mermaider" and "Bloodrocuted" to clips of the band reading excerpts from Shakespeare's "Titus Andronicus" or simply listing other metal outfits they like. Each are clever in their own way, and do much to underscore Metalocalypse's party-till-you-explode aesthetic. --Paul Gaita