Publisher: Madman Entertainment
Format: DVD (reviewed)
Release Date: October 21, 2015 / Original Release Date: December 3, 2008
Price: $34.95 AUD – Available Here / Complete Series Box Set $89.95 AUD – Available Here
The Metalocalypse has begun. The members of Dethklok remain unaware of everything that is going on around them. The mysterious organisation seen in the first season is still participating in some kind of conspiracy involving Dethklok, but they are waiting patiently until it is time to enact their plan. Characters previously thought to have been kidnapped and held hostage at Mordhaus reappear as the plot thickens.
As opposed to the majority of the episodes from the first season, individual episodes are now relevant to the overarching plot. Many episodes of the first season ended ambiguously, and it is now clear why those endings were inconclusive. Many characters who previously appeared to be insignificant return to play a more important role. This generally means trouble for Dethklok even if they do not realise it, but not every returning character is an antagonist. The therapist Dr Twinkletits returns with robotic arms and is much calmer now, for example. Things are more serious and the stakes are higher, but Dethklok rises above all hardships they face, usually through sheer brutality. Certain scenes are more grotesque than humorous, reminiscent of the random insanity featured in every episode of Superjail!. However, some of these sequences are important to the plot. There is even a very small amount of character development present in this season; Toki is given an opportunity to be as brutal, if not more so, than his fellow band mates.
It was not uncommon for television series to satire illegal music downloads during the time of original broadcast. The third episode of this season takes this issue and combines it with a satire of the way that celebrities seem to be somewhat exempt from the law. This season may be significantly more plot driven than the first season, but it maintains the same quality of satire and ramps up the grotesqueness that is characteristic of animated Adult Swim series. It may become too creepy for some, but the satire of politics, drug rehabilitation services and charity, among other things, helps make Metalocalypse more meaningful than most animated series on North American television.
Despite the plot progressing quite a bit from where the first season left off, the true nature of the conspiracy surrounding Dethklok is still unknown. This season ends more dramatically than the first one did, but it is not yet clear whether or not the series will make a major shift from satire to drama. If you have made it to this point, it will be worth sticking around to see what happens next.
There is just as much blood, gore and grotesqueness as before. Unlike before, however, visual humour is abundant in this season. At least one pop culture reference makes it way into the visuals, and Toki’s way of speaking also makes its way into the visuals when Toki is seen reading a fictional book titled “Hows to Records”. Although the product information states that the episodes are in the 4:3 format, they are actually displayed in a format close to the 16:9 aspect ratio, suggesting that the episodes may have been zoomed in for this release unless they were produced in widescreen after all.
Individual band members get a chance to play their instruments on their own and even sing on their own in this season, making the audio even more worth listening to than before. The style of the Dethklok songs is the same, but the band steps outside of its comfort zone in an episode about the blues. The variety of music makes each episode equally worth listening to and watching.
There is no special features menu on the first disc; all extras are hidden. Rapidly pressing down four times from the ‘Episodes’ button will reveal a menu from which the episodes “Dethecution”, “Dethvengeance”, “Dethdoubles”, “Dethfashion” and “Cleanso” can be viewed with uncensored audio. The production information does not mention that any uncensored episodes are included in this set, and the same problem occurs with the original release of this season in 2008. An extended version of the boat pulling scene from “Dethcarraldo” can be found by pressing up three times from the ‘Episodes’ button or by manually highlighting the Dethklok logo. An extended version of the scene from “Dethcarraldo” in which a group of Klokateers clear the area for the Dethboat can be found by going left from the Dethklok logo or by highlighting Pickles’ right eye. A video featuring the members of Dethklok listing all of the band names they know can be found by going up from Pickles’ eye or by highlighting Skwisgaar’s right eye. An 11-minute video of Offdensen making telephone calls can be found by going right from Skwisgaar’s right eye or by highlighting his left eye. A video featuring Facebones showing various items from around Mordhaus can be found by going up from Skwisgaar’s left eye or by highlighting Nathan’s right eye. A news report about the Klokateers can be viewed by going right from Nathan’s right eye or by highlighting his left eye. An eight minute video of Murderface’s trip to an opera can be found by going right from Nathan’s left eye or by highlighting Murderface’s right eye. The “Murmaider” music video can be found by going right from Murderface’s eye or by highlighting Toki’s right eye. A short clip of Toki playing an arcade game can be found by going right from Toki’s right eye or by highlighting his left eye.
All of the extras on the second disc are hidden as well. As with the first disc, rapidly pressing down four times from the ‘Episodes’ button will reveal a hidden menu featuring the episodes “The Revengencers”, “Klokblocked”, “Dethsources” and “Dethdad” with uncensored audio. The “Bloodrocuted” music video can be found by pressing up three times from ‘Episodes’ or by highlighting the Dethklok logo. This video is letterboxed and in the 4:3 format. A video featuring Dethklok watching a NASCAR race can be found by going left from the Dethklok logo or by highlighting Skwisgaar’s left eye. A video of Offdensen palling around with the band can be found by going up from Skwisgaar’s eye or by highlighting the left unicorn’s legs. A video of fans violently dying can be found by going up from the unicorn’s legs or by highlighting the left unicorn’s eye. “Klokateers: In Memoriam” can be viewed by going right from the left unicorn’s eye or by highlighting the right unicorn. A video featuring Edgar Jomfru training in a swimming pool can be found by going right from the right unicorn or by highlighting Nathan’s left eye. Nathan Explosion’s reading of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus can be found by going right from Nathan’s eye or by highlighting Murderface’s left eye. A video featuring Dethklok producer Dick Knubbler interviewing Murderface and Toki about their song “Takin’ It Easy” can be found by going down from Murderface’s eye or by highlighting Toki’s right eye. A video featuring a couple of people editing a video can be found by going right from Toki’s right eye or by highlighting his left eye.
The visuals for the interview with Murderface and Toki consists of a single still frame, so it can easily be listened to instead of watched. One thing worth mentioning about Nathan’s Titus Andronicus reading is that he actually skips over the most brutal part of the play, a surprising decision given that Nathan is the lead singer and songwriter for the most successful death metal band of all time. The entertainment value of all of these extras will once again vary for each individual viewer, but the majority of these extras are well produced.
This season has a much more serious tone than the first one, but it is still entertaining and just as hilarious as before. Shows that try to become too serious and do away with their comedic roots tend to rapidly decrease in quality, however, so whether or not that fate falls upon Metalocalypse remains to be seen. So far, the balance between drama and comedy is being maintained. The only major issue with this release is the lack of important product information on the back cover.
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