Metalocalypse Season 2: Black Fire Upon Us
Starring Tommy Blacha, Brendon Small, Mark Hamill, Malcolm McDowell
Created by Tommy Blacha and Brendon Small
Turner Home Entertainment
Release Date: December 2, 2008
Adult Swim is known for its off the wall and sometimes head-scratching humor in its cartoons and Metalocalypse has plenty of that to go around. Soon to be entering its third season, the popular cartoon just recently released their latest season, Season 2: Black Fire Upon Us, on DVD.
Now I myself have not been aware of the series until I received this DVD so I am completely unaware as to the events that happened in Season 1. Thankfully, the series is not continuity driven and newcomers and fans of the first season can jump right on board.
Here are some important tidbits you need to know about the show: it focuses on the every day life of metal group Dethklok. Dethklok is extremely popular, so much so that their fans would kill themselves or blow off the sides of their faces with shotguns to see them. The band members consist of Nathan (band leader), Murderface (bass), Pickles (drummer), and duo guitar masters Tolkie and Skwisgaar. Despite being extremely popular, the band is socially awkward and overall just big jerks, leaving their manager as the only sane member of this group. Most importantly, while the band is extremely popular, a powerful group behind the scenes called the Tribunal does its best to keep the band in check.
If this sounds like an odd concept, you should see an episode. In every 11-minute episode there’s a healthy dose of blood, guts, and gore, topped with a bucket full of out-there humor. There is definitely a reason why this DVD is for mature audiences. The humor is definitely not for everyone and varies with each episode. Sometimes it is very silly and other times just plain dark. I laughed at some of the episodes but also cringed in a few.
While the humor is suspect, anyone who tries the show will be very entertained. The episodes, while short and concise, are amazingly epic in the most absurd way possible. Writers Tommy Blacha and Brendon Small deliver everything but the kitchen sink in every episode and you can tell how much they enjoy doing it. I also love how each episode contains a song that relates to the episode. If I had to compare it to another cartoon, I would say Metalocalypse is metal version of Josie and the Pussycats.
As well as being highly entertaining, the cartoons are pretty satirical. The tongue is never far from cheek in each episode and no one is spared. My favorite character is Dr. Rockso, a cocaine-loving hair band rock star of the 80’s who looks oddly like David Lee Roth and Bozo the clown’s love child.
The voice work is also very solid. Both Blancha and Small provide the voices for about two-thirds of the cast and does an impressive job. With the exception of the two guitarists who both sound alike, every character’s voice has a distinct tone and delivery to it. Even fan favorites Mark Hamill and Malcolm McDowell lend their voices as key members of the Tribunal so the show must be doing something right.
If there is a problem that I could find with the DVD is the presentation of it. I really didn’t like how hidden all the extras were. You basically had to highlight certain images in order to get a special feature and while I like DVD Easter eggs, this was just too complicated for no good reason.
Features aside, if you are looking for some weird subversive comedy, give Metalocalypse a try. It is well-rounded adult cartoon.