Williams Street Records
September 29th, 2009
Release length: 51:58
Well one thing is for sure on this release: The band has begun to evolve, and, sadly, unevolve. For example, instead of “Nathen Explosion” doing his typical gutteral vocals through pretty much the entire album, he brings his vocals to higher, commander levels, almost like he’s screaming but not quite there. However, some of the material on here just simply is not as good as the band’s debut effort, The Dethalbum. This one starts off pretty good, especially with the intro track “Bloodlines” blasting away, and the powerhouse track “Laser Cannon Deth Sentence” that started off the second season of the television series pounding away at your skull while making good use of the distinctive bell/keyboard sounds in the background.
About half way through the album, however, the music just kind of changes. Granted it’s a slow, gradual change, but it’s pretty damn clear it’s changing either way as the vocals are much higher and the music sounds a little more thrashy then anything on this or the previous Dethklok album. It all really starts with the track “The Cyborg Slayers” which has some nice guitar riffs, but just starts to become a rather boring track after a while. The same can be said with “I Tamper With The Evidence At The At The Murders Of Odin” which is actually a rather boring song right from the start. “Murmaider II: The Water God” tries to be a really epic sequel track to the original “Murmaider” and, while it succeeds at times, there are moments where the guitars just slam into this alternate riff that voids much of the song and makes you shake your head out of confusion, plus, yes, it’s understandable it’s a sequel, but the entire song structure is essentially a game, making it a recycled track with different lyrics, really. After that extreme clusterfuck of tracks that really just come out of nowhere, the album seems to return to normal with “Comet Song”.
Most bonus material included with CDs anymore are simply just a bonus song, liner notes, and/or alternate artwork. However, this Digipack brings us a bonus DVD of more then just behind the scenes footage and maybe one or two live videos. Music videos From The 2008 Dethklok Tour is like going to see Dethklok live, but where you are, since these videos play along with the band in the background performing to give off the feel that the band members are real. The footage includes a plot against the Dethklok fans, some comedic skits featuring Facebones and other members of the cast, and music videos to accompany the songs they play, such as “Bloodrocuted”, “Thunderhorse”, and the infamous “Duncan Hills” jingle. It definitely makes for a nice bonus piece to the release for a few bucks more, and if you’re a fan of the series you’ll greatly enjoy the footage provided on this disc, as well as the fancy metallic packaging that doesn’t feature the artwork from the standard release album and looks really nice until you touched the damned thing, then it starts to just look ugly as sin.
It seems that with Dethalbum II, the band has decided to try to experiment, as well as taken themselves a little more seriously then before. While the musicianship on the album is spectacular like always, there are just some songs that sound a bit too over the top then they should have been, or just aren’t as heavy as they could have been. It’s a real downer since there’s a lot of good material in here, aside the four track sudden shift that appears a little more then half way through the album. With the only really rave worthy songs on here being “Bloodlines”, “Laser Cannon Deth Sentence”, “Dethsupport”, and the closing tracks “Symmetry” and “Volcano”, there really isn’t anything memorable. The other’s are alright, and really rely more on sounding epic with really technical guitars interlaced with some rather simple guitar work here and there, but it just sounds like it’s missing some real bite to it musically, as if the heaviness that made Dethklok sound so good in the first place was cut down, making the standard version of this release just come across as a somewhat boring experience most of the time.
01. Bloodlines – 3:31
02. The Gears – 4:22
03. Burn The Earth – 4:00
04. Laser Cannon Deth Sentence – 4:36
05. Black Fire Upon Us – 5:40
06. Dethsupport – 2:42
07. The Cyborg Slayers – 4:16
08. I Tamper With The Evidence At The Murders Of Odin – 4:30
09. Murmaider II: The Water God – 5:44
10. Comet Song – 3:48
11. Symmetry – 4:31
12. Volcano – 4:18
Bonus DVD: Music Videos / Live
|Initial Score: 4/10
Deluxe Edition Score: 6/10
Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.