Thought to be dead, Dethklok is back to life.
Ten years after their last release, Brendon Small (guitar/vocals/keyboards, Galaktikon), Gene Hoglan (drums, Dark Angel, ex-Death, ex-Fear Factory, ex-Strapping Young Lad, ex-Testament…) and Bryan Beller (bass, ex-Ephel Duath, ex-James LaBrie) once again embody Nathan Explosion, Skwisgaar Skwigelf, Toki Wartooth, William Murderface and Pickles the Drummer to create the Dethalbum IV.
Gardner of Vengeance opens the album with the engine of a tool clearly intent on placing energetic riffs before slicing up the local population. A few keyboards help the melodious leads to become more majestic, while the vocalist assaults us and leads us to Aortic Desecration, a track with a catchy Old School approach where the musicians easily manage to pick up the first skull movements. Sharp harmonics are also part of the mix, accompanying the heady chorus or the obscure break, before Poisoned by Food sets its heavy and sometimes even oppressive tones to its martial rhythm. Guitars provide the ominous elements before taking off again via a jerky epic approach on Mutilation on a Saturday Night, a rather impressive composition that skilfully blends aggression and dynamic patterns to welcome the melodies, providing a strangely joyful touch before Bloodbath takes over to ensure an energetic sound sublimated by a few touches of keyboards. The sound remains curiously playful despite the title, as I am the Beast returns to much wilder elements to unfurl its rage, while letting the harmonics add their more ethereal touch. The guitars become totally dissonant on the final, then Horse of Fire returns to jerky steady riffs to welcome majestic elements that punctuate the track while the vocalist goes wild before the Heavy-influenced solo gives the sound a completely different and highly melancholic mood, which also continues with DEADFACE, which also adopts an eerie touch. The band returns to more energetic sounds with Satellite Bleeding and its stirring riffs, which can only ensure a positive return thanks to its groovy, heavy tones. Leads bring the track a heady spatial touch, while SOS develops more mysterious shades, creating a contrast with the epic basis. The album draws to a close with Murmaider III, reminiscent of the band’s debut album’s first track, which was the source of many a headbanging session, and which keeps a similar build while remaining unifying to the last note.
Although virtual, Dethklok is a fascinating force in the Metal world. The composers are obviously all very talented, and their new creations fit in perfectly with the old ones, making Dethalbum IV the perfect successor.