"Metalocalypse Season 3" The beat rocks on
In Metalocalypse Season 3, The biggest band in the world (and the seventh largest economy in the world) is back for their third round on Adult Swim, but with their manager dead at the end of the last season, can they get their act together? The band must now deal with robotic drummers, the reuniting of Dr. Rockzo’s band, mothers visiting for Christmas, and some of the most metal dentalwork any will ever deal with. Does the band have another hit album, or is this a real b-side?
For the third season, the show has gone from 11-minute episodes (standard for Adult Swim) to 21-minute episodes (standard for every other television station). This allows the show to get more songs in, and have more intricate plots… but in many cases, it doesn’t feel like it helps the show. Much like how Dethklok is best taken in small doses, the series works better in their crunched time. It’s not as if the episodes are weaker, it’s just that you realize Metalocalypse could have done an episode about a robot drummer in season one as much as they could in season three. They just managed to fit in a joke about ***** fusion music.
The actual episodes concepts are traditionally over the top, featuring hoverdrums being drunkenly flown over foreign territory, double scheduling concerts in both Israel and Syria, unnatural fears of bicentennial quarters, and the concept of joining a tribute band (which is a tribute to your own band). Each of them features some insane concepts met with equally insane songs and visuals. The show continues to be one that you actually have to pay attention to get all the unstated puns (signs are almost guaranteed to be some pun). Awkwardly, the box set is primarily uncut (there are a few bits that remain censored, stylistically), which leads to a lot of cartoon genitalia that might be as disgusting as you think.
The show continues to have an amazing voice cast. Brendon Small covers most of the band, with Tommy Blacha covering the other chunk alongside the iconic Dr. Rockzo (the rock-and-roll clown that does cocaine). Mark Hamill and Malcolm McDowell appear frequently throughout the series in appreciated roles, but you can tell that the writing crew of Brendon and Tommy like to do their best at improvising, turning the band dialogue into natural conversation. Likewise, as much as Glee has it’s family-friendly musicals, Metalocalypse has an incredible death-metal soundtrack to back it up, which is somewhat important for a show that feature a death-metal band.
There’s nearly an hour of extra footage on the second disc. While much of it could fit in the settings of actual episodes (with one being an alternate take on a part included in an episode), the length of these prohibit them. For the most part, these are almost stream of thought conversations with characters, as if the crew got the voice cast together and had them talk for a few minutes. They’re minimally animated and scored, but if you want to learn how to cook Lunchables or hear more of the drunken ramblings at a fair, it’s an entertaining addition to an otherwise barren two-disc set. Purportedly, the blu-ray set includes Nathan Explosion reading Othello alongside five music videos.
Metalocalypse continues to be one of the best outputs of Adult Swim’s lineup, only really eclipsed by The Venture Bros. and Robot Chicken. It’s target audience isn’t limited to death metal fans; they’ll get the most jokes, but will anyone really not be laughing at a cocaine-snorting clown writing a song about a fourteen year old fan he hooked up with at the Hump Hotel?
Okay, someone might not laugh at that.