Metalocalypse Season 3
Death metal band Dethklok exists in an anti-reality, having achieved unprecedented popularity, wielding unmatched global power and influence, and ranking as the seventh largest economy on Earth. The band’s unnatural fame and trail of destruction has attracted the attention of an Illuminati-style group, known as The Tribunal, dedicated to monitoring Dethklok’s activity and plans. Led by a mysterious character named “Mr. Selatcia”, The Tribunal works off the premise that Dethklok’s unusual powers are the result of an ancient Sumerian prophecy about an “Apocalypse of Metal” – hence Metalocalypse.
The third instalment of the series sees the band facing life without their band manager Offdensen, who has passed away as a result of his injuries at the hands of the Metal Masked Assassin. Dethklok’s private citadel/recording studio Mordhaus is now a floating fortress and is undergoing heavy renovations to repair the damage from an attack by an anti-Dethklok terrorist group, but operations are soon halted when the band is unable to manage their finances and find themselves in monetary crisis. The only way to solve the cash-flow quandary and boost morale is doing what these metallers do best: staging a world performance of apocalyptic magnitude, and monetising the hell out of their celebrity status.
Staying true to the Metalocalyptic formula of parody-tribute to heavy metal culture, the ten newly extended, 30 minute-long episodes are as solidly loaded with excessive black humour and headbangin’ hellraisin’ as their predecessors, with some long-awaited character development and existential subplots: Toki attempts to find love, Skwisgaar uncovers the origin of his unrivalled guitarist skills, Pickles projects some father-issues, Murderface is even more offensive, and Nathan Explosion remains as awesome and totally fuckin’ brutal as Nathan Explosion was in episodes 1 through 38. Best of all, Season 3 sees the return of David Lee Roth’s cartooned doppelganger and better version in a unitard – hebephilic glam rocker and mad motherfucker c-c-c-c-c coke-clown Dr. Rockso.
As per usual, Metalocalypse also has its black-nailed finger firmly on the metal scene pulse, and the third season aims some deftly defiant blows at commercialisation, asshole celebrity, and the sell-out band in a variety of ridiculously clever scenarios: Dethklok shamelessly plugs all manner of Deth-themed merchandise, including ice-cream Dethcones, Black Black chewing gum and a Dethklok Dorito-dispenser Land, and a cocky real-world reference has the band members repeatedly stopping off at fast-food joint Dimmu Burger (aka black metal/ ‘sell-out’ band Dimmu Borgir) for a cheap meal. The result is a smirking undercurrent of knowingness and a brazenly facetious irony that will not disappoint the metal/Metalocalypse fan.
As with any satire, appreciation necessitates an understanding of the satirised; if you don’t get metal, you won’t get Metalocalypse. But if you’re really keen to foster some metalhead appreciation, the graphic, rude and ultra-bizarro Season 3 is as good a place as any to start, perhaps the only downside being that it’ll leave you with the sad realisation that the human counterpart for a band as awesome as Dethklok has yet to exist in real life.