Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem (A Klok Opera) review

\"Doomstar\"Brendon Small, the creative and driving force behind Metalocalypse and its pseudo intellectual band of misfits Dethklok, has released his most ambitious project to date, entitled Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem (A Klok Opera), which delves deeply into the true realms of his musical genius, that were hinted to on his solo outing Galaktikon. The new album is a testament of his musical capabilities and is accompanied by a one hour animated special that aired October 27on Adult Swim. It contains an original score and picks up where season four left off with the abduction of Toki Wartooth and features guest appearances by Jack Black, Mark Hamill, Malcom McDowell and Cannibal Corpse’s George Fisher. The album is a true full blown opera in every sense of the word, conducted with a 50 piece orchestra, complete with orchestral movements and awe inspiring symphonic passages that will leave you breathless. In fact, closer “Doomstar Orchestra,” is a sprawling 24 minute epic rivaling Mozart, Bach, Beethoven or any of the other names that spring to mind, when you think of exceptionally executed classical music. Small teamed up with composer Bear McCreary, who said he had been a fan of the show for a long time and was thrilled to collaborate with Small to help him realize his vision for a fully produced orchestral score, the plot of which, is too long and utterly ridiculous to get into, The album itself runs the gamut of every known musical style and genre to create something truly groundbreaking. The back and forth of the various voices really showcases Small’s vocal range and brings to mind a Jeff Dunham performance. He also took the time to surround himself with the best musicians the industry had to offer, including Gene Hoglan on drums. The ethereal melodies and lush tapestries created by tracks like “The Birth/Fata Sidus Oritor/One Of Us” and “The Depths Of Humanity” come off more like Trans Siberian Orchestra or Savatage, than they do Metalocalypse and let you know straight away that this will not be your typical Dethklok album However, “Magnus And The Assassin,” “The Answer Is In Your Past,” “En Antris Et Stella Fatum Cruenta” and “Blazing Star,” sound like the Dethklok you know and have come to love. The album also fuses genres, that don’t belong together to give birth to something revolutionary like blending 80’s pop icons like Missing Persons or the Fixx with Amon Amarth death metal flourishes on “Partying Around The World” and “I Believe.” The album vears into N.I.N. sung by Prince territory which somehow manages to work on “Givin’ Back To You” while “The Fans Are Chatting,” runs off the rails into something resembling a Tim Burton film soundtrack. There are nods to heavy metal heavyweights like Dream Theater, Devin Townsend and Within Temptation on titles like “Some Time Ago” and “Morte Lumina.” Meanwhile, “The Dual,” is a blistering guitar solo, with fret work, that can only be compared to that of shred masters Dragonforce. Here’s the bottom line- While this won’t meet everyone’s tastes, you must give massive amounts of respect to Brendon Small for having the courage to ascend beyond conventional restraints to create a modern day masterpiece for the ages. Rating: 9 out of 10. -Eric Hunker