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Metalocalypse
Metalocalypseimage
Format Animated comedy,
Dark comedy
Created by Brendon Small
Tommy Blacha
Directed by Jon Schnepp
Chris Prynoski
Mark Brooks
Voices of Brendon Small
Tommy Blacha
Mark Hamill
Victor Brandt
Malcolm McDowell
Theme music composer Brendon Small (as Dethklok)
Opening theme "Deththeme"
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 61 (and 1 special)
(List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Brendon Small
Tommy Blacha
Keith Crofford
Nick Weidenfeld
Producer(s) Keith Fay (seasons 1–3)
Shannon Barrett Prynoski (season 4)
Running time 11 minutes (2006–2008; 2012–present)
21 minutes (2009–2010)
Production company(s) Titmouse, Inc.
Williams Street

Broadcast

Original channel Adult Swim
Picture format 4:3 SDTV (2006–2008)
16:9 HDTV (2009–present)
Original run August 6, 2006 – present
Chronology
Related Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem
External links
Website Website

Metalocalypse is an American animated television series, created by Brendon Small and Tommy Blacha, which premiered on August 6, 2006 on Adult Swim. The television program centers around the larger than life death metal band Dethklok, and often portrays dark and macabre content, including such subjects as violence, death, and the drawbacks of fame, with extremely hyperbolic black humor; which accounts for the cartoon's consistent TV-MA rating. The show can be seen as both a parody and celebration of heavy metal culture.

The music, written by guitarist/creator Brendon Small, is credited to the band, and is featured in most of the episodes. The animation is often carefully synced to the music, with the chord positions and fingering of the guitar parts shown in some detail.

One of the trademarks of the show is having the usual "bleeps" for extreme profanity replaced by pinch harmonics.

OverviewEdit

In the series, Dethklok is a death metal band which enjoys a popularity level unheard of in reality, ranking as the seventh largest economy on Earth by the end of the second season. The fictional band members are Nathan Explosion, Skwisgaar Skwigelf, Pickles the Drummer, William Murderface, and Toki Wartooth. Their manager is Charles Foster Offdensen.

If Dethklok endorses a product or service, competitors are quickly driven out of business. Organizations worldwide, ranging from governments to businesses, go out of their way to avoid hindering Dethklok, to the point that the band is allowed to maintain its own police force and can get away with any crime imaginable with virtually no repercussions, although the band is often too ignorant to even notice that they are committing illegal acts.

The members of Dethklok tend to cause disaster wherever they travel, and anything remotely associated with them likewise attracts chaos. Dethklok concerts are so notoriously dangerous that those attending are required to sign "pain waivers" at the entrance, releasing the band from legal liability in the very likely case attendees are killed or maimed. The band is shown to have a callous disregard for their fans' safety, as shown in the first episode where they pour scalding hot coffee over concertgoers.

The band's popularity is such that impressionable fans will do anything for them, even if that means death, which is usually the case. In the episode "Dethgov", fans of Dethklok lynch the governor of Florida after he refuses to establish a holiday for lead singer Nathan Explosion (to be named "Nathan Explosion Day"), whom they then proceed to elect governor in a landslide write-in victory.

The band's unnatural popularity 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. Typically, episodes involve the Tribunal attempting to maintain and perpetuate public ignorance and rampant consumerism whenever Dethklok's antics inadvertently threaten to upset the status quo. The Tribunal, led by a mysterious character named "Mr. Salacia", works off the premise that Dethklok's unusual powers are the result of an ancient Sumerian prophecy about an "Apocalypse of Metal". General Crozier, the military leader in the group, appears to desire either the death of the band's members or the dismantlement of the band itself, but Mr. Salacia consistently overrules him to prevent this from happening. Most episodes show the Tribunal attempting to covertly thwart the band by calling in various "specialists", such as "military pharmaceutical psychotropic drug manufacturers", "celebrity depression experts", or various legally compromised characters who attempt to infiltrate the group.

A running gag is that, whenever characters swear, a guitar note plays instead of a conventional censor.

DevelopmentEdit

Brendon Small's show Home Movies ended its run in 2004, which freed Small to spend time with writer friend Tommy Blacha. They went to metal shows around the same time they were both trying to pitch shows to different networks. This was how they came up with the idea of doing a show about a metal band that was vastly more popular than The Beatles had been. They came up with the storyline, wrote a theme song and had friend Jon Schnepp design the characters. The series was originally called Deathclock, but the name could not be used due to an existing trademark. The show and the main characters' band were then renamed Dethklok. The show's title was then extended to Dethklok Metalocalypse, although the starring band still retained the name Dethklok. The title was finally shortened to Metalocalypse because the extended show title was too complicated. They pitched the show to Adult Swim, which greenlit it in 2005 with a 20-episode contract.[1][2][3]

Broadcast historyEdit

The show's first season consists of 20 11-minute episodes, the first of which premiered on the Adult Swim Video website on August 4, 2006 and on Adult Swim proper the following Sunday. Metalocalypse was renewed for a second season consisting of 20 episodes which began airing September 23, 2007, two days before the CD release of The Dethalbum. An updated version of the Deththeme was featured in the second season as well. The Metalocalypse premiere was the #1 rated show in its time slot among males aged 18–34, and earned the network's best premiere delivery and ratings in 2006. Among the top ad-supported basic cable programs of the week, Metalocalypse ranked #12 among men 18-34 and #6 among men 18-24. The series premiere ranked #30 for the week among adults 18-34.[4]

At San Diego San Diego Comic Con 2008, Tommy Blacha confirmed that the show would be renewed for a third season[5] which premiered on November 8, 2009.[6] The episodes of season three are 21 minutes long (30 minutes including commercials).[7]

The fourth season returned to the original 11 minute run-time. Season four premiered April 29, 2012, and consisted of 12 episodes.[8]

Actor Mark Hamill has confirmed the fifth season of the show is currently in production. Brendon Small later denied this, however, stating that it had not reached production yet.[9]

On May 10, 2013, Brendon Small and Adult Swim announced that a Metalocalypse one hour rock opera special, entitled Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem, would premiere in October 2013. The special aired on October 27, 2013.

In April 2014 in an interview on Steve Agee: Uhhh podcast, Brendon Small confirmed that a fifth and final season was in pre-production. Small is currently waiting on Adult Swim for an appropriate budget in order to end the show the way he wants rather than rushing it.

CharactersEdit

Template:Main

Voice castEdit

Main cast members
Brendon Small Tommy Blacha Mark Hamill Victor Brandt Malcolm McDowell
Nathan Explosion, Skwisgaar Skwigelf, Pickles the Drummer,
Charles Foster Offdensen, Various
Toki Wartooth, William Murderface,
Dr. Rockzo, Various
Senator Stampingston, Mr. Salacia, Jean-Pierre, Roy Cornickleson, News Anchor, Various General Crozier, Cardinal Ravenwood,
News Anchor, Various
Vater Orlaag, News Anchor, Various

EpisodesEdit

Template:Main

MusicEdit

The show includes music written under the name Dethklok by Brendon Small, often in the form of incidental music, and songs about the subjects of the episode in which they are featured, although three albums have since been released compiling full songs from the show. An EP titled Adult Swim Presents: ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead on Tour with Dethklok was released in 2007.

The DethalbumEdit

Template:Main The Dethalbum was released on September 25, 2007, in both standard and deluxe editions. The album is a combination of full length tracks from the series and completely new songs. The album debuted at #21 on the Billboard 200 chart with nearly 34,000 copies sold in its first week. The Dethalbum was also streamed 45,000 times when it went live on AOL Music during the week of its release.

Dethalbum IIEdit

Template:Main Dethalbum II was released September 29, 2009, in both standard and deluxe editions. The album includes many songs from the second season of the series and completely new songs. The deluxe version includes a DVD containing music videos for all the songs played during Dethklok's 2008 tour with Soilent Green and Chimaira.

Dethalbum IIIEdit

Template:Main Dethalbum III was released on October 16, 2012. The album features Brendon Small, Gene Hoglan and Bryan Beller. Ulrich Wild co-produced and mixed the album.

The Doomstar RequiemEdit

Template:Main The Doomstar Requiem was released on October 29, 2013. It is the soundtrack album to the Metalocalypse special Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem. The album features Brendon Small, Bryan Beller, Gene Hoglan, a 50 piece orchestra, and for the first time on a Dethklok album, live Dethklok guitarist Mike Keneally.

EndorsementsEdit

Template:Main Dethklok, the in-show band, also endorses several real-world music products, including Marshall Amplification, Gibson guitars, EMG pickups, David Eden Amplification, Universal Audio, M-Audio, Dunlop Manufacturing/MXR, and Line 6 gear. According to the official Dethklok MySpace, the Gibson Guitar Corporation was also planning on making a Dethklok signature guitar.

Endorsements also range from real world products such as merchandise, comic books, toys, and media visuals featuring the Dethklok characters.

Touring historyEdit

Template:Main Dethklok does have a touring band, although there are no actual human counterparts to the characters on the show. The band consists of show co-creator, vocalist/guitarist Brendon Small, who writes and sings most of the music for the show, alongside drummer Gene Hoglan, bassist Bryan Beller, and second guitarist Mike Keneally.

Home media releaseEdit

Season Release date (Region 1) Episodes
1 October 2, 2007 20
2 December 2, 2008 19
3 November 9, 2010 10
4 October 30, 2012[10] 12

Video gameEdit

A video game based on the series, titled Metalocalypse: Dethgame, was revealed at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con. The game was to be published by Konami and be available for download on both the PlayStation 3's PlayStation Network and Xbox 360's Xbox Live Marketplace.[11] Players would have played as one of the band's roadies, and the game was to be set in Mordhaus, where the player would fight mutant fans. The game would have included music taken from Dethklok's albums. The game has been canceled, because "the creative direction of the game would not live up to the high standards...set for the project".[12]

Comic bookEdit

On July 23, 2009, Dark Horse Comics released the following statement, via Previews: "Following the release of the highly anticipated Dethklok vs. The Goon, Dark Horse Comics and Adult Swim announce a brand-new comics series based on the immensely popular animated show Metalocalypse. Dethklok will be featured in a full publishing program created by series co-creator Brendon Small and a collaborative team of Metalocalypse and Dark Horse artists and writers."

  • Dethklok vs. The Goon (one-shot) was released July 22, 2009.[13][14] Written by Brendon Small and Eric Powell.
    • Dethklok is sent into the same universe as The Goon, who seeks out to kill them.
  • Metalocalypse #1 was released October 6, 2010.[15][16] Written by Brendon Small, Jon Schnepp and Jeremy Barlow.
    • In issue #1, Dethklok decides to venture into the frozen food market with Dethklok frozen dinners, though after many set backs, the band releases lethally poisonous food on their fans.
  • Metalocalypse #2 was released December 15, 2010.[17][18] Written by Brendon Small, Jon Schnepp and Jeremy Barlow.
    • In issue #2, Dethklok returns to Finland to apologize for their last visit when they awakened a troll, while a cult of troll worshippers plan to use the band to unleash end times through the trolls once again.
  • Metalocalypse #3 was released February 23, 2011.[19][20] Written by Brendon Small, Jon Schnepp and Jeremy Barlow.
    • In issue #3, Dethklok builds a cross country train to help blues legend Mashed Potatoes Johnson get out of his deal with Satan over his soul, whilst a ghost of a train riding murderer is about to set things off the rails.
  • Dethklok HC - A deluxe hardcover containing all four comics was released June 15, 2011.[21]

All four comics have variant cover arts by Eric Powell and Jon Schnepp. Brendon Small and Jon Schnepp have stated that there will be more comics in the future.[22]

ReferencesEdit

Notes
  1. Dethklok's Brendon Small: 'This Show Is For Guitar Geeks'
  2. Tommy Blacha Interview
  3. Metal Edge TV Interview With Brendon Small
  4. Adult Swim Dominates Young Adults in 2006 (12-19-2006)
  5. Comedy Central's TV Funhouse - Comic-Con Report
  6. 2009 Intended Premieres
  7. Dethalbum II Update
  8. 2011-2012 Premiere Schedule
  9. Dethklok’s Brendon Small Talks Metalocalypse, Latest Album, Future Endeavors, and More!
  10. Metalocalypse - 'Season 4' on DVD And Blu-ray Disc: Date, Cost, and Extra
  11. Konami and Adult Swim announce Metalocalypse: Dethgame for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network
  12. 'Metalocalypse' Game Officially Cancelled
  13. Dethklok vs. The Goon (Eric Powell cover)
  14. Dethklok vs. The Goon (Jon Schnepp cover)
  15. Metalocalypse/Dethklok #1 (Eric Powell cover)
  16. Metalocalypse/Dethklok #1 (Jon Schnepp cover)
  17. Metalocalypse/Dethklok #2 (Jon Schnepp cover)
  18. Metalocalypse/Dethklok #2 (Eric Powell cover)
  19. Metalocalypse/Dethklok #3 (John Schnepp cover)
  20. Metalocalypse/Dethklok #3 (Eric Powell cover)
  21. Dethklok HC
  22. Brendon Small on 'Metalocalypse' Season 3 DVD
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