The members of Dethklok shown in a promotional poster. From left to right: William Murderface, Skwisgaar Skwigelf, Nathan Explosion, Pickles, and Toki Wartooth.
Jon Schnepp (seasons 1–4)|
|Theme music composer||
Gene Hoglan (season 2–4)
|Opening theme||"Deththeme" by Dethklok|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||61 (and 1 special) (list of episodes)|
Tommy Blacha (seasons 1–2)
Keith Fay (seasons 1–3)|
Shannon Barrett Prynoski (season 3–4)
11 minutes (2006–08; 2012)|
21 minutes (2009–10)
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television|
|Original network||Adult Swim|
4:3 SDTV (2006–08)|
16:9 HDTV (2009–13)
|Original release||August 6, 2006 – October 27, 2013|
|Followed by||Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem|
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 on 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 hyperbolic black comedy. 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 featured in most episodes. The animation is often carefully synced to the music with the chord positions and fingering of the guitar parts shown in some detail.
A one-hour special entitled Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem was released on October 27, 2013.
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. (Series creator Small described them as "like the Beatles, just a thousand times more dangerous and a billion times more stupid".)
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.
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.
The show's first season consists of 20 11-minute episodes, the first of which premiered on the Adult Swim Video 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.
At San Diego Comic Con 2008, Tommy Blacha confirmed that the show would be renewed for a third season which premiered on November 8, 2009. The episodes of season three are 21 minutes long (30 minutes including commercials).
On May 10, 2013, Brendon Small and Adult Swim announced that a Metalocalypse one hour rock opera special, entitled Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem, was in the works. The special aired on October 27, 2013.
In April 2014, in an interview on Steve Agee: Uhhh podcast, Brendon Small stated that a fifth and final season was in pre-production and that he was waiting on a budget from Adult Swim. Small has since stated that he has begun exploring other ways of ending the show which may end up being a special or a movie, he stated that he's in the early stages of planning.
In March 2015, Brendon Small issued a statement saying that he approached Adult Swim with the idea to do the finale as a "big mini-series", but was turned down by the network. It was later revealed that Metalocalypse had been cancelled; however, Small tweeted that he has plans "to service a final story and music—but not in way fans are used to".
In October 2015, Small announced a month-long social campaign, called "Metalocalypse Now", to have fans of the show contact Hulu and Adult Swim to convince them to co-fund the series finale to Metalocalypse, entitled: Metalocalypse: The Army of the Doomstar - The Final Chapter. As a result of the campaign, financial backers stepped forward to fund a final season, but Adult Swim declined to pick up the series. In a May 2016 interview, Small said he is "all but finished making Dethklok records".
Voice cast and characters
|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. Rockso, Various||Senator Stampingston, Mr. Salacia, Jean-Pierre, Roy Cornickelson, News Anchor, Various|| General Crozier, Cardinal Ravenwood, News Anchor, Various
||Vater Orlaag, News Anchor, Various|
Other guest stars
Besides the metal and rock musicians above, other celebrities have also contributed to this show, including:
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||20||August 6, 2006||December 17, 2006|
|2||19||September 23, 2007||September 7, 2008|
|3||10||November 8, 2009||October 24, 2010|
|4||12||April 29, 2012||July 15, 2012|
|Special||October 27, 2013|
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 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 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.
The Doomstar Requiem
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.
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. During the 2008 NAMM Convention, a special edition Epiphone Explorer was unveiled to a select few. Pictures of show creator Brendon Small holding the guitar can be seen on the internet. Small later confirmed that Gibson, not Epiphone, would be releasing a Dethklok Explorer.
In 2007, Shocker Toys produced a limited run of statues of William Murderface and Nathan Explosion. In 2008 and again in 2009, Shocker Toys made a boxed set of vinyl figures with limited articulation of all 5 of the band members. Kid Robot produced unarticulated figures of Murderface and Toki as part of an Adult Swim blind boxed mini figure line. At the 2009 San Diego Comic Con, Shocker Toys released an exclusive limited edition Dr. Rockso Mallow. The song "Thunderhorse" is featured in the game Guitar Hero II by Harmonix and RedOctane as a bonus song. In early 2010, Adult Swim released a "Dethklok Fountain" for sale on their website for $40,000.
Originally endorsing Krank Amplification, Brendon Small and Dethklok began an arrangement with Marshall in 2009. In January 2010, "Laser Canon Deth Sentence" became a downloadable song for Guitar Hero 5. "Bloodlines" is on the main setlist in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.
Dethklok was featured in Soundgarden's video for "Black Rain", which Small directed. Dethklok's 2009 tour with Mastodon was sponsored by Brütal Legend and the song "Murmaider" was featured in the game. The song "The Cyborg Slayers" was featured in the soundtrack for the game Saints Row: The Third. There are guitar tablature books for all three Dethklok albums, which were released through Alfred Publishing.
A bass tab anthology containing tabs from the first two albums was also released through Alfred Publishing. The production of these books has subsequently led to the removal of all Dethklok tabs from websites such as Ultimate Guitar.
A Dethklok "Thunderhorse" Explorer has been released by Gibson; it would later become Skwisgaar's main guitar on the show. In May 2012, Brendon Small revealed a prototype for the new Brendon Small "Snow Falcon" Flying V, it now serves as Toki Wartooth's primary guitar on the show. The guitar was released in December 2013.
On August 17, 2012, a two-minute animated short aired on Adult Swim featuring Dethklok and Death from Darksiders II, in promotion of the game.
On September 25, 2013, an animated short featuring Dethklok, entitled "'tallica Parking lot" (a reference to Heavy Metal Parking Lot), premiered at Fantastic Fest. On October 25, 2014 Brendon Small premiered the prototype of the Gibson Dethklok "Snow Horse" Explorer, a silverburst Gibson Explorer modeled after one of Skwisgaar's guitars.
On April 28, 2015 the Dethklok songs "Awaken", "Go Into the Water", and "Thunderhorse" became available for download in the video game Rocksmith 2014 as part of the "Dethklok 3-Song Pack".
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 release
|Season||Episodes||DVD release dates||Blu-ray release dates|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4||Region A||Region B|
|1||20||October 2, 2007||June 22, 2009||December 5, 2007||N/A||N/A|
|2||19||December 2, 2008||October 11, 2010||December 3, 2008||N/A||N/A|
|3||10||November 9, 2010||March 21, 2011||December 1, 2010||November 9, 2010||December 1, 2010|
|4||12||October 30, 2012||N/A||December 5, 2012||October 30, 2012||December 5, 2012|
|Special||1||N/A||N/A||October 21, 2015||N/A||October 21, 2015|
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. 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".
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. Written by Brendon Small and Eric Powell.
- Dethklok is sent into the same universe as The Goon, who seeks out to kill them.
- Dethklok #1 was released October 6, 2010. 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.
- Dethklok #2 was released December 15, 2010. 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 worshipers plan to use the band to unleash end times through the trolls once again.
- Dethklok #3 was released February 23, 2011. 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.
|Country / Region||Network(s)||Aired||Notes||Source(s)|
|Germany||TNT Serie|| Premiered: June 29, 2010
Season one DVD release: October 12, 2012
| •The dialogue is dubbed in German.
•Features voice acting by Mille Petrozza of Kreator, Marcel Schirmer of Destruction, Alf Ator of Knorkator, and Doro Pesch.
|Russia||2x2||Premiered: 11 August 2007|| •Dialogues are dubbed in Russian.
•Features voice acting by Олег Куценко(Oleg Kutcenko), Александр Груздев(Alexandr Gruzdev), Андрей Бархударов(Andrei Barhudarov), Евгений Рыбов(Evgeniy Ribov), Елена Чебатуркина(Elena Chebaturkina).
- Animation portal
- Television portal
- Heavy metal portal
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I'm on Disney's Motorcity, we're doing the fifth season of Metalocalypse on Adult Swim, I'm doing Regular Show, which just won an Emmy, and the TV version of How To Train Your Dragon.
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|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Metalocalypse|
- Official website
- Metalocalypse at the Internet Movie Database
- Metalocalypse Now
- Official tumblr
- Official Myspace
- Official Adult Swim with Metalocalypse section, YouTube
- Metalocalypse at TV.com
- Metalocalypse on Adult Swim UK (Archived URL) Original link