Metalocalypse-Season 1 (2006)

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Released 6-Dec-2007

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category TV Series Featurette-Murderface Bass Solo
Featurette-Shwisgarr Guitar Instructional Video
Featurette-Band Interviews
Featurette-Mordhaus Tour
Featurette-Murder Reel
Trailer-Trailers
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 230:00
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jon Schnepp
Chris Prynoski
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Custom Packaging
RPI $39.95 Music Brendon Small
Damon P. Yoches
Jon Schnepp


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

"Metalocalypse is the chillingly brilliant and terrifyingly real story of Extreme Metal band Dethklok: the biggest entertainment act in the universe. Perhaps one of the most disgusting and disturbing pieces of art in the 21st century. Metalocalypse may be the most important Television Show ever offering a blistering critique of fascism and idealism that suggests moral redemption is not unlike our Nordic gods that we once prayed to, a myth. Yet Dethklok is truly the world's greatest cultural force. Their music rivals the discovery of medicine. Come see why Metalocalypse is the only television show in the history of cinema that is slated to win an academy award."

If there's one show on the Cartoon Network's fantastic cartoons-unsuitable-for-kids Adult Swim block that really is not for children, it's Metalocalypse: the hysterical, extreme series chronicling the life and times of band Dethklok, who most popular band ever to have lived who also embody every single Death Metal cliche to the extreme. Their popularity and riches are unrivalled; in the first episode, millions of fans come out and sacrifice their lives to witness the band performing a 30-second coffee jingle, and throughout the series the band's wealth is referred to as the twelfth largest economy in the world, just above Belgium. But not all love Dethklok - a secretive group called the Tribunal are always lurking and watching, convinced that Dethklok are soon to bring about the end times: the Metalocalypse.

A parody described by creators Brendon Small and Tommy Blacha as "Spinal Tap meets Scooby-Doo meets Norway", Metalocalypse is a joy to watch for anyone with even a passing interest in this genre of music.The satire mixes the most extreme exaggeration of the concept of "metal" with total absurdity: although the band's actions embody metal as being aggressive and apathetic towards everything - resulting in death and destruction wherever they go - they're all intellectually and emotionally stunted, subsequently unable to do anything else. To say, it's not that any of the characters are mean-spirited (Murderface excepted), they're just stupid.The situations they find themselves are typically insane and hilarious, where normal interactions or relationships are completely impossible, and their limited grasp of both English vernacular and even the simplest understanding of polite (read: non-metal) society makes their interactions very funny. The show is also extremely, excruciatingly violent, reveling in the most over-the-top grue I've ever seen in a cartoon. (This includes the most brutal Japanese anime.) To be sure, Metalocalypse is an acquired taste, but it's an awesome one.

There's also a fair amount of the non-sequiter humor that has become the brand of Adult Swim (although never to the extreme of something like Aqua Teen Hunger Force), and additionally the music here is also awesome - performed by the creators, who also voice nearly ever cast member, Dethklok have even released a cd - The Dethalbum - which quickly became the highest chart positioned death metal album to date. A must watch for metal fans and worth a look for anyone with a passing interest and a high tolerance for offensive material, Metalocalypse is a stroke of creative genius that absolutely rocks.

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Transfer Quality

Video

The video is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, but is NOT 16x9 enhanced. This is something of an exception to the usual rules of DVDs - technically, this is accurate to the show, which is broadcast letterboxed in 1.33:1 to fit into the Adult Swim block and also to give the show a cinematic look. But the truth is that this means lines and thus detail are lost, especially if you use a zoom on a HD widescreen TV.

Regardless, this is the very best Adult Swim transfer I've seen to date, with very blight flourishing colours - important for the sheer number of blacks and also reds - and an awesome amount of detail throughout. The nasty aliasing and interlacing plaguing most of the Adult Swim releases is thankfully absent, with only a minor amount of interlacing that doesn't distract from the onscreen carnage. I'm very impressed with the set, despite the aspect ratio issue - this is definitely the way to view Metalocalypse.

This is a dual-layer disc set, with the layer changes occuring between episodes where they are not noticed.

There are English subtitles, and they are excellent. Considering how hard it can be to make out some lines of strongly-accented dialogue, as well as the awesome metal lyrics, these are sometimes essential to the viewing experience. You're just not getting the entire metal experience if you don't hear every line that rolls off Skwisgaar Shwigelf' s tongue.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

The audio is presented in English Dolby Digital 2.0 (Stereo).

Metalocalypse sounds absolutely wonderful - this is as close to flawless as one will ever get from stereo audio. The dialogue, effects and music are all perfectly mixed and truly metal, with the heavy Dethklok sounds like a brutal assault on the ears. It's difficult to go back to watching this on TV after hearing it on DVD; everything from the opening Detheme to the closing sounds are just fantastic, and for a program with a lot of focus on music, this is important, and Metalocalypse delivers!

What this does, however, is make one yearn for a fully surround version of the soundtrack, especially the music. But since Metalocalypse is not an especially high budget series, this doesn't seem likely, even on Blu-ray. Regardless, I'm very happy with the audio here.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Animated Menus with Sound

The menus are all metal - all black with a brooding Dethklok, scored with dark atmospheric instrumental music. Brutal.

Murderface Bass Solo (1:45)

As amusing as this is, it's not really an extra - it's a clip from one of the episodes, in which Murderface pulls down his pants onstage and plays the bass with his genitals before a cheering crowd. I'm disappointed that it didn't teach me how to do this.

Skwisgaar Guitar Instructional Video (5:35)

A hungover Skwisgaar gives us a pretty decent instructional video on how to perform the guitar solo from the coffee jingle that claims the lives of many during the first episode of the show - this would be awesome if I had an electric guitar, and some musical ability.

Trailers

A new awful anti-piracy PSA forces itself on as soon as you run these trailers for other fantastic Adult Swim releases, spread across both DVDs. Unfortunately, these "trailers" are just the opening sequences from the various shows being advertised, not actually giving viewers a taste of the product on offer. Additionally, the aspect ratio changes as you watch these, typically to the wrong aspect ratio of the video onscreen. Grab the Adult Swim sampler DVD instead, which has been free with Adult Swim DVDs at selected retailers as part of a promotion for the last few months.

Band Interviews (14:57)

Dethklok talk about various important topics, proving they're all borderline mentally disabled. At one point, they all end up in a dark closet together. It's all pretty amusing, especially their thoughts on family, women and education.

Mordhaus Tours (5:21)

Facebones gives us a walkthrough of Dethklok's home, the Mordhaus. A lot of this we've already seen; it was a video used to educate visitors about the residence when it was opened to the public midseries, but there's more here, including clips from later in the show. It's crude and amusing, but not essential viewing, even with cussing intact.

Murder Reel (5:09)

Metal! This is a montage of the nastiest clips from the show scored to Dethklok music, including plenty of violence against fans, innocent people, and the band. There's gorings and limbs lost and blood a-plenty, including a surprising amount of imagery of the band being dismembered. Watching all of these clips together, I'm reminded how very much this cartoon is not for children - ever - but also that I'm frankly astonished that it doesn't have an R18+ rating. Brutal!

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

The R1 and R4 versions of this package are identical feature-wise, however the R1 Adult Swim DVDs have been plagued with horrible aliasing and interlacing since release. I'm unable to verify whether our image quality is better or the same than the R1, but I'd put my money on it being a vast improvement like the Harvey Birdman and Venture Brothers sets. Go R4!

Summary

Metalocalypse is the most metal television show ever. Possibly the most metal thing ever.

The video and audio transfers are both very good, although lacking 16x9 support or a surround track better than stereo.

The extras are few but nice.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ryan Aston (Bioshock)
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3 (HDMI 1.3) with Upscaling, using Component output
DisplayBenq PE7700. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderLogitech 5500 THX. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationLogitech 5500 THX
SpeakersLogitech 5500 THX

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