Going into Wednesday night’s show at New York’s Nokia Theater, it was plausible that Dethklok — the human incarnation of the cartoon band featured on Adult Swim’s Metalocalypse — could come across like a metal Josie and the Pussycats: all in good fun and a competent aping of a genre, but not quite the total package. But once the band kicked off their blistering set with the show’s theme song and a mosh pit the length of the stage opened up, things suddenly became pretty damn legitimate.
Featuring Metalocalypse creator Brendon Small on guitar and vocals, Zappa family associates Mike Keneally and Bryan Beller on guitar and bass, respectively, and legendary metal drummer Gene Hoglan keeping time, the songs were given a weight that is lacking on the comparatively thin studio album. The performances of songs like “Murmaider” — a ditty about being killed by mermaids, in case it isn’t clear — and “Briefcase Full of Guts” were mostly stripped of their winking humor and laid out as a full-on metal attack. The comedy was handled by monitors displaying synchronized video of the band’s cartoon alter egos playing the same songs. Dethklok’s lyrics and caricatures of metal’s institutions may be in loving parody, but the fans slamming to “Bloodrocuted” didn’t seem to care.
“Briefcase Full of Guts”
“Duncan Hills Coffee Jingle”
“Go Forth and Die”
“Go Into The Water”