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Movie Reviews

Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar Brings Dethklok’s Saga to a Brutal Close

When Adult Swim canceled the epically brutal “Metalocaplyse,” it didn’t look like fans would ever find out if the prophecy surrounding Dethklok, the band at the center of show, would be fulfilled. The last episode/special, 2013’s “Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem – A Klok Opera,” ended on a cliffhanger. As time passed, any definitive conclusion seemed less and less likely.

The team behind the show, however, wanted to give the series its proper finale. Smash cut to August 22, 2023, when the new film, “Metalocalpyse: Army of the Doomstar,” makes its debut to wrap up Dethklok’s saga.  

The film is utterly delicious, a satisfying meal* served up with plenty of humor, gore, and darkness. 

Actually, given the gravity of Dethklok’s—and the world’s—situation, there’s more darkness than usual for a “Metalocaplyse” jam. The fictional death metal band—lead singer Nathan Explosion (co-creator Brendon Small), bassist William Murderface (co-creator Tommy Blacha), drummer Pickles (Small), and lead guitarist Skwisgaar Skwigelf (Small)—have completed their heroically reluctant rescue of previously kidnapped bandmate Toki Wartooth (Blacha), their rhythm guitarist. But instead of starting the film feeling triumphant, Dethklok is in a funk.

Nathan in particular is having a hard time. Having mistaken his fling with Abigail Remeltindrinc (Raya Yarbrough) for something more, Nathan mopes, wallowing in his heartbreak. He can’t continue like that for long, though, as The Tribunal, which has been monitoring Dethklok throughout the entire series, is ready for the prophecy of the Metalocalypse to come to fruition. The only thing that can prevent the world’s doom is a song, specifically the Song of Salvation that Nathan must write to stave off utter doom. 

Standing in the way is the sinister Mr. Salacia (Mark Hamill), leader of The Tribunal, who has his own nefarious reasons for hastening the Metalocalypse. Can Nathan overcome his self-doubt (and near-total idiocy) to write the Song of Salvation and prevent Salacia from achieving world destruction? Can the rest of the band get over their hurt feelings to help Nathan save humanity (which, in this case, is almost entirely made up of Dethklok fans)?

“Metalocalpyse: Army of the Doomstar” fully lives up it its poster’s tagline: “It will be brutal.” But in that brutality is a lot of beauty by way of the painting-like backgrounds. The clouds and embers which swirl overhead are rich, feeling almost 3D, which create a palpable tension between the beauty of the background and the horrors of the approaching Metalocaplyse. Additionally, the score and the soundtrack, which includes the single, “Aortic Desecration,” give “Metalocalpyse: Army of the Doomstar” the feeling of an event. Add to this the rock star voice work by Small, Blacha, Yarbrough, Hamill, Victor Brandt, Malcolm McDowell, Jon Hamm, Laraine Newman, Juliet Mills, and, well, everyone in the film, and you have a headbanger of a good time.  

The Blu-Ray contains an exclusive poster and the featurette, “Behind the Metal Curtain,” wherein Small and some of the writers, animators, and musicians discuss the practical effects used to achieve the backgrounds mentioned above, as well as give vital insight into the creation of the whole package—film, soundtrack, and score.

Above all, “Metalocalpyse: Army of the Doomstar” brings the TV series to a fittingly brutal and funny conclusion.

You can check out the Trailer only on Youtube (Age Restricted)

*See our interview with Small for the genesis of this metaphor

“Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar” will be available on Blu-Ray and digital on August 22, 2023. “Dethalbum IV” will be available on August 22, and the original score to the film will be available on August 25, 2023. “Metalocalypse: The Complete Series” is already available for purchase.

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