Archive for October, 2013

Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem A Klok Opera

Posted in News on October 28, 2013 by lukesreviews1014

*SPOILER ALERT* If you haven’t seen this yet, I suggest not reading because I will be revealing secrets of the special in order to properly critique it. 

It’s been quite some time since the last episode of Metalocalypse premiered (15 months to be exact), and now fans have awaited with bated breath for the new special The Doomstar Requiem A Klok Opera. This hour-long special was created by Brendan Small (the show’s creator) and is presented as a full scale musical with a full-scale 50-piece orchestra, multiple guest vocalists (including Jack Black, and George “Corpsegrinder” Fischer of Cannibal Corpse fame), and full libretto, which can be downloaded at Brendan Small’s website HERE. The album featuring all of the music from the show, composed by Small himself in collaboration with Bear McCreary (award winning composer of Walking Dead) can also be preordered at Small’s website.

The show picks up exactly where the show left off. Dethklok need to search and rescue Toki and Abigail from Magnus Hammersmith and the man with the silver face. Instead of facing their responsibilities headlong, the band try to run away from their problems by “Partying around the World.” They are reminded of their responsibilities by Ishnifus  (prophetic leader of the church of the black clock) and question whether or not they have the ability to be heroes.

There are some flashbacks thrown across the special as well. The most significant being the audition to replace Hammersmith’s spot in Dethklok. Skwisgaar  is obviously hellbent on making sure Dethklok remain a four-piece and uses his guitar to smite his competition, including Toki. However, he admits that he actually plays better with Toki and allows him to join the band.

The band finally get the courage to go after their friends and are able to rescue them, but not before battling Magnus, the man with the silver face and their legion of supporters. The reunion of their band mate and the alignment of the Doomstar creates a magical and powerful bond around them and gives them the power to destroy the man with the silver face.

There were also two significant expansions to the story in this special. 1) Charles Foster Offdenson resigns and 2) Ishnifus dies, which is only disappointing because the opening of the show prophetizes a major character dying, and since we’ve only just met him in the last episode of the fourth season, I don’t think his character really developed enough consider him as being a major character.

All in all, I really enjoyed the special and had to ultimately watch it two times. The first time as a starry eyed fan who thinks that it’s perfect because it’s simply Dethklok. The second time, it was as a critic. I thought the production was fantastic. The vocalists are spectacular and the instrumentation is really well constructed. The libretto for this opera (libretto is a term for the lyrics in an opera) is really cheesy, but that’s also half the charm of what Dethklok is. The music is great and the lyrics are silly.

My biggest complaint is in the story. Now, there’s already been some speculation that this was the series finale, but I find that hard to believe because of the cliffhanger ending with Murderface and his “infection.” But aside from that and the death of Ishnifus, who apparently is a major character at this point, it does’t further explain the complete  connection with Mr. Salacia, the council, and Charles Offdenson. In fact, Mr. Salacia, Vater, and General Crozier were only seen in the special for a minute and then revealed that there was a traitor amidst Dethklok, another secret that hasn’t been revealed yet. For all the loose ends that there are, they can easily be tied together again with the rest of the season, which I’m completely convinced is still going to carry on.

I’m really pleased that this happened because we’re in a world where opera as an art form is on the rocks and metal has always been outcasted. Combining these two acquired tastes, no matter how comical or serious, is still a unique concept and I think it’s fabulous. Hopefully it’ll help make people more aware of opera and there should be more artistic unions such as these to spread the word and generate some support.

I’d love to hear all your opinions on what you thought of The Doomstar Requiem A Klok Opera. Please feel free to send me a message, comment below or whatever suits your fancy.

Lou Reed (1942-2013)

Posted in News on October 28, 2013 by lukesreviews1014

It is extremely saddening to learn of the death of Lou Reed. Reed, 71, was a New York songwriter/guitarist/vocalist who put together a punk act called the Velvet Underground and from there, helped pioneer art rock and create a launchpad for artists like David Bowie to take shape and for genres like punk, glam, and alternative to grow and expand.

His time with the Velvet Underground was short, but his innovations through them will live on forever. His collaborations with Nico and Andy Warhol during this time period are also noteworthy as since some of his best music came out of this. He even went on to have a fairly successful solo career with songs like “Walk on the Wild Side” on the album Transformer and “How do you think it feels” off Berlin.

Lou Reed was always a controversial figure in rock. With very dark lyrics and writing about things that were taboo, he alienated himself from many of his contemporaries at the time and has since created a cult following for himself. He was also one of the few people to first experiment with guitar feedback on record and brought in avant-garde elements to rock music.

Over the course of five decades, Reed has experimented with different music and different people, which has helped shape him as a musician and also allowed him to subsequently shape music as the years went by. One of his more recent works was a collaborative effort with heavy metal band, Metallica to create Lulu. He also created an album inspired by works of Edgar Allen Poe. He was never afraid to do whatever he wanted to and whatever he put his name on, you knew it was going to be bizarre, yet brilliant.

We have lost a truly pivotal figure in music and he will be sorely missed. Thank you for all that you have given us.