Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar

Metalocalypse returns with a crunchy distorted vengeance in the Adult Swim
series’ epic, feature-length conclusion, Army of the Doomstar. Nearly a decade has passed since the
massive cliffhanger ending of The Doomstar Requiem – A Klok Opera, which series creator Brendon Small
pays off with sadistic animated brutality, an assault of blast beats, and musical anarchy cranked up to
11. Army of the Doomstar is Small’s answer to 1981’s fantasy-trippin’ rock odyssey Heavy Metal for the
Headbanger’s Ball generation; it’s also devoted to closing the loop on any hanging threads involving the
members of mega-popular death metal band Dethklok, so don’t treat Army of the Doomstar as an entry point
into Metalocalypse. It’s one final metalhead extravaganza for the diehards who’ve blasted Dethklok’s
Duncan Hills Coffee jingle
since episode 1 – go in prepared or get left behind.

Small and co-writer Tommy Blacha (who each voice multiple characters) waste no time
heaping lore atop viewers who are hungry for long-awaited answers. Dethklok’s musical hiatus has created
a “Dethcession” that threatens the global economy, and an impending Metalocalypse looms overhead as
summoned by raspy cold-open regular Mr. Salacia (voiced by Mark Hamill). Where Metalocalypse has long
painted Dethklok’s popularity as a harbinger of apocalyptic demise, Army of the Doomstar triumphantly
completes their evolution into heroes who must compose a “song of salvation” that saves the world.

The Severe Quest for Salvation

The severity of Dethklok’s quest leaves less room for juvenile Adult Swim comedy bits like “Dethklok
buys groceries for the first time
” or “Dethklok opens a kitty island,” but boneheaded
humor still gets a chance to shine. Everything dedicated hordes have come to expect from Small’s
bloodthirsty cartoon goes out with a “For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)” bang in Army of the
Doomstar, including goregesly rendered fantasy imagery. The illustrated sharpness of Dethklok’s universe
blends ’80s medieval fables like The Last Unicorn and ultra-violent animation like the recent (kick-ass)
Mortal Kombat Legends series. Metalocalypse always contained high-adrenaline concert footage and A+ kill
sequences, but Army of the Doomstar adds a rich, folkloric dimension. Hellfire reds and Murderface’s
horror-laced hallucinations contrast runic symbols in neon blue or Dick Knubbler’s enlightening steampunk
dojo. Small reimagines Disney’s Fantasia by way of Children of Bodom in a way that’d make metal icons
like King Diamond and Scott Ian (both of whom lend their voices to Army of the Doomstar) smile ear to

Metalocalypse always contained
high-adrenaline concert footage and A+ kill sequences, but Army of the Doomstar adds a rich, folkloric

The Maturity of the Finale

Small’s desire to make a sincere Metalocalypse finale brings with it a heightened level
of maturity: Within this environment, Army of the Doomstar can only afford the briefest of windows for
the high-energy shenanigans of infamous, cocaine-loving rock ’n’ roll clown Dr. Rockzo. Small and Blacha
challenge themselves to conclude Dethklok’s ongoing arc without goofball distractions, using frontman
Nathan Explosion’s struggles with his near-invincible celebrity status to promote the importance of
self-empowerment. Dethklok’s ascension from drunkard man-babies into God-like protectors comes full
circle with immense presence in Army of the Doomstar, without making us miss the morons we’ve laughed at
for years. Small understands what the creators of other Adult Swim programs do not, and champions
longform storytelling advancement instead of running the same nonsense comedy gimmicks into the ground.
Nathan confronts his unhealthy relationship with adoring fans, Skwisgaar and Toki accept each other as
riffmaster brothers, and Murderface finally hits the rockiest of bottoms — arcs that have been building
since Season 1. Dethklok earns the versions of themselves they become through hard-fought trials, and
Small does a stellar job making us root for the “healthier” numbskulls who can not only save themselves,
but humanity as well.