Prepare to meet Dethklok, the world's most successful rock band, Death Metal or otherwise. They are an economic power that outstrips most Western nations. Their plan: world domination, to make everything Metal -- blacker than the blackest black times Infinity! They have legions of rabid fans who will travel from across the world to the northernmost tip of Finland and risk death and mutilation just to hear them perform a coffee jingle. They have an army of hooded servants who pledge themselves willingly to their lords' and masters' every whim. They have a huge Gothic palace and estate called Mordhaus, where even the coffee tables have blades and spikes on them. They have a fleet of gigantic, scary vehicles which include Dethkopter, Dethkopter II, Dethsub, Dethbus, and a custom Murdercycle with four sidecars. They have a staid, quiet, polite, competent manager / lawyer / CFO who will organise everything perfectly and who you do NOT want to annoy. Their songs are brutal, jarring, adrenalin-pumping, and addictively catchy, even though the lyrics are frequently indistinct or silly. It's just a shame that they're a bunch of abject dolts.
Guitarists Skwisgaar Skwigelf and Toki Wartooth, from Sweden and Norway, respectively, have an odd love/hate relationship, mostly down to rivalry. Skwisgaar loves playing guitar and anything female with a pulse - and not much else. Toki is "The Cute One," childlike and with kid appeal, knowledge of which can sometimes irritate him beyond rational thought. Deys boths can'ts speaks English vurry wells. William Murderface looks like a cross between Ron Jeremy and Mumm-Ra. He is the rudest, crudest, foulest, most nihilistic bass player in history, which is saying something. Murderface just can't speak very well, full stop. Pickles the Drummer comes from solid Midwestern stock, complete with harsh whiny accent and strangulated vowels. He is the brains of the band (a title which wouldn't be difficult for a semi-stunned rabbit to attain), and sports the world's most Metal comb-over. Hulking, sulking front-man, Nathan Explosion, brings the standard mix of brooding rage and a growling voice like that of a dyspeptic bull hippo to the act, as well as the ability to come up with songs at the drop of a hat.
Tracking the exploits of Dethklok are a sinister think-tank called The Tribunal, led by the mysterious Mr. Salacia. They see Dethklok as a threat to the world, soon to fulfil a prophecy that dates back to Sumerian times. As much as some members of Salacia's organisation want to stop Dethklok once and for all, Salacia has adopted a wait-and-see approach to the band. While under this covert observation and between gigs, Dethklok must deal with a host of problems which tax their addled brains to the limit: finding food, staving off an insane rock 'n' roll clown who keeps popping up, writer's block, ennui, planning a birthday party, annual employee reviews, fans, finding religion, unloading excess money on charities for tax purposes, a nasty clingy celebrity girlfriend who threatens to split the band, learning The Blues and signing a pact with The Devil, making a movie, and so on and so forth. And it's hilariously Metal at every step of the way. How could doing the weekly shop be Metal? Watch and find out!
I bought this set for two reasons. Firstly, I'd seen the previews and heard good things about it. Secondly, I'm rapidly running out of [adult swim] DVDs that I do not yet own, and I'm getting sick of waiting for them to bring out Season Two or beyond for just about everything that isn't "Robot Chicken" or "Aqua Teen Hunger Force." I'm very, very, VERY glad I bought this set. At a couple of points, I was laughing so hard I thought I'd wet myself and puke up my guts and die in a pool of my own innards and wee. An appropriately Metal death, but worthwhile. While just about anyone can get a good amount of laughter out of this show, hard-core fans of Metal will get the most laugh value, as it turns an affectionate, yet brutal eye on the genre, with loads of tributes (both blatant and subtle) scattered throughout the series. Besides Mark Hamill (and who doesn't like Mark Hamill in a cartoon?), a few names from the world of Heavy Metal show up to do some fun cameo voice work.
As for the DVDs themselves, I recommend watching them through once with the subtitles off, then again with the subtitles on, especially during the songs. The only trouble is, sometimes the subtitles are wrong: Murderface is described as having "cobraphilia." Trust me, that is NOT the word that was spoken. You can find the Hidden Extras by moving along the options on the Main Menu and using the Up and Down arrow keys on your remote to highlight the secret goodies. Some of them seem may excessively drawn-out and pointless, but Nathan Explosion's take on Hamlet is not to be missed. The Regular Ordinary Extras are also fun, ranging from Skwisgaar's Guitar Tutorial to alternate clips, to the best Band Interviews I've ever seen, and a few more things besides.
Seasons 2 & 3 are also available, and also highly recommended. Why not check 'em out?