Metalocalypse: Season 3 (US - BD RA)
Gabe returns again to Mordhaus for high definition heavy metal brutality...
Dethklok is the biggest band in the history of the world. Members include Skwisgaar Skwigelf (lead guitar, and taller than a tree), Toki Wartooth (rhythm guitar, and not a bumblebee), William Murderface (…Murderface Murderface, bass), Pickles (the drummer doodily doo ding dong doodily doodily doo), and Nathan Explosion (lead singer). After attempts were made on their lives, the band finds themselves both afraid of their fans and too listless to make a new album. But in their absence, the world threatens to spiral into total chaos, so there is a job to be done.
So what does the third season of Metalocalypse bring to the table? Well, first off a longer run time. That’s right Brenden Small and Jon Schnepp have moved into the big leagues of 30 minute (technically 22 minute) regular television format. This could’ve been a disaster based on the already commonly thinly plotted early episodes, but it’s actually been great. The stories are given room to breath, and the series mythology, both in terms of characters and the vague super-plot involving the actual ‘Metalocalypse’, is explored. Within the first episode we catch up on the band’s first major signing, get minor closure on the previous season’s finale, and introduce a new villain. It’s also a more political season, dealing a lot with the nation’s financial state. Don’t worry though, Metalocalypse is still brimming with stupid choices, extra graphic violence, and some of the best metal on television.
This marks Adult Swim’s second shot at high definition video after Venture Bros. Season 3, and there’s not a lot to complain about, except that I wish I had a bigger television set to capture all the epic metal imagery. Though the animation is simple Flash-based stuff, the art is very highly detailed, detailed enough that I missed a lot of it the first time around, especially in the painted backgrounds (look at those revolting meals). The transfer is also very colourful, and unlike the DVD release the colours don’t bleed, or show major signs of compression noise. I’m especially impressed with all the reds, and the super-deep blacks. There’s little-to-no sign of edge-enhancement, even on fine dark character detail lines, though I did notice some minor blocking on the thicker black lines in close-ups, like Pickle’s hair.
Even better and more exciting than the high definition video is the uncompressed 5.1 audio track. There isn’t a lot of rear channel work, but there’s a whole lot of stereo movement. Most important of all is that discreet LFE channel, which makes the music a lot more powerful. There were problems on the previous 2.0 discs with separation of elements, but now the screams of destruction are clear during even the loudest music, and you can almost make out Nathan Explosion’s vocals, even if you’ll never understand them without a lyric book. The series finally really breaks out, and is worthy of a Michael Bay movie in terms of sheer noise.
Once again all the extras have been hidden throughout the menu. They equal more than an hour. Good luck finding all of them.
The best season yet of Metalocalypse debuts on Blu-ray with good video and great digital audio, and a whole bunch of Easter Eggs. There’s just enough story here that I still recommend seeing the first two seasons to get the hang of the show’s strange and violent sense of humour. Hopefully the set will sell well and we can look forward to more Blu-ray’s from Adult Swim, who has embraced high definition video on their station, but appears to be a little shy when releasing their shows on hi-def home video.
* Note: The above images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer. Thanks to Troy at Andersonvision.com for the screen-caps.
Review by Gabriel Powers
Release Date: 9th October 2010
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 5.1 English
Subtitles: English SDH
Extras: Easter Eggs Aplenty
Easter Egg: No
Cast: Tommy Blacha, Brendon Small, Mark Hamill, Victor Brandt, Malcolm McDowell
Genre: Animation and Comedy
Length: 214 minutes
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