I consider myself an avid fan of Adult Swim programming. I've been watching their shows since the first episode of 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force' aired in 2000. Since then, I can safely say that 99% of the original shows that air on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim lineup are stranger and more bizarre than the last. It's as if the network keeps trying to one-up themselves in terms of the weirder the better. When 'Metalocalypse' first aired back in 2006, it blew my mind in how outlandish the show was. Now, on their 4th season, 'Metalocalypse' only proves to be even more insane with an uncanny knack for dark humor, gore, and random jokes. There is nothing else like it on television now, past, or future.
'Metalocalypse' was created by Brendon Small (creator of 'Home Movies') and Tommy Blacha. Seeing Small and Blacha's previous work, I can't imagine the conversations that took place in creating this series. With the show's oddball characters, off-the-wall story-lines, and un-orthodox format, it might seem off-putting, but for fans of heavy metal, violence, and black humor, this show is right up your alley. And with season 4, things get amped up to 11.
If you are new to 'Metalocalypse', the series centers around real-life band Dethlok. In the series, Dethlok is the most popular band in the world with global financial decisions and world issues depending on their success. Yes, much like Wyld Stallyns from the 'Bill and Ted' films. Small and Blacha provide the voices for the band, which consists of Nathan Explosion (lead vocals), Skwisgaar Skwigelf (lead guitar), William Murderface (bass guitar), Toki Wartooth (rhythm guitar), and Pickles (drummer). If this band endorses a certain product, the competitors are quickly forced out of business. These guys are not the sharpest tools in the shed, so they have their manager, Charles Foster Offdensen make sure they live through the next day. The band members have trouble performing remedial tasks like shopping or making food and almost always ends in some sort of catastrophe.
The overall backdrop for season 4 of 'Metalocalypse' is that the band is trying to record a new album and an impending doom to the end of the world where Dethlok has some sort of part in this. These are very minor story lines and are the only sources of continuity really in the series as each episode has different topics. Some of the episodes in season 4 deal with Toki writing an autobiography, Murderface coming to terms that he is the ugliest guy on the planet, and the band dealing with their new producer Abigail (Janeane Garofalo). A couple of the band members become smitten with Abigail, which proves to be hilarious.
In addition to Small, Blacha, and Garofalo lending their voices to the show, a few other big names are also in the cast including Mark Hamill, Malcolm McDowell, and yes, Jon Hamm. They are all perfect additions to the voice cast. And this 4th season returns to the 11 minute episode format from the season 3 21 minute format. I like the 11 minute format better as the 21 minute episodes felt too long for what the show was. If you're new to the show, season 4 is an easy season to get in on all the absurdity and mayhem. 'Metalocalypse' is one bizarre ride.
Season 4 of 'Metalocalypse' is presented in 1080p HD and come with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio.
The looks of the show is fairly dark with lots of purples, blacks, and grays the main colors. The actual image looks great. It's very clear and sharp with the brighter colors, mostly the reds, popping vibrantly. The blacks are very deep and the detail is incredibly sharp, even so where you can see some imperfections.
The animation is very simple with not much going on other than motion with limbs and slight movement with the character's mouths. While there isn't any grain to be seen, there is evidence of aliasing, banding, and pixelation problems here and there, which normally is a terrible thing. However, fans of this type of show most likely won't pay any attention to this.
The audio sports a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix and sounds decent. The dialogue is always crisp and clear with the many sound effects coming across clear as a bell. There is not a lot of dynamics to this audio presentation, and most of the sound is centered on the front speakers. However, the ambient noises and the few songs in season 4 gives the full surround speakers a good work out, complete with plenty of heavy metal bass.
Season 4 of 'Metalocalypse' is one of the strangest shows ever to air on television, but it also might be brilliant. The extras have nothing to do with the actual making of the show, which is hilarious and keeps in tune with the show's randomness. The audio has a good presentation and the series itself really amped it up this 4th season. If you're a fan of the absurd and heavy metal, 'Metalocalypse' is for you.