Keven's Music Review: BRENDON SMALL – Brendon Small's Galaktikon
Published: June 27, 2012 - 12:42pm
The mastermind and voice behind Adult Swim's hit series Metalocalypse has debuted his first solo record. The Dethklok frontman has maintained the epic riffs, but dropped the death growls in order to craft an epic space opera about a superhero who gets divorced.
Brendon Small is an amazing musician and extremely talented songwriter. His music that he's created with the 'cartoon' band Dethklok happens to be some of the best metal in years. So when I heard he was taking some time to record a solo record that would be mellower than I'm used to, I was actually excited. After listening to 'Galaktikon' a few times, the concept album has grown on me significantly. I will say that I was left wanting more after my initial listen which is a warning sign that newcomers may be turned off to Small's solo debut.
Just because you're a Dethklok fan doesn't mean you'll fall in love with Small's 'Galaktikon' but the musicianship is still evident and very identifiable. Just be aware that there are ZERO death growls or screams. When Small said he was swaying to some more rock oriented sounds, it's only in his vocals. The guitars shred like crazy throughout the album and solos are still delicious as ever, bringing the metal to center stage.
Small's concept album follows a galactic superhero named 'Triton' who ends up getting a divorce only to find out that his arch nemesis has kidnapped his ex-wife. Each song continues the story of Triton's battles and attempted rescue. It's a ridiculous premise and one has to wonder how Small was inspired to write this kind of record in the first place. 'Galaktikon' definitely sounds better when played straight through as each track compliments the next very well.
Standouts include 'Triton', 'You Can't Run Away' and 'Deathwaltz'. My one complaint would be that some of the songs can blend together a little too much near the end of the record and I know casual listeners will have this complaint as well. Small's laid back vocals don't always feel like they are as powerful as the music backing them up, but you end up digging that vibe on repeat listens.
If you're a fan of bands like Rush or Dream Theater than Small's space opera 'Galaktikon' is right up your creepy alley. As a sidenote, if you're down with this record I urge you to check out a similarly themed album in Devin Townsend's 'Ziltoid the Omniscient'.
2. "Prophecy of the Lazer Witch"
5. "Truth Orb and the Kill Pool"
6. "You Can't Run Away"
7. "Arena War of the Immortal Masters"
8. "Dangertits" (Instrumental)
9. "On My Way"