355: Enough

Here's a special early comic to make up for the missed day last week!  And now I'd like to spend a little time talking about Dethklok's newest album, Dethalbum III.  Like their previous album, this one had the highest charting release of any death metal album in United States history. (which actually isn't very much)  But whereas the previous two albums were very similar to each other in terms of songwriting and production, Dethalbum III actually differs from them on both of those aspects.  To start off, the songs on this album are much more melodic than on previous albums.  The lead guitar parts are much slower and prettier now - not on all the songs, but on a lot of them - essentially making it melodic death metal.  The songs are still just as excellent as they've ever been, though, so the change is really not going to bother anybody.  The thing that hurts this album a little, in my opinion, is the production.  As far as CLARITY and QUALITY OF SOUND goes, this album is the best of the three, but several other production choices like EQing, positioning of instruments, and volume levels were not done as well.  Let me explain it in layman's terms: on the first two albums, the positions of the instruments on the recordings made them sound very close together, and their tones all blended very well with one another.  So instead of hearing several instruments in several different locations around you, you got to hear one strong, unified band sound.  But on this new album, the guitars have been panned way out to the sides, and the EQs have been separated as well.  The bass is much lower, the guitars are much higher, making each instrument stand out and be individual from the others.  They probably did this so that each instrument is more noticeable, but in my opinion, this kinda thing actually sounds worse for a band like Dethklok.  Having the instruments separated in sound and position means they no longer blend together as well, and it feels like each one is competing for control of the song.  Having your bass part BLAST really strongly doesn't actually help you if it doesn't still blend well with the other instuments, you know?  And so because of that, I'd say this is the worst Dethklok album so far.  And by "worst" I mean "still TOTALLY AWESOME, but just slightly less awesome than their older ones because they did something that probably would've worked for any other band, but for Dethklok it doesn't."  A very small complaint, in the end, and one that many of you will even disagree with, if you happen to enjoy the new mix.

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