A few weeks ago, we started soliciting your requests for albums and bands to review on the show. Well, we listened to the posts shared on Google +, tweets at Kyle on Twitter, and comments left on Facebook and this site, took a bunch of those suggestions, and formed an entire episode around reviewing what you wanted us to. Some suggestions were great, some not so much, but that was the fun of it!
To keep this interaction going, keep your suggestions coming via all the aforementioned channels! We are keeping a running list of them (we didn’t get to all of the suggestions this time) so we keep this going in future episodes. Also, if your opinion of these suggestions differs from ours, let us know why in the comments!
Oh, and one more thing…we apologize in advance for Brian and Kyle’s excessive arguing in this episode. They hadn’t had it out in a while so it got a little out of hand, and Nick even joined in a bit before shutting the two of them up. This is why we include the chapter skips in the show. You’re welcome.
Reviews: Dyscarnate – And So it Came to Pass; Exotic Animal Petting Zoo – Tree of Tongues; Make Them Suffer – Neverbloom; Sabaton – Carolus Rex
I know it is hard for you guys to do research on the fly…but after a 30 second Flickr search I can tell you that the stage set up for Dethklok is essentially no different from any other band. They have a screen in the back and a bunch of dudes playing instruments. (Including their set at SDCC 2012.) So, fan numbers aside, I don’t see any reason why they couldn’t co-headline like every single article about the cancelled tour indicates.
Are you telling me Dethklok played at ComicCon this year? Are there Dethklok comic books or is this yet another example of something at ComicCon that has nothing to do with comics?
They were playing at an Adult Swim hosted party, but Dark Horse Comics has also done a few issues of a Metalocalypse/ Dethklok series. So a little bit of both, but I would guess the show is what is driving most of the fan support.
It’s cool hearing my suggestions reviewed on this episode. I had never heard anything by either Sabaton or Dyscarnate before I listened to their 2012 releases. But as I mentioned before, both of them have become some of my top albums of 2012 so far. Most of what you guys said is right in line with what I think about And So It Came to Pass by Dyscarnate. To me they are straight up death metal. While they don’t break new ground or expand the genre at all, they sure know how to craft some crushing riffs, driving rhythms, and brutal vocals. The songs “A Drone in the Hive” and “The Promethean” are great examples of this. Another thing I like about Dyscarnate is that the focus seems to be solely on the music. Some death metal bands emphasize the gore and the shlock, but these guys seem to be all about the music.
As for Carolus Rex by Sabaton: what do I like about it? I love big, anthemic, sing-along choruses in music. And this album has three great ones. As Brian mentioned, “Gott Mit Uns” is one of them and even though I haven’t listened to it in a month, the chorus of that song is still stuck in my head. “The Carolean’s Prayer” and the song “Carolus Rex” are my two other favorites from the album. Tell me you don’t get charged up listening to the song “Carolus Rex” with lyrics such as “I was chosen by heaven / say my name when you pray / to the sky / see Carolus rise.”
To address the genre prejudice against power metal: imagine for a minute you’ve never heard any music by Iron Maiden before. Let’s say I played for you a song called “Run to the Hills” and told you it was by a power metal band. Would you believe me? It has a galloping rhythm, a sing-along chorus, and a high pitched banshee vocalist. I assert that you would have no problem believing that “Run to the Hills” was power metal. Now what if I told you Sabaton was NWOBHM? Would that make Carolus Rex better? Are those two subgenres really all that much different in terms of the style of music? The worst metal music can be cringe inducing cheese while the best takes us to new heights we’ve never before experienced, and that can be said about just about any subgenre.
Speaking of cheese, I thought Carolus Rex was one of the least cheesy power metal albums there is. What is cheesy about Carolus Rex (as someone mentioned)? I’m also not seeing the folk elements that you guys mentioned either, but I can’t say I listen to a lot of folk metal.
And you either read my comments on Nick’s wfie’s blog or you were just right on when you said that Carolus Rex appeals to Game of Thrones fans. I love A Game of Thrones, though the tv show strays too much from the original source material at times.
When I bought Carolus Rex from Amazon it came with the Swedish version at no extra charge. The Swedish version is nothing special. It’s exactly the same but with the lyrics sung in Swedish and it sounds exactly as you could imagine. Having heard the Swedish version actually highlights something about this album that sets it apart from some other metal music: the lyrics actually mean something on Carolus Rex. The lyrics tell a story of Swedish history. Even if you don’t follow the concept, the words at least have general meaning in the context of war and conquest. Contrast that to Periphery (something I’m currently listening to). While I like the song “Make Total Destroy”, the actual content of the lyrics doesn’t hold any meaning for me. The actual words are just sort of there as something for the vocalist’s mouth to utter through his instrument (his voice). This isn’t a knock on Periphery, but just an example of what I would estimate about 80% of music for me is: music where the meaning of the words is irrelevant. Carolus Rex falls into that 20% where the lyrics actually mean something and that gives me another level of appreciation and association with the album.
And now finally we get to the steel cage match that features Lamb of God versus Dethklok. Sorry Kyle, but Lamb of God is the bigger draw. But I think Brian might be the only person on earth who owns the Dethklok album but has never seen the show. On the flip side there are thousands and thousands of people who have seen the show but have no desire to buy the album (myself included).
If you want to put some numbers and estimates of how many fans would go to a Dethklok show, there is another TV show that also has a concert tour: American Idol. If we do some math (yes, I like Game of Thrones and I like math), we can estimate how many people might attend a Dethklok show based on tv ratings and American Idol concert attendance figures. American Idol drew about 20 million viewers each episode this season. Wikipedia lists attendance for the American Idol tour in 2012. It averages about 5,500 per show. That makes for 1 concert-goer at each stop on the tour for every 3,636 tv viewers (20 million divided by 5,500). Using the numbers quoted by Kyle for Metalocalypse at 600,000 18 to 49 year olds, I’ll throw in another 200,000 as the total viewership. If we assume the same ratio of tv viewers to concert goers as American Idol, we have a paltry 220 ticket buyers for a Dethklok show (800,000/3,636). I’m guessing Lamb of God could muster up more than 220 fans at each stop on a tour.
Why will only 1 out of every 3,600 tv viewers go to a tv show themed concert? You touched on a few of the reasons, one of which is the money as tv is essentially free and a concert costs money. Another aspect is that if Dethklok wasn’t on a major tour with LOG and Gojira, I wouldn’t even know they were touring. How am I going to even know that seeing a Dethklok show is possible? Even if they advertised a tour on the tv show, I skip the commercials using the dvr and/or watch the show on dvd. I don’t even know what the hell they are even going to do at a concert: how are cartoon characters going to put on a concert? I really don’t know how they would do this so the thought of watching them in a concert doesn’t even enter my mind. And finally there is the fact that not everyone who watches a tv show is a rabid fanboy. Yes, I watch Metalocalypse occasionally and get the DVDs from Netflix. While I enjoy the show, I have no desire to buy any merchandise of the show such as a t-shirt or a CD, nor do I want to attend a Dethklok concert. Now, if there were a Game of Thrones concert tour, that would be a different matter…
“A Drone In The Hive” was a standout for me on the Dyscarnate album as well. I have listened to that album significantly more than I thought I would as it is proving to be a great driving album. It’s also been helpful for keeping me awake during some of the more mundane moments at work.
You are totally right about Sabaton and the genre bias. Even calling them NWOBHM wouldn’t 100% sell me. This is gonna come as a shock, and I probably shouldn’t put it in writing, but I’m not a huge Maiden fan either. I made the comparison between Sabaton and Maiden on the show for that reason. They sound similar to me, and that’s why they get a “Try.” I appreciate Maiden – hell, I even have a soft spot for the 7th Son album, but if you were to see my play count on my ipod or quiz me as to which songs were on which album – I’d fail miserably. The only album I’d give a “Buy” to would be 7th Son probably.
I’ve seen Maiden live a couple times and, to me, that’s the selling point. They are so damn impressive live that after seeing one of their shows it doesn’t matter what you think about them on album – you’ll tell people you’re a fan afterward. Maybe I just need to see a band like Sabaton live before I can really get on board with them.
Thank you for brining facts to the argument about concert sales! It’s hard to beat down stupid arguments when they pop up on the fly like that. I had every confidence that you’d be able to put some more logical numbers on the table that support Brian and my take on the headliner. All the press releases I have seen for the show thus far had announced it as a “co-headlining tour” and mashed together the most recent album artwork for Dethklok and Lamb Of God, so the whole debate is pretty moot anyway. And, as just announced via our G+ – Gojira just announced a MA off date, which is all I really care about anyway.
I am not NEARLY as big of a reader as my wife. I have not, and probably never will, get through the “A Song Of Fire And Ice.” …..I do want to watch the show though. It may not be as good, but without the reading the series, I’ll never know!