Brendon Small’s Galaktikon [Self-released]

For those of you without cable, the internet or any recollection of three years ago, Brendon Small is the creative genius behind the animated series Metalocalypse, featuring the “pretend” band Dethklok which ironically became one of the most wildly popular entities in all of death metal. While much of the show/band’s popularity was derived from the gimmick, nobody could deny Small’s ability to craft some wickedly badass melodic death metal. Sure, it was a bit generic and palatable, but the dude proved himself a skilled musician. That said, it should come as no surprise that Small’s newest project, Galaktikon, is well worth checking out. A sonic comic book/sci-fi concept album that follows a superhero through an ugly divorce, therapy and battle with a giant worm (no bullshit), Galaktikon is comparable to the Dethklok material in that it relies heavily on metallically melodic guitar passages to set the tone for the music and boasts a plethora of memorable metal riffing. However, these are two very different projects. Where Dethklok was a more brutal, throat-ripping beast, Galaktikon is much more expansive, diverse, experimental and less aurally terrorizing. The death growls of Dethklok are replaced with clean vocals and the entire album has a decidedly prog slant that allows Small to explore a much larger musical landscape than he has previously. It took a few spins to sink in, but Galaktikon is threatening to be one of the better albums of 2012 – Ryan Ogle

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