Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar (Blu-ray Review)

  • Reviewed by: Tim Salmons
  • Review Date: Oct 20, 2023
  • Format: Blu-ray Disc
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Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar (Blu-ray Review)


Brendon Small/Tommy Blacha

Release Date(s)

2023 (August 22, 2023)


Williams Street/Titmouse, Inc./Adult Swim (Warner Home Video)
  • Film/Program Grade: B+
  • Video Grade: A-
  • Audio Grade: B+
  • Extras Grade: D+

Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar (Blu-ray)



In the heyday of Adult Swim’s animated line-up, Metalocalypse was the best of everything that adult-oriented animation was, and in many ways, it surpassed it. Full of over-the-top violence, black comedy, and an abundance of social satire, it became one of the long-running program block’s most popular shows. Showcasing a future in which the world is utterly dependent on a five-piece death metal band made up of spoiled, self-centered, brain-dead musicians who can tank the economy by simply not releasing an album on time, this often belligerent and self-absorbed quintet known as Dethklok is also the key to bringing forth the title’s cataclysmic world-ending event, which is closely monitored and participated in by groups of covert cultists, secret societies, and even military forces. After a sporadic four season run and a musical special, the show went on a hiatus until its original creators, Brendon Small and Tommy Blacha, returned for the direct-to-video sequel that would also serve as the show’s finale, Army of the Doomstar.

After the events of The Doomstar Requiem, the band announces a new tour, despite lead singer Nathan Explosion suffering from PTSD and still dealing with his obsession of the band’s former producer, Abigail. Once she publicly rejects him, he decides that it’s time to head back into the studio and do his part to save the world by writing the “Song of Salvation,” which will supposedly stop the Doomstar’s forthcoming devastation. Mr. Salacia has meanwhile released his grip on his long-suffering puppet, General Crozier, only to take possession of bass player William Murderface. Crozier hopes to contact the Tribunal and inform them of Salacia’s plans, and Salacia is eager to learn the location of the Army of the Doomstar so that he may prevent it from interfering. As Dethklok attempts to halt the planet’s oncoming destruction, the Metalocalypse is nigh as the Doomstar continues its annihilative approach.

As silly, wild, and out of control as Metalocalypse has been in the past, it’s certainly become a much more character-focused entity since its first couple of seasons. After all, how long can one continue to put up with a group of egotistical morons before growing tired of them, particularly when they have such an epic and important part to play in the outcome of the universe? It seems that the show’s creators felt the same way. Though some headway was made in the previous special, Army of the Doomstar sees these characters actually grow over the course of 83 minutes. It doesn’t necessarily change who they are, but they definitely take things a little more seriously, in their own way. And it feels like a natural progression, not a hard cut. The same great animation, music, and storyline are still present, yet the makers of Army of the Doomstar manage to deliver a surprisingly strong, emotional, and humorous finale that’s very satisfying.

Army of the Doomstar was animated digitally and likely finished as a 2K Digital Intermediate at the aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It’s a crisp presentation with excellent definition and sharpness around the various elements. Backgrounds have plenty of detail and the mix of hues offers a potent visual variety. Blacks are deep with good shadow detail, while the contrast never wavers. A larger sized-disc would likely have provided more room to breathe as there’s some occasional pixelization and light banding, not to mention that a 4K UHD presentation with an added layer of HDR would allow for additional clarity and detail in the animation. Regardless, it’s a very fine presentation that should satisfy most viewers.

Audio is included in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio with optional subtitles in English SDH. It’s a decent enough surround experience, although it doesn’t to have as much power as one might expect for such epic material mixed with amazing death metal. Still, dialogue exchanges are discernible and there’s plenty of spatial activity in play, even if LFE is a tad lacking. An-object-based surround remix would do wonders for the soundtrack, and give it the edge it needs.

Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar sits in a Blu-ray amaray case alongside a poster of the insert and slipcover artwork, as well as a Digital Code on a paper insert. The single following extra is included on the disc in HD:

  • Behind the Metal Curtain (23:49)

The lone featurette, the title of which is likely a nod to Iron Maiden, is mostly a summation of the history of Metalocalypse in conjunction with talking about Army of the Doomstar. Several directors, animators, and voice actors are interviewed, but not a whole lot of ground about the actual production of the film or the original show is covered. It’s certainly not a fluff piece, but it’s not very informative or interesting either.

If there are indeed no further adventures with these characters and this property, then this is quite the high note to go out on. Army of the Doomstar is surprisingly strong, dealing out a high level of quality that’s expected of this franchise since its very beginnings. The Blu-ray from Warner Bros. is a little sparse in terms of extras, but the video and audio quality are solid enough to warrant a purchase. If you’re a fan of Metalocalypse at all, you’ll likely be picking it up anyway.

- Tim Salmons

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