Metalocalypse isn't so much Spinal Tap as it is "The Hills" go death metal. The Adult Swim cartoon is full of satire, but it's mostly an homage to creator Brendon Small's favorite musical style. Small keenly crafts representative music, from the high-wire guitar solos to the churning rhythmic black hole below. Even the over-the-top lyrical bombast is consistent - cartoonish isn't a pejorative in extreme metal. Live, Dethklok, a Small-led quintet, is more melodic than aggressive, unlike such trailblazers as Cannibal Corpse or Napalm Death. As one would expect, lyrics shine on tracks like "I Ejaculate Fire" ("venomous fluid, cantankerous druid") and "Crush the Industry" ("Capital is worthless now, your life I inside trade"). Ultimately, Dethalbum III has broader appeal than the previous two, but it's for diehards. (3 out of 5 stars)
Metalocalypse with All That Remains, Machine Head, and the Black Dahlia Murder. $35.50. 6:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 8. The Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St. 404-659-9022. www.tabernacleatl.com.
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Now I'm even more glad I didn't go.