CD Review: Brendon Small’s Galaktikon

Brendon Small has the sort of talent that makes you feel shame and self-pity.


Review by David Feltman

Brendon Small has the sort of talent that makes you feel shame and self-pity. The writer, producer, composer, voice actor, director and musician is a ceaseless source of new material. And while working on shows like “Home Movies” and “Metalocalypse” may be a dream job for some, it’s no secret that Small has long desired to helm his own metal band. Enter Galaktikon.

Freed from the confines of “the best death metal band in the world,” Small makes use of a larger sonic palate. Everything on Galaktikon is big in a cinematic way. Symphonic arrangements, choirs of harmonizing backing vocals, 80s flavored shredding and pinched harmonics all amplify the album’s spacey motif. Richly layered instrumentals on tracks like “Dangeritis” call to mind the likes of Joe Satriani and Jeff Beck both in tone and shape.

There’s definitely some shared DNA between Galaktikon and Dethklok. Track titles like “Dangeritis” and “Prophecy of the Lazer Witch” ensure the same sense of metal humor is present. But no loner tethered to Nathan Explosion’s growly vocals, Small’s singing explores the clean and the heavier, snarlier ranges. However, Small sagely avoids any cookie monster vocals to keep the Metalocalypse comparisons to a minimum.

After decades of working on television projects with musically ancillary roles, Small has crafted a strong musical voice. It’s gratifying to see him center stage and finally removed from his own cartoon shadow. While I’m sure no one wants to see Dethklok go away, hopefully Galaktikon is a project that will sustain Small as an exciting and musically gifted performer apart from animated novelties. This album should be at the top of every rock and metal fan’s “must buy” list.

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