By John Gilloly

Brendon Small is made of metal.

The co-creator of Adult Swim’s “Metalocalypse” and it’s cartoon death-metal band Dethklok, Small has proved his shred-ability multiple times over  recording Dethklok’s very real, very brutal songs. Small has somewhat ventured on his own, creating a new metal venture outside of the confines of his cartoon personae. His “solo” debut, “Galaktikon,” is somewhat sadly a mixed bag, with great highs and mediocre lows.

“Galaktikon” is a love letter to the “cosmic” side of metal that metal bands like Dream Theater have done before, making metal music more about the vast reaches of the cosmos more so than the occult you’ve come to expect from. The album cover, shown above, is testimony to the content within. For the most part, he gets the job done.

Small has great chops when it comes to guitar. Soaring, high-pitched shred fests, such as “Prophecy of the Lazer Witch” and “On My Way” are great examples of what he is capable. Driving drums provided by Gene Hoglan, widely regarded as a technical master of the skins, only help to boost the power of these tracks.

The star track here is  “Dangertits.” An all instrumental song, Small really shows technical mastery of the electric guitar, buoyed by several solos within the song. While very metal, the song is a tribute to some of the best guitarists to dabble in and around the genre. It almost sounds like shred masters Steve Vai or Yngwie Malsteem recorded parts themselves.

The best parts of the album do not make up for the disappointing mediocrity of the rest of the album. “Truth Orb and the Kill Pool” and “You Can’t Run Away” are so middle of the road that I really found myself avoiding them on repeat listens.

It’s somewhat disappointing that “Galaktikon” as a whole can’t rise up to the to the quality of its best tracks. This is a perfectly fine album, but it really could have been great.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Tracks to Download: “ Triton” “Prophecy of the Lazer Witch” “Dangertits”