|Dethklok is both a virtual band featured in the Adult Swim animated program Metalocalypse, as well as a real band created to perform the band's melodic death metal music in live shows. The band was created by Brendon Small and Tommy Blacha. The music heard on Metalocalypse is performed by Brendon Small, with others as needed. The first official Dethklok album was released on September 25, 2007, entitled The Dethalbum. The album debuted at number 21 on Billboard Magazine's Top 200 list. The band released Dethalbum II on September 29, 2009, and toured with Mastodon, High On Fire and Converge. Small and drummer Gene Hoglan performed on both albums.
In the Metalocalypse series, Dethklok is depicted as an extremely popular and successful death metal band. The band's fan base includes billions of metal fanatics, who frequently endanger themselves to watch the band perform live. With their widespread commercial success and lucrative sponsorship contracts, Dethklok is ranked as the world's seventh largest economy by the end of the second season.
The members of Dethklok are often portrayed as incompetent at almost everything not related to their profession. The band struggles to perform everyday tasks, including shopping for groceries, preparing food, and maintaining proper social relationships. They are often assisted by their manager and lawyer, Charles Foster Ofdensen, who frequently attempts to prevent the band from making poor decisions. The band's actions and uncanny misfortune have caught the attention of an Illuminati-style council, known as The Tribunal. The Tribunal is portrayed as Dethklok's antagonist throughout the series, and secretly monitors their actions in almost every episode. They describe Dethklok as the "world's greatest cultural force". The leader of The Tribunal (Mr. Selatcia), however, frequently instructs the other members to allow Dethklok to do as they will.
In late 2007, Adult Swim organized a promotional tour featuring Dethklok and …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. The tour comprised performances at twelve college campuses, with tickets available to students only (except for 50 tickets set aside for the UCLA show in the Los Angeles area). The band featured Brendon Small, guitarist Mike Keneally, bassist Bryan Beller and drummer Gene Hoglan. Tour information was made available on Adult Swim's promotional site. In an interview with Ultimate Guitar, Brendon Small described the tour as being "like Gorillaz, with the animated characters" with Small's ensemble of musicians performing visibly.
In a February 2008 interview on California radio station Indie 103.1 with Full Metal Jackie, plans for a summer 2008 tour were announced. Brendon Small described the tour as being like "a Disney ride but with murder". Dethklok toured the U.S. in June and early July with Chimaira and Soilent Green. 27 dates were released in April 2008.
During the June 5th show at The Fillmore in San Francisco, CA., an electrical fire broke out during Soilent Green's set. Attendees were hesitant to leave the building thinking that it was part of the show which created a dangerous situation, but they soon realized that the fire was real and evacuated and the concert was rescheduled.
A third tour for Dethalbum II started in October 2009 with Mastodon, Converge and High On Fire.
Dethklok played in San Bernardino on July 9, 2011 at the Mayhem Festival in place of Megadeth.
The band's third album, Dethalbum III, was released on October 16, 2012. The soundtrack to the special episode, Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem - A Klok Opera was released on October 29, 2013.