The self proclaimed “greatest band in the world” is back with their sophomore release which doubles as the soundtrack to their first movie, a 100% accurate retelling of the band’s origins. Don’t go into this disc thinking that you’re going to get something on par with their debut masterpiece. It’s not the case. While the disc contains a couple of the band’s greatest songs ever, the overall length of the album and the shortness of the tracks holds it back. Only 6 of the 15 tracks are over 2 1/2 minutes.
“Kickapoo” kicks things off with Jack Black telling the story of how he survived an opressive upbringing to get inspiration from metal legend Ronnie James Dio. This is easily one of the greatest tracks the band has ever done. It sets up the mini rock opera nicely. Meatloaf stars as JB’s authoriarian father that refuses to let his son destroy his life with metal. Then, there’s basically a bunch of filler until the last song on the album “Beelzeboss (The Final Showdown).” That song is easily the definitive Tenacious D track. Think of it as a metal version of Charlie Daniel’s “The Devil Went Down To Georgia.” KG and JB have to win a rock-off against the unholy overlord, the Devil himself, gloriously performed by Dave Grohl. The give and take between the two parties is simply priceless. Haven’t you ever wanted to hear Satan declare that he’s “the Devil, I Love Metal!” Of course you have.
Closing out the album is “POD” and “The Metal.” The former is the lead off single and basically tells the plot completely. The latter is an incredibly rocking metal song that shows just how hard the band could rock. The simple lyrics tell what happens when opposing genres try to encroach on Metal’s dominance. They end up as “vanquished foes.”
A few of the tracks have promise. They’re just too short. “The Government Totally Sucks” would have been a masterpiece if it were just longer. As soon as you start getting into it, the song ends. It’s frustrating.
Ultimately, if you choose to view this as a soundtrack instead of an album, then you’ll get more enjoyment out of it. It works perfectly for what it is, but those expecting more will be disappointed.