Diablo Swing Orchestra (DSO) is a quite interesting band. They extend the cliche genre of operic metal to a new level – a completely new level. Schizoprhenic tunes, crazy vocals, clever use of symphonic instruments, rather funny mood (as opposed to the depressed one familiar from doomy operic metal) made DSO rather interesting. Nevertheless, DSO’s long-awaited second opus is, quite frankly, not as great as their debut. The debut shocked us with their aforementioned originality – that was great and all. But, the second album sounds just like a cheap replica of the first one. Moreover, it is not as melodic as the first one. I really would have liked to think that this is just a “continuation” of their debut – an Act 2. But, no, it does not even meet such a criterion.
The reason is simple. They set our expectations quite high in their debut – which was great. A Swedish band from the cradle of technical death metal, mixing the elements of that genre with some operic tunes, and adding some avant touches. Melodies were much rememberable, much fun. On the other hand, the second album shares a familiar element with the debut: it is fun to play such a music. I mean having such an ensemble on stage with strings and brass alongside the regular metal stuff, looks a definite fun. Yet, there is some balance that needs to be preserved. In this album, the band seems to shift the balance from entertaining the listeners to entertaining themselves.
Finally, if you want to taste DSO, start with “The Butcher’s Ballroom” and later perhaps insist on “Sing along songs for damned and delirious”.
01 – A Tap Dancer’s Dilemma