Diablo Swing Orchestra “The Butcher’s Ballroom” (2006)

Not many are the Swedish bands featured on this site, why is that? The six members who form Diablo Swing Orchestra (DSO), with guitarist Daniel Håkansson and vocalist Ann-Louice Löglund in the front, invite us to a voluptuous feast in two acts, with tables overflowing in a hedonistic manner of the juicy pieces of fruit and meat that make up the musical history of the past 500 years. While the diabolically swinging Orchestra is dressed in mighty fancy clothes from the 19th century, the music is clad in some kind of genre-lacking bouncy modern metal. Bouncy is the best word I can conjure up, and I really think this is an orchestra you can dance to. However, the metal elements are slightly weak – not that many memorable riffs or exciting rhythms, all very straight forward and quite lame (though some more pompous parts I do fancy).

But the metal shouldn’t always be in focus, should it? No, not when it comes to DSO. The Orchestra dresses its music (oh stop with the clothing references) in tidbits of different musics, from swinging jazz (reminding me of Disney’s Aristocats, don’t know how positive that is) to flamenco (an underrated influence!) to oriental vibes with didjeridoo (which they pull off quite nicely) to some electronic samplings (as always if you can pronounce ecclectic). But the main focus is on Western classical music, with bowed strings and flute and trumpet, and well… DSO does get away with it. Most bands do. It sounds nice. But not much more. The melodies that stick do so because they are simple and catchy, not breathtakingly progressive. Some guitarlines remind me of Ephel Duath, which is nice, but they have the same problem as DSO (see my other reviews) – if the musical core isn’t stable, nothing is, and it will crumble in the end. Pity, for the Orchestra is extremely talented and visionary (the vocalist is especially versatile and expressive). The Butcher’s Ballroom is definitely OK, interesting as a concept, but quite forgettable in the end, no matter how many genres they pull off.

(Sidenote: the digipack is really fancy, all design red on black paper.)



Release:  2006
Label:  Gillioutine Grooves
Avantgenre:  Riot Opera (Metal)
Duration:  50:19
Origin:  Sweden
Official site:  http://www.diabloswing.com/
Review online since:  30.06.2007 / 22:57:24


Act No#1
1. Balrog Boogie
2. Heroines
3. Poetic Pitbull Revolutions
4. Rag Doll Physics
5. D’Angelo
6. Velvet Embracer

Act No#2
7. Gunpowder Chant
8. Infralove
9. Wedding March For A Bullet
10. Qualms Of Conscience
11. Zodiac Virtues
12. Porcelain Judas
13. Pink Noise Waltz

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