Review Summary: Snap Your Fingers and do the Jitterbug all while banging your head to this Groovetastic album.
Oh 2007. It was quite an interesting year for me in terms of music. Starting off by joining this website in February with an account that is now long lost in time, I commented on every genre of metal imaginable as I was a 16/17 year old looking for his niche in the music world. Going through death metal, power metal, black metal, progressive metal, and every other type of metal imaginable, I was on a binge of non stop riffage and blast beats. In September I came across this review by Shattered_Future about a band from Sweden named Diablo Swing Orchestra. They developed a sound that was (and still is in some respects) almost impossible to describe. It was jazz, metal, swing, and classical all in one album. “The Butcher’s Ballroom” was phenomenal for this reviewer who was finding something new to shine in an oversaturated metal scene. While the band’s second album, released in 2009, was good, it did not live up to the expectations that the first one had. After forgetting about the band for almost two years, I found out that they were releasing a third album in May 2012. Obviously I had an interest once more.
is everything that Sing Along Songs for the Damned and Delirious could have been. Opener “Voodoo Mon Amour” is the single off of the album and is perfect in showing what the sound of the band is like to someone who has never heard them. Starting off with a crunchy guitar riff, the song goes into a trombone and trumpet lead. Lead vocalist Annlouice Loegdlund and her operatic voice continue to be quite the complement to the swing/metal style that the band presents. It carries on that way for the majority of the album aside from the fabulous track “Aurora” A traditional opera track, Annlouice shows off her voice in the genre it was supposed to be singing. “Of Kali Ma Calibre” works not because of any of the “gimmicks” that the band may include (although some call operatic vocals with metal music a gimmick anyways) but because it is a good old fashioned operatic metal song.
Daniel Hakansson is the other main vocalist in the band and he gets more recognition singing than previously. When first listening to the band almost five years ago, I was a little annoyed by his vocals because I just wanted to hear Annlouice wail nonstop. However, this record completely changes those originals feelings and Daniel performs admirably, especially on “Justice for Saint Mary” and “Honey Trap Aftermath.” His has a nice range and switches quite well from his medium to high tone.
While the vocals are really good on the record, they can’t compete this time with the rest of the band. The guitars are as heavy as ever. Just listening to the opening of “Exit Strategy of a Wrecking Ball” makes the listener want to headbang to a band that has not created too many headbanging moments. For the best part of the entire album, look no further than the drums and the bass. Almost every song has the rhythm section being the highlight. “Black Box Messiah” has a great groove feel to it along with a children’s choir singing in what I think is Korean. Nothing can compare to “Honey Trap Aftermath” though. Starting off with the cello, brass section, and weird sound effects, we are treated to the best four minutes of a funkadelic bass lead perhaps ever. I’ve played air guitar, air drums, and sang air vocals. Never have I had a desire to play air bass. This song changes that completely and can not be praised enough because the rest of the band rules too.
fixes everything that should have been right with the last album and becomes Diablo Swing Orchestra’s most complete album. Detractors of the band probably still will not like a single thing on this record. Fans will love it because it takes everything from the first two albums and adds a little more to the table: more metal, swing, proggy synthesizer sounds, and over the top bombasticism. Someone looking to find unique music should not steer away from this based on perceptions from the fans or detractors. Instead they should go into it expecting to hear music that they have never heard before and will probably never hear imitated. Diablo Swing Orchestra has made an album that is crazy, over the top, beautiful and fun.