Diablo Swing Orchestra - The Butcher's Ballroom (2006)
©Candlelight Records


  1. Balrog Boogie (3:53)
  2. Heroines (5:23)
  3. Poetic Pitbull Revolutions (4:52)
  4. Ragdoll Physics (3:53)
  5. D'angelo (1:54)
  6. Velvet Embracer (4:05)
  7. Gunpowder Chant (1:51)
  8. Infralove (4:54)
  9. Wedding March for a Bullet (3:14)
  10. Qualms of Conscience (1:16)
  11. Zodiac Virtues (4:48)
  12. Porcelain Judas (4:09)
  13. Pink Noise Waltz (6:07)

"The Butcher's Ballroom" is divided into two acts. The first act consists of tracks 1-6. The second act consists of tracks 7-13.

 Make way for Diablo Swing Orchestra (D:S:O). Upon once hearing these Swedish devils, they will be quite hard to forget. The name itself describes the style of music 'swing' and orchestra' with a 'diabolic' touch. The style however is far from limited to one particular genre. Metal is the their heart and soul and compared to other metal bands, who generally shape and reshape a predetermined blueprint, D:S:O take on a more original approach. In fact, probably one of the most original takes I have heard in years.

Throughout the album, D:S:O masterfully and thoroughly merges a diversified barrage of musical styles such as (to say the least) Swing, Gothic Metal, Progressive Metal, Flamenco, Symphonic Metal, Orchestral Connotation, Opera, and Jazz. Collectively the great variety gives you an aesthetically pleasing compilation that leaves you yearning for more.

There are a massive variety of musical instruments (such as a variety of strings, Spanish guitar, muted trumpet, piano, flute, even a didgeridoo) in this album and each masterfully played in such a way as to maximally separate and individualize each from the lot. Not only that, all are put to good use and somewhat used experimentally in a rewarding, pleasing, and creative way. D:S:O's approaches are haunting, taunting, daunting, and flaunting. They successfully serve the listener a delicious, fiendish, and yes; very classy sound that up to this point has been unheard of.

The Butcher’s Ballroom is split up into two Acts, although there is really not a great difference between them, save the more jive/swing style of the first two tracks and perhaps a little more punch in the second half. I suppose this may have been done to perhaps serve as a theatrical/opera score. During playback you will notice no separation between the two, but that doesn't really matter now, does it?

The opening track symbol taps its way into your head with an obvious swing club beat. Amongst others instruments, cello plucking and muted trumpet give off a great swing feel. The same goes for the other tracks, which have a slightly darker atmosphere that is cancelled out by Annlouice Loegdlund's outstanding vocals.

Annlouice is an exceptional performer in both opera (do not be turned off by this word) and, I guess you could say, 'typical' clean vocals. You'll find both throughout the entire album. They are beautiful, atmospheric, and dominant both singularly and in combination with the other musicians. With a hint of attitude and remorse in both the lyrics and the music, her vocals are hard to compare to other bands fronting a female lead vocalists. She rivals or exceeds the quality of others work - seriously!

I am quite confident that this album will have your ear no matter what genre of music you prefer. It has beautiful slamming moments accompanied by harmonious opera vocals, followed by an absolute change of tempo and softly sung. This pattern is consistent throughout and nothing sounds out of place, resulting in a pleasurable and delicate yet aggressive bittersweet flavor. The intricate ensemble not only manages to prove their appreciation for music but also demonstrates their dedication to explore and present/represent music as a complex and beautiful art form. Isn't that what music is all about?

On the Tuff scale of 1 to 5 , ‘The Butchers Ballroom’ gets 2 F’s: TuFF!


*The 'Tuff Scale' is not a rating. It is used as a simple grade of aggression presented by the music reviewed.


blog comments powered by Disqus
Make a Free Website with Yola.