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Diablo Swing Orchestra: Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious

It all began in the 16th century when it was said there was an orchestra in Sweden that "played like no other". This orchestra was highly revered and respected by the masses and it helped people get along in their daily existence. Because the orchestra had such a profound influence over the people, the Church saw the orchestra has "treacherous" and that their intentions were far from good. Thus the Church denoted them as 'The Devil's Orchestra'.

The year is now 2003 and two original descendents meet and The Devil's Orchestra is reunited. Soon, all of the original descendents were found and the Diablo Swing Orchestra is reborn. Fact or fiction, who really knows? I do know it makes for a hell of an interesting story which almost pales in comparison to the music you will find on their latest entitled Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious. Band members of this unique ensemble include Daniel Håkansson (guitars, vocals), Pontus Mantefors (guitars, effects), Annlouice Wolgers (vocals), Andy Johansson (bass), Johannes Bergion (cello) and Andreas Halvardsson (drums).

Diablo Swing Orchestra offers the bizarre combination of metal mixed with rock, swing jazz, opera and Latin rhythms. Overall, the music presented here works surprisingly well. Lots of crunchy metallic riffs, operatic vocals and strings in the form of cello makes for one wild ride. Both male and female vocals take turns in the operatic style which helps to push this music past the edge of normalcy and into the avant-garde.

Whether it is the Big Band swing jazz meets metallic crunch of "A Tap Dancer's Dilemma" featuring jangly chopping rhythms and doo wop style vocals or the heaviness that is "Vodka Inferno" with guitar riffs and cello effectively playing off one another, there is a lot of music to sink your teeth into. Other highlights include the intensely heavy "New World Windows", the acoustic rockabilly of "Memoirs Of A Roadkill" and the guitar meets cello riffage of "Stratosphere Serenade".

My only criticism are the operatic vocals which are a bit over the top for my tastes but are nevertheless well executed and I have gotten used to them with repeated listens.

Although this release will not be for everyone, purveyors of avante-garde metal/progressive rock would be wise to give it a listen. This is a unique offering from a unique band and one that makes music as adventurous as the band's storied past.

Track Listing:
1. A Tap Dancer's Dilemma
2. A Rancid Romance
3. Lucy Fears The Morning Star
4. Bedlam Sticks
5. New World Widows
6. Siberian Love Affairs
7. Vodka Inferno
8. Memoirs Of A Roadkill
9. Ricerca Dell'anima
10. Stratosphere Serenade

Added: October 5th 2009
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 5969
Language: english

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