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Diablo Swing Orchestra - The Butcher's Ballroom CD (album) cover


Diablo Swing Orchestra


Progressive Metal

3.90 | 171 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars What's this, yet another female-fronted metal band? But what are they doing in tech/extreme or even on this site?

Actually, Diablo Swing Orchestra honestly deserves to be on PA, no question there. Unlike some of their contemporaries (Nightwish, Within Temptation, Epica, etc etc blah blah blah you know the rest), they actually try to stand out from the competition. And with their debut, The Butcher's Ballroom, they manage to succeed fairly well in that to a degree. This isn't by any means as extreme as unExpect, but there are some odd/unconventional elements to the songs, even though some of them follow the verse/chorus format. The one thing that really sets DSO apart from their peers is the extensive use of cello. It really gives the music a more classical influence to it, and Loegdlund's voice does nothing but add to that. Actually, this album feels more rooted in classical and gothic (not MTV goth, but authentic gothic tradition) music than it does avant-garde. Each song is pretty unique and stand out from the rest fairly well, although the classical/gothic feel never really diminishes any. While it is certainly a strength of the album it is also one of its' primary weaknesses. Even on songs such as Poetic Pitbull Revolutions, which has a really interesting intro with flamenco guitar and a swing feel to it, it still feels incredibly gothic. Some of the other influences on the album never really get their fair share of the spotlight.

The first weakness leads into the second, and that is that while many of the songs are distinctly different, the basic sound never changes much throughout, and the second half of the album makes me drift off sometimes. This is not a bad album by any means, and is for the most part enjoyable. If you can appreciate female-fronted metal, you should be able to enjoy this. Some non-metal fans may even enjoy it, given that it isn't terribly heavy. However, a lack of variety and too many clichés means I have a hard time giving this any more than 3 stars. Hopefully their next album sees improvement in the areas I found lacking, because this could become a fairly original band in the metal scene.

horsewithteeth11 | 3/5 |


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