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Diablo Swing Orchestra - Pandora's Piņata CD (album) cover


Diablo Swing Orchestra


Progressive Metal

3.94 | 178 ratings

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4 stars This is the third album from this Swedish metal outfit, and the first full album I have heard from the group. I was surprised at how diverse their sound is on this album. What little I've heard from them sounded like a swing-influenced metal band with an opera singer. Granted, that is what they generally sound like but I was surprised, for example, at all the Middle-Eastern influence on this album; I wasn't expecting that. When they drift outside of the metal realm the results can be hit or miss. The lead vocals are a lot of the time done by a female opera singer but also non-operatic male vocals appear as well. The band now has eight members and there are a few guest musicians here as well. Besides your usual metal instrumentation, there is keyboards, wind instruments (mostly brass) and string instruments.

"Voodoo Mon Amour" starts the album with some metal swing (this is what I expected the whole album to sound like). Compared to some of the other songs this is one of my least favourite songs here. "Guerilla Laments" is a highlight. It opens with African style drumming...then goes into mariachi metal(?!). Nice vocal overdub effects. I've had the chorus to this song stuck in my head for days. Some of the drumming sounds Caribbean or Brazilian influenced. "Kevlar Sweethearts" is a symphonic folky ballad for the most part with some horn-laden metal at times. "Black Box" has a type of shuffle beat with fuzz guitar and techno synths. The singing here is at times weird: it sounds altered and in harmony but reminds me of Brian Johnson of AC/DC! One of the better songs, it should have been longer.

"Exit Strategy Of A Wrecking Ball" is a fairly straight-forward metal song with some cool spacey synths. Come to think of it with the male vocals here this almost reminds me of Muse. Just vocals and symphonic strings at times. Some brass shows up later. "Aurora" is basically just straight opera with some Middle-Eastern style music at the end. "Mass Rapture" also has Middle-Eastern influences, even the singing is done in a Middle-Eastern fashion. Nice mix of metal guitars and more spacey synths. "Honey Trap Aftermath" is basically some 1980s style white boy funk. Like "Aurora" I never really liked this song too much. "Of Kali Ma Calibre" is great majestic sounding symphonic metal. Some blastbeats here. Great drumming in general on this track. Just vocals and strings for awhile.

"Justice For Saint Mary" starts out as symphonic folk. A sinister sounding melody on strings later. That melody turns into metal at the end, just before turning into some kind of dubstep (?!). That last song really grew on me. A great sounding album with great performances. The music is diverse with lots of influences. Some songs I like a lot more than some of the other songs, so this isn't very consistent to me. A good album from 2012 anyway. My final verdict would be a 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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