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THE BUTCHER'S BALLROOM

Diablo Swing Orchestra

Progressive Metal


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Diablo Swing Orchestra The Butcher's Ballroom album cover
3.94 | 135 ratings | 13 reviews | 34% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

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)

Total Time 50:19

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Daniel Håkansson / guitars, vocals
- Pontus Mantefors / guitars, fx
- Annlouice Loegdlund / vocals
- Andy Johansson / bass
- Johannes Bergion / cello
- Andreas Halvardsson / drums


Releases information

CD Gillioutine Grooves GILDSO20061 (EU), Gillioutine Grooves GILDSO20061 / DSO 0601 (US, alternate cover), Sirenette (Italy/Canada/US, alternate cover), MALS MALS 192 (Russia, alternate cover,2007), Candlelight CANDLE 195 CD (EU, alternate cover, 2007)

Thanks to The T for the addition
and to snobb for the last updates
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DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA The Butcher's Ballroom ratings distribution


3.94
(135 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(34%)
34%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
37%
Good, but non-essential (20%)
20%
Collectors/fans only (7%)
7%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA The Butcher's Ballroom reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I really am shocked, 'coz my review is going to be the first written one!

Okay, let's get down to it. First of all, this is not Avant Metal in the form I know it. DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA is a good and accessible Symphonic Metal band, with female (mostly) and some male screamy/growling vocals (rare), but not your typical "beauty and the beast" metal cliche. Their music is good, with unconventional approach (there are some real tango/boogie/swing/ whatever parts), but always melodic and catchy enough, far from dissonant or too disturbing. NIGHTWISH with fresh brains, I'd say ;) Nothing too much extreme/hard-to-get-into there, like in UnExpect / maudlin of the Well / Ephel Duath / Meshuggah. I doubt someone would have tough times when digging DSO's stuff. This is possibly why I lowered my rating (I was going to give it 4 stars first). Enjoyable, fresh and recommended, but only 3.5 stars for now

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Send comments to Prog-jester (BETA) | Report this review (#154267) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars It's so unfair when bands like these are virtually unknown. This is a class act.

DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA's music is incredibly original. In their album, "The Butcher's Ballroom", they go over a lot of different territories. Metal, avant-garde (though not in the same vein as more extreme bands like Unexpect), symphonic (more in the sense of their choice of instruments than in their choice of structures), jazzy, but always, always unique.

The band play a metal style that at times may remind us of bands like THERION (specially in their latest album, "Gothic Kabbalah") but also of completely different bands like AYREON (some riffs and ideas make me say that). Though metallic, the music never gets extreme or difficult to listen to by the non-metal fan. As the band's name implies, they can carry a rhythm, as well as a tune, and they do. Imagine the soundtrack for a burlesque, grotesque infernal theater, full of little puppets dressed in red, staging sarcastic, ironic plays that require an insane, almost sickly perverted musical joke for soundtrack. That's not to say that this music is a joke: the complete opposite is true. This is some really serious art. With room for melody but also for violence. With

That is also accomplished with the original orchestration that may be this group's biggest achievement. Besides the traditional guitar-bass-drums set-up, the DSO adds all kind of keyboards, strings (but not in the common synth-like sense but as individual, single musical units with more than just harmonic/background duties) and winds. As I just mentioned, all of these varied instruments have a reason to be there. Unlike other artists who just add non-traditional colors to their palettes but just as some kind of reinforcement for the typical metal line-up, DSO makes this new voices matter. When you hear a cello, it's no in the background, but on the forefront, playing a riff or a melody.

Another one of "The Butcher's Ballroom" 's great success stories is the leading vocals. Annlouice Loegdlund's operatic voice steals the show with its warmth (yes, warmth, amidst furious metal riffs) and the heights it is able to reach. There are some growling vocals here and there, but they are almost unnoticeable and completely swallowed by the weight of Loegdlund's art. This is not your typical "beauty and the beast" band where the female part is just but a shadowing contrast to the prevalent male guttural one. Here, the "beast" side of the equation is almost reduced to zero, while the "beauty" (and it is a beautiful voice) leads the way for more than 90% of the album.

The skill of the musicians needs not be questioned. Throughout the whole disc we're constantly marveled at the quality of the playing, by either the gifted drummer, the precise bass player, the virtuosic string instrumentalists, or the incredibly creative, innovative guitar players. Though the linear notes don't contain the names of the members of the band, they're listed here.

Without a doubt, one of the most overlooked albums of 2006 (I can't believe that this album wasn't even mentioned in best-of lists while experiments in noise got all kinds of recognition). A gem that you should try to discover. These Swedes deserve your time.

Recommended for: Every fan of progressive metal. Fans of non-extreme avant-garde metal Fans of experimental/art rock in general.

.the Diablo is waiting to dance a swing with you. With the most infernal, seductive of soundtracks.

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Send comments to The T (BETA) | Report this review (#154312) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Diablo Swing Orchestra is often praised as the next big thing in female led heavy metal. The Butcher´s Ballroom is their debut album, but it´s a very impressive album in terms of musicianship, and in some respect originality. If you like female led heavy metal bands like Nightwish, Stream of Passion, Within Temptation or any of the countless others, Diablo Swing Orchestra is mandatory listening. Diablo Swing Orchestra is a bit different from the rest of those bands though, as they try hard to incorporate progressive ideas into their music.

The music is basically heavy metal with a female operatic singer very much like Nightwish. In fact Annlouise Loegdlund has a very similar voice to Tarja from Nightwish. Like Nightwish there is also sporadic male singing for varitation. Daniel Håkansson isn´t a very impressive singer though. There are many different influences in the music and as a result of that there are many different styles and genres incorporated into Diablo Swing Orchestra´s music. Note the Swing rythm in Balrog Boogie or the spanish latin inspired acoustic guitar parts that occur in several of the songs.

What is most notable in Diablo Swing Orchestra´s sound is the extensive use of cello in their music. This gives the music a folky/ classical quality that sets them apart from many of their peers.

The musicianship is outstanding on The Butcher´s Ballroom and singer Annlouise Loegdlund has to be praised for her beautiful singing. She sound very much like Tarja from Nightwish when she sings her operatic parts, but she also masters more calm singing styles.

The production is very good. Just the way I like a metal production.

This is a very good album, but even though Diablo Swing Orchestra really try to be original there are still way too many metal clichés on The Butcher´s Ballroom to really excite me. I feel like I´ve heard those same rythm guitar riffs a million times before and honestly I cannot understand with this much talent in the band why they can´t be more inventive when it comes to the guitars. This part of their music really bore me and lets face it people this is heavy metal and the backbone of heavy metal is distorted guitar riffs. You can do all sorts of good and progressive things with your heavy metal music but if you haven´t got strong guitar riffs to back it up it soon gets generic. This is what happens with The Butcher´s Ballroom even though all sorts of things are done to make the music exciting. So a good album it is, but it never reaches the excellent mark for me. 3 stars is my conclusion.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#167676) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Review by ExittheLemming
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Hook Up With the Decibel of the Ball

I know what you're thinking: A black mass conducted by Hi De Ho Priest Cab Calloway with Minnie the Moocher as sacrificial offering to the Dark Lords. Not so, as this very innovative record manages to confound my expectations that it would turn out to be just another of metal's long winded fart jokes. Quirky and playful yes, but not a gimmick as Diablo Swing Orchestra display sufficient variety and original song writing throughout with which to absolve themselves of the canker of Gothic affectations. God that stuff's everywhere ain't it?: Black lipped shop assistants meeting occult tattooed insurance clerks for croissants over cappuccino in an HR Giger franchised cafe. Cosmetic morbidity is alive and kicking in the airbrushed ghettoes of the 'burbs.

Reviews themselves are hardly the place to debate classification but if this is 'Tech Extreme/Prog-Metal' then Russ Henderson and his Caribbean Boys might just be one of Zeuhl's most neglected groups. I like metal like a tooth loves drills, but have to say that I really enjoy this album thoroughly. It could be said that good song writing transcends all manner of stylistic interpretations and makes the latter practically invisible, to wit the Beatles Yesterday rendered on nose flute would have even the Mbuti People of Zaire tapping their spears appreciatively as they nibbled on the catchy nostrils. Similarly. I don't hear metal when listening to someone equally as accomplished as DSO (like Opeth), but just fabulous song writing and arranging skills.

Had Brian Setzer and Wagner attended a Transylvanian Conservatoire they may well have graduated with varying degrees of Operabilly: splicing together some rockabilly swinging beats with sumptuous diva arias wedded to gut wrenching metallic skulduggery that even Vlad the Impaler would have approved of. Relax, the singing on here makes that schoolgirl wannabe in Evanescence sound like Walter/Wendy Carlos before/after his/her balls dropped.

Was the chef who made the sickly fusion dessert dyslexic? What if the icing had been put beneath the cake by mistake all those years ago? i.e. Return to Forever/Weather Report/Mahavishnu Orchestra is horizontal rock and vertical jazz while Diablo Swing Orchestra is cookin' jazz grooves underneath an unequivocal rock vocabulary. Could this be the reason why so much of what we label jazzrock sounds as stiff as a 90 year old kitten and drier than a sun bathing anchovy? Disclaimer: This product has been thoroughly and rigorously tested and is guaranteed NOODLE FREE. Added to this intriguing juxtaposition are the classically trained tonsils of one Annlouice Loegdlund, whose contribution I think is crucial to the balance of power in this unlikely alliance of styles. If the foregoing were the sum of this band's abilities, things would get very stale very quickly but on the Butcher's Ballroom they display a wide compass of influences and invention. Like myself, these Swedes are suckers for North African scales and tonality which they sprinkle with some Spanish garnish into much of their playing to thrilling effect.The heavy riffing and operatic vocal elements are carefully economised and used sparingly, by use of counterbalancing acoustic guitar, flute, cello, violin, ethnic esoterica and conventional 'throat' singing episodes for textural and dynamic contrast.

If I have any reservations about the Butcher's Ballroom they would probably be restricted to the band's weakness for borderline kitsch in places when DSO stray into rather twee Turkish 'lounge punk' territory (Whatever that is, but you get the general idea)

Those pious iconoclasts in the Church of Shiny Gloom are cordially invited by DSO to go to hell, as contrary to popular belief, they prove you can swing a cat in there.(and Diablo's don't sell croissants)

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Send comments to ExittheLemming (BETA) | Report this review (#239564) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Review by horsewithteeth11
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.

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Send comments to horsewithteeth11 (BETA) | Report this review (#242043) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars 'The Butcher's Ballroom' - Diablo Swing Orchestra (8.5/10)

Diablo Swing Orchestra, whether you believe their amusing origin story or not, are a band that suprised alot of people. Safely to say, many of the new metal bands coming out are releasing stuff that while it may be good; it sounds rehashed from prior giants of the metal world. By releasing 'The Butcher's Ballroom,' it's a pleasure to say that DSO breaks this standard and allows their imaginations to transcend boundaries.

While it's undeniable that 'The Butcher's Ballroom' is chock full of great musical ideas, the sound of the band may not appeal to everyone. Essentially, the band takes swing jazz, mixes it with a hefty dose of metal, and adds the touch of operatic vocals. It's alot of influences to take in at one time, but for those that can appreciate the style described will find alot out of this album.

From the opening track (the amusingly titled 'Balrog Boogie') onwards, you get a good idea of what the band is all about, although other genres, including flamenco and even electronic music are explored.

While DSO makes for an original experience like no other, there are definately parts where they let their respect for existing acts well known. 'Porcelain Judas' gives us a synth section that sounds just a bit much like Ayreon, and the male vocals sound as if they were plucked from a Muse tribute band... Still, this is no discredit to the band or its tact.

The operatic vocals don't work for the jazzy style, I don't think; although it definately gives them more of an avant-garde feel. The male vocal parts end up being fairly more enjoyable, although the operatic singer certainly has a set of strong pipes, shown in the Italian classical ballad 'D'Angelo.'

A suprisingly adventurous and fantastic album. Give a listen to the Diablo Swing Orchestra, and hear something you haven't quite heard before.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#256686) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, December 18, 2009

Review by jampa17
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Crazy well oriented music.

There's no other way to describe this music. While most of the music is getting formulaic, DSO manages to make very original music putting their feet into a very complex and dangerous places. Merging twist, jazz, tap, boogie and even spanish guitars with prog metal was enough, but putting operatic voices on it is maybe too much. But I don't care, I really enjoy the originality and the versatility of the players.

It's complicated to describe, you have to hear it to believe it. The female vocalist sound a little bit different than Tarja and the music will take you to a complete different place than Nightwish and all the bands alike. While the style on each song is different, the vibe of the album is very up lifting. The musicians really projects a pleasant mood and is evident that they are having fun while making great and entertaining music.

Now, if you are not that much into crazy music (some could call "misdirection" to this music) or into operatic voice, maybe it can be annoying. But I really enjoy when the bands make metal interesting and experiment way out of the regular standards of music. This is the best case I have seen in years and deserves a lot attention.

Diablo Swing Orchestra made a great opening with this album, but better things were in the future. For stars because it really is a excellent add to any collection...

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Send comments to jampa17 (BETA) | Report this review (#265070) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars Many things I've said on their 2009 release are still true, even here. So find myself impressed there, but here I have to say that I heard this one after their second album. This influenced me for sure somehow. It is less melodic, more classical, less extreme and more pleasant, not so full of drastic changes of pace and course of the song and also vocalists sings differently. And I mean classical a lot, it's one of the key elements here. But still, the main attraction here would be this unique combination and (again, or more like for the first time), done in different ratio than in second case (2009), so this makes them quite unique, yet similar.

4(+), possibly more, due to its more appealing charm (than following album)

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Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#268638) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, February 27, 2010

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Wow! Operetta with some metal arrangements! Show business is extremely inventive nowadays!

Debut album of this pop-swing-Latin-operetta Swedish band is catchy one! Songs are melodic and very simple,straight forward. But to make it attractive to as much auditory as possible, there are plenty of kitsch elements collected from very different musical directions.

Operatic female vocals over pop songs with some heavier guitars to attract some teen-rebels (did it work?) are quite impressive, but all that we heard on Therion albums. And to be honest, even Tarja Turunen sounded better (when she still tried to save very average Finnish symphonic pop-metal band Nightwish from total disaster). Plenty of acoustic guitar and Latin tunes sound almost fanny, Los Lobos and Tito & Tarantula from Tarantino movies soundtracks are far more authentic.

Swing in combination with teens hairy metal - lets name it avant-metal? OK, but for me it sounds more like nowadays clever rock'n'roll circus. Attraction for people who hates opera,real metal, real jazz, real avant, any real music. But who likes catchy melodies, accessible music and all kitsch in one package.

Must to note though - for such listener this album is well done! It's not cheap kitsch, it's the professional one. And it works - I am not really the one who will like this album, but I must agree this new Army Of Lovers (another Swedish band of similar musical direction) version is more attractive and possibly even will be more popular. One day.

Catchy metal music for metal haters. My rating is 2+,rounded to 3 - for new kitsch (anti)music concept.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#352160) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Latest members reviews

4 stars Initial impressions suggested that this was going to be all fun and musical games, some sort of a swing or boogie metal - a rare approach but not unheard of (ska punk bands have been doing similar stuff for years). Well prepare to be surprised. To be sure, there is lot of fun here. But these Swe ... (read more)

Report this review (#1113566) | Posted by Progrussia | Monday, January 13, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I ask myself why "The Butcher's Ballroom" is on the top of my most-listened albums. Well, for me, there are many reasons. Since almost October 2008 I've been listening to this album and still can go on with it. The prominent reason is the prevailing melancholic and dark atmosphere that starts ... (read more)

Report this review (#835691) | Posted by amirima | Wednesday, October 10, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Timeless. All of the tracks on DSO's debut are compelling in some way or another. The music is a melting pot of genres with rock/metal as its foundation. Every songs have the elements of guitar, bass, drums as any other rock ensemble, but the diversity between the tracks are unheard of. Whe ... (read more)

Report this review (#275933) | Posted by Robinanimate | Friday, April 02, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Take Apocalyptica, Nightwish, Therion, Goran Bregovic and Metallica. Put them in one tiny room. Open fire on their feet, to make them dance and play. They do. But with your surprise, you notice that they play and dance with joy and style. You thought you were just making a cruel trick, and you ... (read more)

Report this review (#230058) | Posted by pepato | Wednesday, August 05, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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