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Diablo Swing Orchestra

Progressive Metal

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Diablo Swing Orchestra Sing-Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious album cover
4.04 | 212 ratings | 14 reviews | 34% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Tap Dancer's Dilemma (5:12)
2. A Rancid Romance (4:27)
3. Lucy Fears the Morning Star (6:34)
4. Bedlam Sticks (3:29)
5. New World Widows (5:56)
6. Siberian Love Affairs (0:58)
7. Vodka Inferno (4:08)
8. Memoirs of a Roadkill (3:30)
9. Ricerca Dell'Anima (5:34)
10. Stratosphere Serenade (8:25)

Total Time 48:13

Bonus DVD from 2009 SE:
1. Ballrog Boogie 8-bit version remix (3:45)
2. Based on a True Story (pseudo-documentary) (8:34)

Line-up / Musicians

- Annlouice Lögdlund / vocals
- Daniel Håkansson / guitars, vocals
- Pontus Mantefors / guitar, synth, Fx, vocals
- Johannes Bergion / cello
- Daniel Hedin / trombone
- Martin Isaksson / trumpet
- Anders Johansson / bass
- Andreas Halvardsson / drums

- Kosma Ranuer / baritone vocals
- Biffen Jansson / vocals (6)
- Patric Arvidsson / vocals (6)
- Piffen Ekemalm / vocals (6)
- Roberto Laghi / vocals (6), producer
- Henrik Bergion / piano, accordion, harmonium
- Jonatan Jonsson / clarinet
- David Werthén / double bass
- Tobias Hedlund / percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Peter Bergting

CD Ascendance Records ‎- ASC23013CD (2009, UK)
CD + DVD Ascendance Records ‎- ASC23013CDSP (2009, UK) Bonus dvd with 2 videos

LP Ascendance Records ‎- ASC23013LPSP (2011, Europe)

Digital album - bandcamp

Thanks to wuxingwarrior3 for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA Sing-Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious ratings distribution

(212 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(34%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA Sing-Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This music is absolutely (well, I long thought about proper word and finally decided to say just) crazy. Old swing orchestra with Latin rhythms, cabaret like (The Dear Hunter combined with heavy prog sounding), absolutely fast and insane combination, which somehow works. Really, I don't know how can all these ingredients exist one next to another, work together and sound so well (reminding me System of a Down at times, with Serj's emotive and humorous, mocking style (all this stuff connected with evening dress and cylinders - or top hats if you wish). There is also waltz rhythm sometimes, so beware those who love it in rock music. Did I say rock ? I meant rock / metal, I'm not sure which of them is majority, perhaps metal, but they're changing sides regularly. Maybe it's just me, maybe I'm hearing ghosts, but I can see Russian influence here, these old folklore songs from Russian culture heritage. Just very little, but it's here.

4(-) for playful music. Not masterpiece, but very good. Unfortunately, can be quite boring after repeated listening, but it depends on current mood of course.

Review by jampa17
5 stars When creativity meets brilliancy...

Diablo Swing Orchestra brought out their second album in 2009. After the craziness and the originality of the first album, the band had a high standard to match or beat. And without a doubt, this is a definitive album of the last decade. When the prog-metal is taken to a complete new and original level, with a little degree of excess, but not in the technical way but in the saturated style gathering many different influences.

This album should be checked by all the persons who enjoy music. The musicians are capable to play in a very wide range of styles summoning tap, jazz, boogie, Spanish guitars, rock, metal and operatic voices in a very dynamic route. You can expect everything but boringness in this album. You will be surprised over and over again by these eclectic songs and you can get the idea of music very well done but with a little spicy taste of joking and fun. These musicians are a great example of doing things in a funny way, you can enjoy with them through all this different passages and textures of the songs.

Maybe is too much for the regular people. But if you can tolerate the operatic voices, you will need no more guide than your senses to enjoy such a great vibe and atmosphere. You have to come to this album expecting everything, there's no tabus or limitations. But don't be fooled, this is not technical extreme music, is more prog-eclectic metal, tough to classify but you can be sure, this is maybe one of the best masterpieces of the last decade.

A great example of originality and creativity in a age that seems to be flooded in mediocrity and plagiarism. 5 stars for sure...

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Sweden's answer to Alamaailman Vasarat? Or else, Therion gone avant?

The album's formula is quite familiar. With its mix of jazz, operetta, avant-rock, folk with metal guitars it reminds me a lot of Alamaailman Vasarat. Due to the operatic vocals also Therion comes to mind, be it an incarnation of Therion in a Kletzmer-avant mood. As a final reference I have to mention Kaizer's Orchestra, that Norwegian noise-indie-polka-rock band that merges similar influences. Diablo Swing Orchestra is decisively more operatic and heavy metal though.

Just like Alamaailman Vasarat and Therion this sounds like one endless gimmick to me: the mix of styles is fun, but the songwriting is not remarkable enough to keep me engaged for 50 minutes. The poppy verse-chorus singalong songs are simply too average for that. I also don't hear much sincere emotion, intensity or originality in any of this. But it's sure fun for a couple of songs.

A nice album, but if I want challenging heavy-avant-kletzmer-rock I'll listen to the much superior Kaizer's Orchestra, not this operatic poppy-metal variation. 2.5 stars, upped as the album left me in quite a cheerful mood.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
5 stars After dropping their avant-garde fusion bomb in the form of the debut "The Butcher's Ballroom" onto an unsuspecting world in 2006 with their deliciously provocative fusion of swing jazz, heavy metal, classical opera and progressive rock, Sweden's zany DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA returned three years later to present the world with an equally mind-bending, genre-blending mishmash of musical madness in the form of SING ALONG SONGS FOR THE DAMNED AND DELIRIOUS. While a few lineup changes occurred in the three years passing with new trombonist Daniel Hedin joining the cast and trumpeter Martin Isaksson replacing Tobias Wiklund, the general gist of this sophomore release pretty much carries on exactly where "The Butcher's Ballroom" left off and continues the journey into the demented DSO universe.

While "The Butcher's Ballroom" put DSO on the map as experimental rock and avant-garde metal pioneers, SING ALONG SONGS FOR THE DAMNED AND DEMENTED is the album that got them larger worldwide recognition. Once again this whacky band delivers the goods in the swing department as they not only captured the jazz swing revival that was propelled by such acts as the Squirrel Nut Zippers and the Cherry Poppin' Daddies but they also scoured the planet to find other suitable types of swing genres such as that of European gypsy music and Balkan folk to add to their symbiotic stew of their metal fortified dancehall. Mix in some Middle Eastern, some tango and top it off with a heavy metal bombast of dual guitar heaviness and you have a recipe for true eccentricity delivered like no other. In fact, SING ALONG SONGS was nominated in 2011 for the Eclectic Album category in The 10th Annual Independent Music Awards.

While not exactly differentiating substantially from the debut's unabashedly brilliant delivery, nevertheless SING ALONG SONGS continues in perfect form with a whole new batch of ten exquisitely designed heavy stompers that swing, sing and bedazzle with a million tiny details tucked into the nooks and crannies. The whole festive affair is polished into a squeaky clean production with In Flames producer Roberto Laghi at the helm. In short DSO created their second brilliant masterpiece of mind-melting fusion in a seemingly effortless fashion that damns, dements and distracts the listener from mere ordinary musical experiences. If anything, SING ALONG SONGS perfects the techniques of the debut and adds new subtle elements to the mix which to the careful attentive listener will find a mind boggling amount of brilliance embedded in every aspect. Set mind status to fully blown!

"A Tap Dancer's Dilemma" starts things off sounding like a Satanically spawned version of the Glenn Miller Orchestra that was somehow abducted by evil forces and had their DNA cryogenically spliced and preserved only to find its way into a strange new millennium. The track really sounds like Glen Miller's "In The Mood" with its swinging characteristics but augmented by the metal riffing, Spaghetti western trombone and trumpet as well as the vocal dualistic antics of the operatic soprano prowess of Annlouice Wolgers and Daniel Håkansson's playful male vocal counterpoints. In fact the entirety of the album finds these two throwing the ball back and forth which gives a lively call and response conversational oomf to the process.

"A Rancid Romance" shows immediate diversity to the album's flow as it takes a tango groove on piano and bass and adds super heavy metal guitar riffing. Wolgers' and Håkansson create a lyrical dialogue and interesting variations between the verse / chorus and bridge construct as the melody recurs throughout but new elements piled up bringing the whole thing to an interesting chaotic crescendo where progressive touches kick in with time signature freakouts alongside tension inducing drones that ultimately end in a symphonic acoustic classical Paganini violin solo.

As the tracks continue they only get more interesting. "Lucy Fears The Morning Star" engages a Wagner-esque classical pomp, a heavy metal stomp and high C glass shattering vocal sublimeness from Wolgers. "Bedlam Sticks" has more of a cartoonish feel. Sorta like an Elvis Presley meets Dracula vocal style that cedes into a rather demented bouncy metal stomp. "New World Widows" finds a respite from the bombastic approach with a nice echoey clean guitar intro that cedes into another bouncy metal rocker with Wolger's diva vocals soaring like a white-winged dove. "Siberian Love Affairs" takes the Eastern Europe polka as a short interlude while "Vodka Inferno" continues another swinging metal stomp with some of the oom-pa-pa polka rhythms. "Memoirs Of A Roadkill" adopts a Django Reinhardt style of gypsy swing with exquisite guitar riffing but takes an unexpected Radiohead-esque alt rock turn. "Ricerca Dell'anima" implements a surf rock approach to adapt to the DSO way of doing things.

The album ends with the longest track "Stratosphere Serenade" that begins with a dynamic cello workout followed by some stellar metal guitar riffing. This is probably one of the more progressive tracks as it is a dialogue between the metal and classical elements with more varied time signatures than most tracks. Yet another track that sounds unlike the rest with many interesting movements within. The track climaxes with a lengthy fadeout of a recurring riff that speeds up. Quite the satisfying end of the demented journey. While being pegged as avant-garde metal, DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA should be considered to exist in their avant-garde world. The metal bombast is supplemental only to add a level of heaviness to the underlying swing jazz, gypsy folk, tango and classical elements.

This is experimental music in every possibly way and the ultimate statement of a 21st band that effortlessly amalgamates disparate 20th century genres. This is music nerd's paradise and pretty much designed for those who love the individual elements that went into it. Personally this is my sort of music and the dynamic catchy melodic hooks that SING ALONG SONGS FOR THE DAMNED AND DELIRIOUS means i get a lot of mileage out of this one. In fact, it's one of those albums that works on many levels. It is truly ear worm hook music that guarantees a pleasing melodic sing-along style experience while on a deeper level is super-sophisticated as it unleashes treasures upon multiple visiting experiences. While many avant-garde metal leaning bands have come and gone, none have so successfully pulled off what DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA achieved on their first two albums. As far as i'm concerned both are flawless examples of commingled creativity taken to the highest levels.

Review by Kempokid
4 stars While Diablo Swing Orchestra's The Butcher's Ballroom was very much was I expected from a band with such an identity, being quirky gothic rock in the vein of Aurelio Voltaire on steroids, with a more metal oriented sound, while also encompassing a wide variety of genres into the music. This album however, is what I was hoping to hear, being far more bombastic and insane than their first album, with more focus on straight up metal to complement the wide range of styles undertaken, leading to a much louder, more heavy album overall. I personally find it to be a big step up in essentially every way to their debut, being heavier, more entertaining, much more bizarre, and most of all, a lot more consistent.

Just like with their debut, simply classing this as swing metal would be quite an understatement, as while the big band sound does appear in quite a number of tracks, other styles such as tango, mariachi, or just straight up prog metal all bleed through, providing great deals of eclecticism to the album. While there are many songs which employ heavy use of this big band style, the opener, A Tapdancer's Dilemma is definitely my favourite of them. The song is simply brimming with energy and insanity, with even the soft moments containing a latent manic bombast to them, accentuated by the wonderful guitar and bass, switching between heavy riffing and restrained staccato. The vocals are also wonderfully out there in general, now the male vocals being just as insane and dramatic, providing an even more strange tone to everything. Another example of this incredible energy is the bouncy, unhinged Bedlam Sticks, whic along with being another song that just never sits still, makes things even more wild with the inclusion of various bizarre voices chanting the chorus, sounding like a pack of small demonic creatures of some sort. Of the 10 songs, 7 of them are an absolute joy to listen to, and one of them is a short interlude, all of which I'd mostly say similar things about, with a couple of exceptions (which I'll get to in a bit). However, there are two songs that don't quite click with me in the same way, Memoirs of A Roadkill and Ricerca Dell'Anima. While neither of these are bad songs by any stretch, Memoirs feels like the one experiment on the album that doesn't quite pan out, without anything appropriately strange to fit in with everything else on the album, causing it to feel somewhat unneeded. Ricerca Dell'Anima I have less of an issue with, but I simply find it to be less impressive all around, lacking the same kind of impact as the others both in terms of composition and execution, having less memorable memories along with a less interesting performance on the whole.

There are two songs on the album which I do find to be very clear highlights, both being more prog metal oriented than the other tracks and using the extra genres as an addition to heighten the experience. This shows the avenue in which the band could further grow and improve. The first of these songs is Lucy Fears the Morning Star, which has an amazing trumpet buildup that then completely blasts everything away as extremely groovy, heavy guitar riffs make their way in, before softening and becoming more of an eerie creeping sensation rather than stomping around. I love the frenetic breaks in the melody where the cellos weave their way through. As the song slowly rises in power, more powerful riffs make their way in, overpowering everything as the listener feels completely obliged to lose themselves within the rhythm. This repeats once more through, being somewhat more powerful this second time however, and vocal distortions mimicking a small child becoming even more prominent, not to mention unnerving. After this, out of nowhere, the song completely shifts gears and goes full mariachi, which initialliy I wasn't the keenest on, but now I honestly couldn't imagine the song being so great without this fun way to end it. The other song that I find hits all marks spectacularly is the closing piece, Stratosphere Serenade, starting off displaying an incredibly majesty to it, with the cello and guitar playing off each other perfectly, before they both properly kick off, the cello leading with an almost mournful tone to it. One thing I noticed almost immediately was the presence of the more standard male vocals, a big change from basically the entirety of the album, which I find works incredibly here for what feels like a somewhat more serious song. Everyting about this first half of the song feels far more subdued than anything else the album presents, which works perfectly both for an album closer, and then completely catching the listener off guard with the masterful second half. Just over halfway through the song, everything cuts and fades out, only to be replaced with a futuristic sound in the form of a repeated riff with heavy amounts of alteration to the base sound, heavy reverb and the like in the background, and then the song just builds. It continues adding all the elements to it and then continuing to tweak elements here and there, adding sound effects, taking others away, slightly altering various elements of the outro as the fast faced guitar and drums continue repeating. This section is by far my favourite part of the entire album, and caps it off superbly.

Overall, I far prefer this album to the first, as it expands upon all the things done right and then ups the insanity tenfold. Almost every song here works absolutely perfectly, being intensely fun and infectoius, the catch being almost all, which is the one issue I do have with this album, that there are 2 songs in a row that damage the flow of the album to some extent, which is fortunately saved by the fact that Stratosphere Serenade is just so great. Overall, I would recommend this album to anyone who likes some stranger stuff that also knows what fun is, as while not the most complex album, it's definitely extreme amounts of fun.

Best songs: A Tapdancer's Dilemma, Lucy Fears The Morning Star, Stratosphere Serenade

Weakest songs: Memoirs of A Roadkill, Ricerca Dell'Anima

Verdict: Extremely fun almost all the way through, and a must listen for anyone who like quirky, heavy music, as this is definitely very well executed in that regard.

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5 stars I have been a consistent Progarchives user/lover for a couple years now and by being a younger member of the so-called "Generation Z" I have been left with a plethora of music I have discovered due to this site. Although I have used this website on a reoccurring basis, for some strange reason it has ... (read more)

Report this review (#2336802) | Posted by MisterBen69 | Monday, February 17, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The only real positive I get out of listening to this album is how much it exemplifies Pandora's Piñata as a truly phenomenal transition. Before I go any further, I'll just say it outright - Sing Along Songs for the Damned and Delirious is a mess. A sloppy, gimmick-filled mess of ridiculous i ... (read more)

Report this review (#1281817) | Posted by Gallifrey | Monday, September 22, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Wow, this caught me off guard. This is one of the most creative albums I've ever listened to. I've never really delved into avant-garde metal but this is a great place to start. DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA is progressive metal with elements of jazz & swing; an interesting energized genre of avant-garde m ... (read more)

Report this review (#1038517) | Posted by SevDawg | Wednesday, September 18, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Part cartoon, part live action, the steampunk 'Addams Family' meets 'Corpse Bride' film is complete but now needs a sound track. The producers have Trans-Siberia Orchestra, Epica and Madder Mortem lined up to perform the music, which has been written by Devin Townsend. Or they save themselves al ... (read more)

Report this review (#437994) | Posted by moochie | Saturday, April 23, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Not many albums out there like this one. This album has an astounding amount of creativity and uniqueness to it. They venture into grounds other metal bands don't dare tread by fusing their music with genres some would never expect to find in metal. The genres these people incorporate into t ... (read more)

Report this review (#432842) | Posted by DisgruntledPorcupine | Wednesday, April 13, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars As a big fan of both metal and jazz, this band holds a lot of appeal to me. Even their name was enough to inspire my interest: Diablo Swing Orchestra. Sounds like a melding of three wonderful, albeit theoretically incompatible, genres. As is turns out, there is more than just that to DSO. Ri ... (read more)

Report this review (#282713) | Posted by Triceratopsoil | Wednesday, May 19, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars DSO is a group that has an interesting and "hell" story, a very sound alternative and not easily classified as the proposal is to mix elements from several styles, at least show that no prejudice. The musicians master their instruments with leftovers and this is evidenced by the versatility of ... (read more)

Report this review (#280777) | Posted by nandprogger | Friday, May 7, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Keeping up the craziness As far as genre blending and eclectic composing goes, this second endeavor of DSO keeps going in the same direction as its predecessor. The songs are presented in a somewhat more organized manner, as each song is representing a new country of inspiration according t ... (read more)

Report this review (#277160) | Posted by Robinanimate | Saturday, April 10, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Strum and Kerrang - The Three Euro Opera As you can tell from the lame pun in my review's title, I can't seem to dislodge entirely the connections between this record and that of the dramaturgy of Bertold Brecht and the musical theatre of Kurt Weill. DSO are unashamedly northern European (Swedi ... (read more)

Report this review (#244867) | Posted by ExittheLemming | Friday, October 16, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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