DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA – Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious

DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA – Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious

Origin: Sweden
Genre: Avant-garde Metal Experimental
Label: Ascendance Records
Year: 2009

Diablo Swing Orchestra (D:S:O) is a very special band from Sweden that was formed in 2003, or according to a “legend” in 1501! This story is revealed in a DVD that comes with the limited version of the album and it is presented as a “real story”. According to the official DVD, there was an orchestra in 1501 in Sweden performing seductive and “divine” music, recruiting many followers and gathering large audience. Their reputation made the mason church accuse them for heresy, Satanism etc. and they “baptized” them the Devil’s Orchestra. They earned more popularity this way, but the hostility of the church was growing continuously. They became fugitives (there were rewards to arrest them) and finally they decided to quit, but not without giving a last unforgettable show! Before this last concert, all members signed a pact that their descendants should reunite the orchestra in 500 years and six envelopes were passed on to family members. The show was a great success with massive sing-along of the crowd and it was talked about for many years. At the end of the concert the 6 members were arrested and sentenced to death by hanging. In 2003 two of the original descendants meet in a music store and after discovering their past they managed to gather all remaining successors and following the instructions they reunited the orchestra!

I don’t know if this is a real story, or an advertising trick, but it’s interesting anyway! Either way the original scores don’t exist (they were destroyed) so the music of the new orchestra is a free interpretation of the old one. D:S:O self-released their debut “The Butcher’s Ballroom” in 2006 gaining very good reviews for their unusual and inspired music and now in the end of 2009 they release their second album “Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious” with Ascendance Records. If you have listened to the first album you will know what to expect. If not, it’s not easy to describe it with words. The band likes to refer to its music as “riot-opera”, but this alone isn’t that helpful. Actually their name fits them perfectly. They really sound like a cursed orchestra that is willing to experiment with every genre of music in order to create a lunatic atmosphere. Opera, classical orchestral music, ballroom music, swing, jazz, rock, hard rock, heavy metal, electronic music, folk music, Russian music, flamenco and many other genres are used in this album (unluckily I don’t have the knowledge to track them all!). The band was influenced by the different music traditions they met on various countries (Russia, Germany, France, Spain and UK) on their tours and they dedicated some songs to these cultures. So there is a great variety on this album by really skilled musicians able to play almost everything in a very tight result.

The production of “Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious” is excellent, one of the most powerful I’ve ever heard. The guitars have a really heavy sound and each riff has amazing “volume” and strength! Guitars are combined with synths, cello, drums, bass, trombone, trumpet, piano, accordion, harmonium, clarinet and choirs in every possible combination. Annlouice’s characteristic female operatic voice has the leading role in vocal lines, where we also find a big variety of male vocals in various styles (operatic, heavy, rock, extreme, etc). The song structures are very complex and innovative and so different from song to song. There are 10 songs in this album and almost 50 minutes of unique music.

It is released in 3 different versions by Ascendance Records: a regular 4-panel digipak, a limited to 2000 pieces 8-panel digipak with a bonus DVD that contains a film with the band’s biography, a video clip and band info and finally a limited to 300 pieces version including the previous CD+DVD, plus a band logo pendant, some posters and stickers. If you are interested in such experimental music and a band with a unique background you better check their music on your own on their official pages, since words are incapable to describe them.


Rating:  (9/10)

Diablo Swing Orchestra @ Facebook
Diablo Swing Orchestra @ Myspace

Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos


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