Saturday, April 28, 2012

Diablo Swing Orchestra- Pandora's Piñata

Sensory Records/Candlelight Records

Diablo Swing Orchestra (or DSO for short) is Swedish band that was formed in 2003. This is the group's third album so far and, believe it or not, the band's sound is made up of heavy metal, opera, swing jazz, tango and even spaghetti western type soundtrack music. How's that for an odd mix? The origin of band's name is a bit long so if your at all interested I've posted a link to Wikipedia below. The odd name of the band (and for that matter odd album title) aside this is certainly an interesting listen. Having expanded to an eight-piece lineup, with the permanent addition of two horn players, since their last album (the acclaimed 2009 album, "Sing Along Songs For The Damned And Delirious") DSO is fronted by a trained opera singer by the name of Annlouice Loegdlund. Her professional range helps DSO avoid being a mere avant-garde metal curiosity. Instead she helps set the pace of "Pandora’s Piñata"'. No doubt most will still view a band like DSO as a bit of a gimmick. Can such an odd mash-ups of styles truly work? On paper the answer would seem to be no. Even as I type this review (with "Pandora’s Piñata" playing in the background) I'm torn between liking this album's attempt at extreme musical experimentation and the thought that it all sounds so, for lack of a better word, weird. Should you seek out the album be prepared to experience a new take on genre-splicing extreme metal. DSO are another band that will certainly be of no appeal to the mainstream heavy metal fan. That being said I know there is an audience for bands like DSO. For those seeking something different, off the beaten path as it were, DSO are a must-hear band. It should do wonders for people who march to the beat of a different drummer and view avant-garde metal as just the first step of many new adventures waiting to be discovered. I do plan to listen to this release more in the very near future and, since it has already happened with the second run through of this album, I am sure that with each play there will be new discoveries to be had. This is an album that really needs repeated listens. Especially if you are to have any hope that you can pull more out of the band's one of a kind sound.

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