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lunes, 8 de junio de 2015

Diablo Swing Orchestra - The Butcher's Ballroom (2006)


Artista: Diablo Swing Orchestra
Álbum: The Butcher's Ballroom
Año: 2006
Género: Avant-Garde Metal, Experimental
Duración: 51:50
Nacionalidad: Suecia

Lista de Temas:
1. Ballrog Boogie
2. Heroines
3. Poetic Pitbull Revolutions
4. Ragdoll Physics
5. D'angelo
6. Velvet Embracer
7. Gunpowder Chant
8. Infralove
9. Wedding March For A Bullet
10. Qualms Of Conscience
11. Zodiac Virtues
12. Porcelain Judas
13. Pink Noise Waltz

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



¿Que mejor para empezar un lunes que un disco de la Diablo Swing Orchestra? Y si son tres discos, ni te cuento, para que empiecen la semana pum para arriba! Quizás este trabajo no caiga tan redondo como los que resubí anteriormente, me refiero a "Pandora’s Piñata" y "Sing Along Songs for the Damned and Delirious", y es porque estos son los tres únicos discos de la banda y justamente éste que presentamos ahora fue el primero, o sea que con este comenzaron a pulir su estilo que ya en su tercer y último disco de la gran cosecha progresiva del 2012 ya está totalmente definido, probado, chequeado y aceitado. Igualmente es un disco con gran calidad, tanto en sus canciones como en la interpretación, y ya el espíritu propio de la banda está allí, palpable, audible... es que para ese entonces la banda ya estaba sonando así:


Para continuar, dejo un excelente comentario sobre este disco, tan pero tan bueno que yo no voy a emitir otra palabra, salvo desdearles que disfruten esta discografía completa de los suecos de Diablo Swing Orchestra...


Imagina por un momento que eres un campesino sueco de la edad media, de esos que tan bien retrató Ingmar Bergman en películas como El Séptimo Sello o El Manantial de la Doncella, y que te encuentras en una fiesta popular con mucho alcohol, muchas mujeres y una extraña banda de música que no sabes a qué diantres suena, pero que te hace mover el esqueleto como nunca lo has hecho con sus instrumentos del averno. Bueno, algo así debería ser la predisposición que habría que tener para escuchar un disco de Diablo Swing Orchestra.
Diablo Swing Orchestra comenzaron su trayectoria en 2003. El nombre del grupo tiene su origen en una historia más o menos verosímil difundida por los miembros de la banda. Según la cual, ellos serían los descendientes de la primera Diablo Swing Orchestra, una agrupación que en pleno siglo XVI se dedicaba a hacer presentaciones en vivo de canciones que criticaban con un toque de humor irónico al Estado y a la Iglesia. Naturalmente, en la medida en que la iglesia y el Estado copaban todo el poder existente en aquella época, no transcurrió demasiado tiempo para que la DSO fuera considerada hereje y perseguida. Esto les llevó a refugiarse en la clandestinidad para realizar los conciertos, pero no les sirvió de mucho: acabaron siendo capturados. Sus instrumentos fueron quemados y ellos condenados a la orca. Sin embargo, antes de ser enviados al cadalso, hicieron un pacto por el cual se comprometieron a que sus descendientes 500 años más tarde resucitarían la banda. Ahora, en pleno siglo XXI, la Diablo Swing Orchestra renace de sus cenizas...
La música de Diablo Swing Orchestra suele catalogarse como Avant-garde Metal. Esta etiqueta es genial para clasificar un grupo que no sabes como definirlo. Todo lo que te parezca rarito y experimental puede ser puesto bajo el rótulo de avant-garde. Cosas de la crítica musical. En el caso concreto de Diablo Swing Orchestra, nos encontramos con una banda que no tiene ninguna clase de reparos para juntar el metal con el jazz, la ópera, la música mexicana, el boogie, el folk, música árabe, etc. ¿Cómo definimos eso? Fácil: Avant-garde. Qué fácil es ser crítico musical.
Con una formación invariable desde 2003, compuesta por Daniel Hakansson a las guitarras y las segundas voces, Pontus Mantefors a las guitarras también y a diversos efectos de samplers, Annlouice Loegdlund como vocalista principal, Andy Johansson al bajo, Johannes Bergion al violonchelo y Andreas Halvardsson a las labores percusionistas, en 2006 editaron su primer larga duración: The Butchers Ballroom. Sin más dilación, pasaré a comentar las distintas canciones encerradas en ese album.
El disco comienza con Ballrog Boogie, todo una delirante y surrealista miscelánea de estilos musicales: desde el metal hasta el jazz más boogie, pasando por la incombustible voz de soprano de Annlouice, con toques a medio camino entre el bebop y el clasicismo más inveterado. Sin duda, una de las canciones más originales y divertidas de todo el disco, en la que los músicos suecos se encuentran pletóricos. Y además, supone una patada en la boca a todos los defensores del metal más true. Una declaración de intenciones, vaya.
Le sigue Heroines, una canción ya más destinada a saciar al público más gótico que puedan representar bandas con vocalista femenina al frente, como Nightwish o Within Temptation. En cualquier caso, cualquier parecido con las bandas anteriores es producto de una comparación nada afortunada, pues la música de Diablo Swing Orchestra deriva más hacia terrenos bizarros y grotescos que la de las bandas citadas anteriormente, que cabe denominarlas de "serias". Lo mejor de esta canción son los cambios de registro de Annlouice, que sabe como hacer variar su voz desde una melodía pop hasta una más operística en cuestión de unos pocos versos.
Otro de los puntos fuertes del album es Poetic Pitbull Revolutions. Como si de una ranchera metalizada se tratara, la canción se va desarrollando con acordes y melodías típicas mexicanas. Annlouice vuelve a sorprendernos con un tono grave, más propio de una Sandra Nasic que de una diva de la ópera. La canción transcurre por varios pasajes en el que las influencias clásicas no pasan desapercibidas, pero todo ello aderezado por una corteza de metal que lo inunda todo. Sin lugar a dudas, una mezcla que lejos de resultar forzada, consigue manifestarse como un experimento más consistente de lo que cabría esperar en un principio. Todo un acierto.
Ragdoll Physics "cierra" un inicio espectacular de disco. Con una Annlouice exhuberante en todos sus registros, que van desde el operístico hasta el más popero o gótico (según como se mire, a veces viene a ser lo mismo). Ritmos que van desde el vals hasta tendencias folkies, guitarras metalizadas con un punto de melodía neoclásica y, en genera, un desarrollo muy bien llevado son las notas características de este tema. Si el resto de las canciones se mantuvieran al nivel de las cuatro primeras, estaríamos hablando de un clásico de la música rarita. Desgraciadamente no es así.
El dúo D'Angelo y Velvet Embracer, pese a que sean dos estupendas canciones, bajan el nivel de intensidad de lo escuchado con anterioridad. La primera es una composición en clave intimista en la que Annlouice se despacha a gusto con una sonoridad en su voz claramente lírica. La segunda, que sería la continuación de la anterior (en clave progresiva), viene a configurar un "arreón" en la intensidad de la composición. Un acierto el enlazamiento, pero no tanto el desarrollo, en el que se peca de estructuras tipicamente "heavies" y ritmos facilones. Aún con todo, el estribillo es francamente enmarcable, con la vocalista en plena efervescencia de sus aptitudes solísticas, llegando a alcanzar tonos a los que muchas cantantes del metal más gótico quisieran alcanzar. Es la vocalista, la que con sus melodías y su destreza y virtuosismo en el canto, salva una composición que, per se, no tiene nada de original.
Entiéndase: en un grupo que pone el listón muy alto y que lleva el eclecticismo por bandera, escuchar ciertas estructuras y sonoridades baja el listón de lo oído anteriormente. Además, puede ser cosa de la producción y del sonido final del album, pero cuando pretenden sonar más puramente metal, la cosa se desinfla. Desconozco la razón, si cuestión de producción o del "feeling" instrumentístico de los componentes del grupo, pero el hecho es bastante palmario.
Siguiendo con el repaso a las canciones que encierra este The Butcher's Ballroom, las siguientes en sonar son Gunpowder Chant e Infralove. La primera es una corta composición instrumental de tintes orientales, árabes para ser más precisos. A medida que se va desarollando empiezan a introducirse fraseos guitarrísticos con un tamiz más metalero. Al igual que el par de canciones precedentes, Infralove es puenteada con Gunpowder Chant mediante un pasaje pseudo-industrial, que deriva en el fraseo que se percibía en el tema instrumental, ya con una carga más consistente de metal, suponiendo la base del tema. En general, tampoco es un tema que destaque. Algo parecido sucede con Weeding March For A Bullet.
Qualms Of Conscience, pieza a piano realmente emotiva, se distancia de la tónica general del resto del disco. Tras ella le sigue Zodiac Virtues, composición con arreglos de piano, en la que Annlouice vuelve a hacer gala de unas cuerdas vocales privilegiadas a la hora de hacer variaciones de tono y escala. A mitad de la canción se introducen partes de pop experimental y sampleos de melodías folk que ayudan a desahogar la canción y, en general, el clima existente en las últimas canciones reseñadas. Sin estar al nivel de las cuatro primeras canciones del album, esta Zodiac Virtues se sitúa muy a la zaga de aquellas. De lo mejor del album.
Las dos últimas canciones del disco son Porcelain Judas y Pink Noise Waltz. La primera se inicia con un riff muy contundente al que unas armonías orientales sirven de ornamento para la voz de Annlouice, que vuelve a jugar con todos sus registros. Pink Noise Waltz supone el broche final para el disco. Sin ser una de las mejores canciones del album, el hecho de que contenga muchos desarrollos y partes hace de su escucha una experiencia muy amena, quizá, ensombrecida por el hecho de su ubicación en el redondo y, por tanto, oscurecida por mejores canciones que le son precedidas.
Este The Butcher's Ballroom, a pesar de contar con auténticos temazos que bien podrían haber salido de la mente de un maniaco, no llega a terminar de convencer. En mi opinión hay una serie de defectos que DSO debe intentar pulir en futuras entregas discográficas. Estos defectos, si bien no especialmente graves, si que repercuten negativamente algo en la impresión general de lo que este disco es. La producción, el excesivo uso de riffes de guitarras simples o el recurso fácil a la operística voz de Annlouice Loeglund (sin por ello desmerecer un ápice el talento de la vocalista) son algunos de los pequeños errores que, si bien no desvirtúan en demasía lo ofrecido en este The Butcher's Ballroom, si lo ensombrecen. Es una pena, pues en este disco hay canciones suficientes como para pasar un buen rato. Temas que cuentan con los arreglos suficientes como para impactar y resultar interesantes. Sin embargo, el uso repetitivo de algunos esquemas y patrones en algunas de las pistas acontecidas en este disco no acaban de cerrar lo que, en principio, es la percepción de que algo grande está sonando. Otra vez será, pues tiempo e ideas son algo de lo que esta banda no carece precisamente.
Que Diablo Swing Orchestra es una banda a la que le espera un formidable futuro es algo que no discute nadie que haya escuchado este The Butcher's Ballroom. Discos tan eclécticos como éste son difíciles de encontrar, y cuando esto sucede, pues bueno, siempre son bienvenidos. Habrá que seguirles la pista, pues la sensación de que algo grande está por llegar está ahí, a los oídos de todos. Tened presente este nombre: Diablo Swing Orchestra. Seguro que pronto os se hará familiar.
Ignatius Reilly

Una banda que me gusta por muchos motivos pero principalmente por el nivel de libertad que tienen, esa especie de Avant-garde accesible y con altas cotas de divertimento y locura, armando uno esos combos de inimaginables fusiones que el oyente puede imaginar... una banda experimental que juega con muchos tipos de instrumentos y géneros, con una voz que lleva la batuta en la parte voal, que es una soprano graduada de la Ópera House de Suecia, mezclada con voces más rockers, que dan más eficacia y frescura a esa mezcla de ópera, swing, rock y metal. Pero ustedes ya saber de su estilo y su forma de hacer música, así que pasamos a algunos comentarios en inglés como agregar algo más para el que esté interesado, y al disco por favor.

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
Igor Sidorenko

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.
Teodoro Gomez de la Torre R.

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.
UMUR

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)
Iain

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.
David

'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.
Conor Fynes

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...
Juan Pablo Mijangos

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.
Marty McFly

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.
Slava Gliozeris

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. Where the first track is influenced by big band/Chicago blues style, the second introduces violins and a much more orchestral sound. That is before the third track ambush you with its mariachi guitars and salsa rhythms. And thusly the album progresses, seemingly without any boundaries and limits to the band's originality. Every song has the previously mentioned rock elements in the background, accompanied by the lead vocal which is of the female operatic kind. Many metal bands have tried to incorporate female operatic vocals before though. But no one has done it like DSO. When all the melodies as climactically composed and still hummable as the case is with this album, there is not much to complain about. The production is good, every instrument come out nicely in the mix. Many songs introduce some new elements such as hammond, classical guitar, trumpet or violin, but they all are mixed tastefully in line with the rest of the production. The same goes for the vocals. Even though the female vocal is dominating, the male vocalist does a great job when he appears. Still, the star of this ensemble have to be the female singer. She brings an already clichéd style of singing within metal to new levels. It is nothing less than astounding. Favorite tracks are Balrog Boogie, Poetic Pitbull Revolutions and Porcelain Judas. But all tracks are great. The melodies have great replay value, and the album is a long lasting pleasure-bringer for those metal fans that curse the un-innovative outpour of metal bands these days. If you value terms as innovation and originality when it comes to your music preferances, DSO would be a sure thing. Call it avantgarde, call it postmodern, call it genre- breaking. This is probably the best thing to come around this side of the millennium. This band appear out of the blue with a fresh, new and invigorating take on the metal genre (they are not too heavy though) that points out a new direction within its field. And that is a rare thing. If one should try to compare them to any other band, (which I regard as an impossible task) the closest bands would maybe be Dog Fashion Disco or Subterranean Masquerade. Being that all these bands mixes genres in a highly eclectic manner. DSO is still unlike anything that I have ever heard before. In the most positive way imaginable.
Robin Syversen

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 jokingly/violently with "Balrog Boogie" and ends beautifully with "Pink Noise Waltz". Throughout the album I couldn't stop listening. The lyrics, wow, I just cannot believe how they mean to me. They mostly speak of love, failure, seclusion, corruption, bitterness of life and mysterious relationships which usually end in dark corners accompanied with lasting effects in our lives.
Musically, composed and arranged in the best fashion, the album is full of black and bittersweet melodies. Vocal lines are almost extraordinary. Guitar sounds cannot be better than what we hear in the album. At times, Contrabass and modern sounds and effects are two opposing forces that produce a united energy in the album- one takes you to the baroque era and the other brings you back to the 21st century. Diablo Swing Orchestra is really swinging (with Metal, Rock, Jazz, Baroque, Opera, and Folk) and that in one of the bloodiest of places: in a butcher's ballroom. Indeed, words cannot describe this true artistic masterpiece and do justice.
I think this album produces a psychological effect. If you feel lonely, you need to listen to it. If you feel exhausted, you need to listen to it. And 50 minutes is not a tiring journey at all for relieving your anxiety and depression.
Amirabbas Amiri

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 Swedes (I never cease to be amazed by the sheer musical talent in this country. Free time on socialist welfare is good for you :) apparently view themselves as art makers as well. Basically what they do is all sorts of traditional music - from the U.S., Spain, Latin America, Russia, the East etc - with heavy guitars and a metal-like intensity on the more traditional instruments. This force-of-nature approach applies also to the highly operatic female vocal.
A side note - out of their 3 albums, the first one is the most catchy and accessible.
Ruben

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 ended creating the most original, powerful, bizzarre metal sound. Heavy metal, of course. Heavy sound, carved in stone. A powerful singer able to clean out all the goth-sirens around. A single cello creating riffs and riffs like a madman musician who lost its sanity in an Elend prison. A dark-humorous mood all over the album. A record you can listen laughing all the time. People may think you are crazy, but it's okay.
"When I go to Ikea I always think that Swedish are strange people" an italian journalist used to say. He was referring to Dark Tranquillity, but when you listen to something so unique and yet so superbe like The Butcher's Ballroom you can agree.
I really have fun with these guys, I love them because they are great musicians but they don't play to entertain themselves like most progster do, they don't show off, they don't repeat abused technical difficulties just to prove themselves they're good. They make music. New, fresh as air, brilliant, touching, turning your brain and guts upside down.
And a final serious note. I discovered their music on the web, downloading their album for free, under a Creative Commons license. The art in the 21st century. Standing ovation, and a bow.
4 stars, and prepared for next....
pepato

Según el vulgo wikipediano: "Diablo Swing Orchestra se caracteriza fundamentalmente por fusionar diferentes géneros musicales con el metal, algunos de los géneros son el jazz, la ópera, el swing, la clásica, entre otras. Se caracteriza por tener una cantante soprano de un alcance extremadamente amplio, además poderosos riffs de guitarra, como así también un bajo bien marcado. Se puede apreciar la originalidad de la banda porque las canciones que tienen difieren mucho una de las otras, hay pocas semejanzas entre las canciones. Esto hace que sus fans y oyentes no se cansen"...
Yo puedo afirmar que es una muy buena música y si bien no llega al nivel de sus dos discos posteriores, el disco "The Butcher's Ballroom" es una buenísima entrega. Su calidad, interpretaciones, todo es rescatable, merecedor de nuestros oídos.
Y así terminamos de publicar la discografía de estos suecos, que se las traen.




3 comentarios:

  1. Download: (Flac + CUE + Log)
    http://pastebin.com/FjWRH5e9

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  2. Muchas Gracias. Muy buena música en este blog!

    Alejandro

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  3. Quien hizo esta crítica nunca se percató de que los registros graves no son de la voz de la cantante, sino del guitarrista. xD
    Parafraseándolo: "Qué fácil es ser crítico musica"...

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