One of the coolest things about metal as a [sub-]genre [of rock and roll] are the myriad sub-genres that continue to come out of it. And now there's one more. Diablo Swing Orchestra is a dizzy mix of swing, tango, metal and jazz that will likely either intrigue or repel based on that description alone.
As crazy as that may sound, these Swedes have managed to put together one of the more interesting eclectic metal bands in recent memory without straying over the line into sheer gimmickry. That is to say, it works. And I would love to see a video for Voodoo Mon Amour with a dance hall of people in leather, spikes, tattoos and poodle skirts alternately jitterbugging and moshing.
DSO's key to success is to not go too heavy with the distorted guitars. It would be easy to take something like Benny Goodman's Gotta Be This or That and just add massively multi-tracked Zakk Wylde-like guitars tuned down a step. But these guys approach their tunes with the crunch as just another part of the instrumentation of a larger group with interesting results; Black Box Messiah sounds like the theme song to some surreal Japanese animated kids' show, while Exit Strategy For A Wrecking Ball is more like Sevendust meets U2 with Tito Puente guesting (dude, I'm telling you), and Mass Rapture is like a merengue by way of Pantera. Amazing.
The Bottom Line: Keep in mind that you don't want to approach this music like traditional metal with a horn section over it. This is basically latin-flavored, big band music with some balls and chunk - and a nice sense of humor to hold it all together. I can only hope to some day see these guys in person. Think of the pit!
Tracks That Make You Wish There Was Such a Thing as Swing Moshing: Voodoo Mon Amour, Kevlar Sweethearts, Exit Strategy For A Wrecking Ball & Mass Rapture
- Genghis is really just amazed at this album...