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Butcher's Ballroom

15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 22, 2006
$15.55 $80.13
Vinyl, Import, June 27, 2011
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 22, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CDBY
  • ASIN: B000JCEVK4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #482,914 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By p-51 on April 17, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I remember the first time I heard the pairing of melodic female vocals with a heavy rock/metal song. It was unlike anything I'd heard before, and I loved it from the start.

Since then, I've spent many years exploring this interesting musical genre, and have found a few great bands (Within Temptation, Oratory, Leaves Eyes) and a boatload of horrid bands (Edenbridge, the thunderously terrible Alas, and WAY too many others to name). But not since the first time I heard that first song have I ever sat up and taken notice of a truly different sound.

Until I discovered Diablo Swing Orchestra.

Where to begin? The opening track, "Balrog Boogie," is like nothing I've ever heard before. Mixing elements of jazz, swing, metal, opera, and a sly sense of humor, this track defies categorization. Strangely enough, it reminds me of something you'd hear on one of the old "Muppet Show" episodes, all creative and entertaining.

The thing is, each song on this album is unique in its own way. Some have the jazz sound, some have a mariachi flavor, others feel like something out of the old west. As far as instruments go, in addition to the usual guitar/bass/drum mix, there's cellos, horns, violins, flutes, and even a didgeridoo to be found in the various songs. And those are just the ones I could identify - I'm sure there's more.

What ties most all of the songs together is good, quality musicianship, a metallic heaviness, and a female lead singer who sounds like she just stepped off the stage of the Met. When I say she sings in an "opera" style, I mean it - this isn't some sort of high vibralto that she only hits in dramatic parts.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By llooc on July 6, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Discovered Diablo Swing Orchestra while reading a random message board. Gotta love them internets! I checked out their myspace page, listened to "Balrog Boogie" and "Poetic Pitbull Revolutions" and I immediately knew I had to have this. After listening to the whole thing multiple times, I am in love with this record. It feels like music that would be released on The End Records - try and describe the elements that compose it, and you'll be sure to leave something out (like I will!) I haven't had a disc dominate my player like this for a long time. By that I mean needing to have it loaded onto my computer at both home and work, as well as carrying the disc in my car, so it's accessible at all times. If I had an mp3 player that counter would be steadily climbing every day.

Everything you've read about the singer's voice is correct. Operatic style. I understand what people mean when they say it reminds them of Nightwish, but I hear it somewhat as Therion and (a little) Devil Doll - but it's really more its own animal than anything else, and meshes incredibly well with the music, as do all of the accompanying stringed instruments.

Some of these songs are almost pop in their addictiveness! You'll have difficulty getting out of your head tunes like "Rag Doll Physics", "Wedding March For A Bullet", and "Porcelain Judas". "Balrog Boogie" is the most jazzy of the tracks (along with the outro on "Pink Noise Waltz"), although the lyrics sound like random Latin phrases. "Heroines" mixes in sultry slinkiness that reminds me of David Lynch.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. Esin on September 3, 2007
Format: Audio CD
We have a unique piece in our hands. I'm pretty sure that for an average metal listener, operatic female vocals and male/female dual vocal combination is nothing new (Lacuna Coil, Nightwish, anyone?). For the experimentor, splicing together different and irrelevant genres is nothing new also.

Diablo Swing Orchestra, on the other hand, is new all around.

The Butcher's Ballroom consists of thirteen tracks and each track, while following pretty much the same pattern, manages to amaze and stupefy. The musical influences of D:S:O include but are not limited to dark cabaret, at times disco (Balrog Boogie and Gunpowder Chant), flamenco, opera, classical (or neo-classical, more appropriately), rock (hard rock) and metal (heavy metal) and jazz. The vocals, whether screaming or moaning, are a perfect fit to it, never once losing their charm; for each of the songs, this part cherishes that part. The music is unique and often times challenging with harmonies layered atop each other - and not to mention ''Pink Noise Waltz'' where they managed to squeeze 4-4 beat riffs and melodies into a classical 3-beat waltz rhythm. The guitar work is at times pretty well-known, using classical hard-rock/heavy-metal structure (save for the Spanish guitar partitions where they use mariachi styles); however, the guitars, while an integral part, only serve to emphasize the other instruments - that of cello, some wind instruments (trumpet, for instance), and the glorious keyboards using the term versitality to its fullest.

Lyrically, while along the same line with avant garde metal's abstract and often nonsensically painful (and often dark) lyrics D:S:O shares a tender side - the writing is skillful enough to at times make you feel the silky tenderness sliding across the songs.
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