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On disc: Diablo Swing Orchestra

- The Butcher's Ballroom - Daniel de Niz - 10 stars

The Butcher's Ballroom

The Butcher's Ballroom
(Plastic Head - 2006)

Quite an original offering this Swedish band brings to us. This is their debut album after the EP Borderline Hymns. Their style consists in jazz, swing, metal.and even some bits of flamenco. This is one of the most original and talented bands I have heard this decade. Here we have something fresh for those metal heads hungry for something different and for good music lovers.
The music is diverse blending the aforementioned styles, changes are all over the album, every track is a trip, taking the listener in an entertaining musical roller coaster of perceptions. The impressive versatile skills in the musicians: Daniel Håkansson (guitar), Pontus Mantefors (guitar), Anders Johansson (bass), Johannes Bergion (cello), Andreas Halvardsson (drums) and the highly-trained operatic style of their singer Annlouice Loegdlund.
The first track Balrog Boogie starts this trip with a galloping bass line and Annlouice's peculiar melodic singing style/accent which characterizes most Scandinavian folk singers (e.g. Emma Härdelin from Garmarna) and blending it with opera. The rest of the album she mostly uses - and abuses - this operatic capabilities. All guitars, bass and drums display great versatility throughout the album. Some may compare the singer to average-yet-famous sopranos such as Tarja, but some other's may notice the extra versatility and capability in Annlouice.
You won't be bored a single minute! From many it will be either an amusing or an interesting, innovative or entertaining album - or both!. The fresh air, creativity and quality this band provides makes The Butcher's Ballroom one of the best albums I have listened to in years.

10 stars

Daniel de Niz


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