Diablo Swing Orchestra
"Sing-Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious"

(Sensory Records 2009)Diablo Swing Orchestra - Sing-Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious

When you think of a rock opera, bands like The Who or (gulp) Green Day might come to mind. From now on, you need to add The Diablo Swing Orchestra to that list. The Swedish group does something most don't - they actually have opera singing on their sophomore album with metal at its core, "Sing-Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious." And while it's less of a concept album than a vivid and flashy dramatic production, the band fully embraces their musical idea.

But they don't do just opera, oh no. The Diablo Swing Orchestra finds and reuses classic pieces while putting a decidedly modern spin on things, for example, big band swing (the rousing opener "A Tap Dancer's Dilemma") and tango (the heavy metal twist of "A Rancid Romance"). What with all the funny voices and the thumping bass, the album sounds as though Les Claypool might jump in at any time during tracks like "Bedlam Stories."

The Diablo Swing Orchestra is wild, vivid and fascinating on "Sing-Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious." It could be goofy and geeky but the album never sounds like it's going too far over the top. It's the kind of creation that keeps you entertained as well as involved by way of their adoption and reinvention of notable pieces of music. It's also the kind of act that makes you curious if, when performed live, the band could live up to the record. But that, my friends, is a potential review for another day.

B+

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