There’s not enough circus metal. It is fundamentally a bit goofy, but performed correctly it’s one of the most irresistible concoctions the metal world produces, perfectly mating the technical with the catchy. Genre junkies like me rely on a clutch of specialized bands for consistent output, and with the 2015 demise of Unexpect, arguably the field’s greatest artist, we were left with one fewer reliable supplier.
Mercifully, this relative drought will be alleviated on December 8, 2017 by none other than the genre’s foremost representative. Sweden’s swing metal maestros Diablo Swing Orchestra or DSO, will release their new album “Pacifisticuffs” on that date, under Candlelight and Spinefarm Records.
Originally, DSO had sustained fans with the tantalizing “Jigsaw hustle”, which they described as “ABBA-klezmer-funk with a twist of lemon” in a surprisingly accurate bit of copy. The integration of disco with metal is an amusing juxtaposition given the extraordinary public hatred evinced toward disco in the late 70’s, particularly by rock fans. As usual, metal works well in genre fusion owing to its flexibility, and this track was no exception. Snappy production posed no hindrance for a band imitating a genre inherently associated with panache.
Furthermore, it helped differentiate DSO’s upcoming work from the previous material. The first two albums, “The Butcher’s Ballroom” and “Sing-Along Songs For the Damned and Delirious”, largely took from a swing and opera canon with violin flourishes. The following “Pandora’s Pinata” broadened this focus while keeping its basic foundations – giving their swing a cabaret focus while moving more into funk and groove.
One visual theme of the album, evident both in the cover art and the band’s Facebook post, on Dec. 12, 2016, is “gnarly geometry”. Both the shirt and album cover feature figures deriving from an angular and three-sided basis.
This, in combination with the color palette – bloom-heavy shades of purple and magenta – may suggest slicker production. It could also feasibly suggest djent influences. The recording process has seen the use of brass, strings, choir and piano. The band have also abandoned their flamboyant opera-styled female vocalist Annlouice Lögdlund with Kristin Evegård, who employs a looser style more in keeping with the swoopy vernacular of cabaret rather than opera’s arch soprano.
The band will issue two singles, before the album release: “Knucklehugs” on November 3 and “The Age of Vulture Culture” on December 1.
"Pacifisticuffs" track listing:
01. Knucklehugs (Arm Yourself With Love)
02. The Age Of Vulture Culture
03. Superhero Jagganath
04. Vision Of The Purblind
05. Lady Clandestine Chainbreaker
06. Jigsaw Hustle
07. Pulse Of The Incipient
08. Ode To The Innocent
10. Cul-De-Sac Semantics
11. Karma Bonfire
12. Climbing The Eyeball
13. Porch Of Perception