Metal has met nearly every other genre out there, yet there are still some bright faces trying to change things up. One such outfit is the Diablo Swing Orchestra, who have a very unique sound. Diablo Swing Orchestra put a unique twist on metal in Pacifisticuffs, adding swing and groove to the mix.
Diablo Swing Orchestra's sound is unique. It has a baroque influence paired with thick, distorted riffs. It's not every day distortion falls in line with music of the Middle Ages. 'Knucklehugs (Arm Yourself With Love' opens the record on an aggressively anthemic note, bringing a call to arms as the first track. The punchy nature of the song really defines the essence of the record, as it carries on throughout the record's run, including in the next track 'The Age Of Vulture Culture,' which comes with a grander presence and a confirmation that adding swing to metal brings some interesting results.
While it is something different, Pacifisticuffs isn't a perfect record. The sound the band goes for isn't so much the problem as it is the execution; each song is filled with good ideas, yet a lot of the time it feels disjointed. In 'Interruption,' for example, at one moment you'll be hearing dark piano chords and enchanting lyrics while at the next it'll be a Middle Ages folk tune. There's not much consistency, let alone adhesion. Great songs like the groovy 'Lady Clandestine Chainbreaker' with its wonderful melodies and 'Karma Bonfire' with its infectious nature just don't sound like their own tracks. They're all just amalgamations of lots of ideas.
Diablo Swing Orchestra put a unique twist on metal in Pacifisticuffs, bringing swing and some truly old-style music into the world of metal. There is little to no continuity in the record, however, which ultimately brings it down a notch, yet there's clearly an abundance of ideas here. Give it time to grow, and they may really be on to something.
Favorite Track: Interruption
Least Favorite Track: Cul-De-Sac Semantics
Rating: 68 / 100
Stream or buy Pacificisticuffs on Apple Music: