Diablo Swing Orchestra

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Diablo Swing Orchestra
Diablo Swing Orchestra at the Global East Rock Festival in 2010. From left to right: Pontus Mantefors, Johannes Bergion, AnnLouice Lögdlund, and Martin Isaksson.
Diablo Swing Orchestra at the Global East Rock Festival in 2010. From left to right: Pontus Mantefors, Johannes Bergion, AnnLouice Lögdlund, and Martin Isaksson.
Background information
Years active2003–present
LabelsGuillotine Grooves (2003–2009)
Candlelight, Sonic Cathedral (2006–2009)
Ascendance, Sensory (2009-2017)
Spinefarm (2017-present)[1]
Associated actsTherion
MembersDaniel Håkansson
Kristin Evegård
Pontus Mantefors
Andy Johansson
Johannes Bergion
Daniel Hedin
Martin Isaksson
Johan Norbäck
Past membersLisa Hansson
AnnLouice Lögdlund
Andreas Halvardsson
Petter Karlsson

Diablo Swing Orchestra, also shortened DSO, is a Swedish avant-garde metal band formed in 2003.[2] They have released four albums: The Butcher's Ballroom (2006), Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious (2009), Pandora's Piñata (2012) and Pacifisticuffs (2017).

Known for its blend of different genres, the band mixes numerous influences, most prominently from heavy metal, rock, swing, progressive, and classical, although various other influences are frequently mentioned by critics.[3][4][5][6] The line-up features several instrumentists uncommon for rock or metal bands, such as a cellist, a trumpeter, and a trombonist, while their albums often prominently feature string and brass sections.


Johannes Bergion's cello is one of the defining sounds of the band.

Debuts and The Butcher's Ballroom (2006–2009)[edit]

The band was created in 2003 as a sextet. The original line-up consisted of singer Lisa Hansson, guitarists Daniel Håkansson and Pontus Mantefors, bass guitarist Anders "Andy" Johansson, cellist Johannes Bergion, and drummer Andreas Halvardsson. They released their first EP, Borderline Hymns, in 2003; two years later, Hansson left the band, and was replaced by AnnLouice Lögdlund.

With Lögdlund, the band released their first album, The Butcher's Ballroom, in 2006. During recording, the band realized that some parts did not fit Lögdlund's voice; as such, Håkansson became the band's co-lead singer, with Mantefors also occasionally providing lead vocals.[7]

Through the band's official page on Myspace, they offered free downloads of a number of tracks from their debut album in promotion of The Butcher's Ballroom.[citation needed] The tracks released on the page were as follows: "Heroines", "Balrog Boogie" and "Poetic Pitbull Revolutions" — the latter of which was added to the playlist months later.[citation needed] The full album is offered free on Jamendo as of August 2016.[8] In July 2008 the band played at Summer Breeze Open Air in Germany and in October 2008 at Metal Female Voices Fest in Belgium.[9]

Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious (2009–2011)[edit]

In early spring 2009, the band announced that they were returning to the studio, and made a number of cryptic video blogs to document their efforts. On June 30, 2009 they announced that the cover art for the album would be made by Swedish illustrator Peter Bergting, noted for being the author of The Portent.[10][11] The track "A Tap Dancer's Dilemma" was made available through the band's MySpace page on July 7, 2009.[9][12] They also announced that two Special Edition prints of the album would be available to pre-order along with the regular album. Both of the Special Edition copies came in an 8 panel digipak containing the CD, a 12-page booklet and a Bonus DVD.[13] The Special Limited Edition was restricted to only 300 orders, and came with an additional pack of postcards, vinyl sticker, and a Dog Tag embossed with the band's logo and a number between 1-300, unique to the owner.[13] Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious was released on September 21, 2009, and on October 2 the band played a special album-launch gig at The Purple Turtle club in Camden, London.[11]

On January 18, 2010, Diablo Swing Orchestra announced that their drummer, Andreas Halvardsson, had stepped down from his role due to "personal reasons" and would be replaced by Petter Karlsson, best known for his work with Swedish metal act Therion.[14][15] Diablo Swing Orchestra expect pre-production of their third album to begin towards the end of 2010.[14][15] On July 17, 2010, the band played at Circo Volador, Mexico City.

On August 14, 2010, the band played at Brutal Assault Open Air in the Czech Republic with the new lineup.[16]

In January, 2011, Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious was nominated in the Eclectic Album category in The 10th Annual Independent Music Awards. The song "A Tap Dancer's Dilemma" was also nominated for the Metal/Hardcore category.[17]

Pandora's Piñata (2011–2014)[edit]

On January 24, 2011, the band announced on Facebook that trumpetist Martin Isaksson and trombonist Daniel Hedin, which were both featured as guests on Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious, had joined Diablo Swing Orchestra as full-time members.

On October 9, 2011, the band revealed their 3rd album title: Pandora's Piñata.

AnnLouice Lögdlund, the band's second female vocalist, was a part of the line-up from 2005 to 2014.

On March 29, 2012, the band announced on Facebook that Petter Karlsson was leaving the band; he was still featured on the upcoming album, as he had already recorded all his parts. The band publicly thanked him "for all the fun times together as well as for all the hard work he has put into the band". Karlsson stated "DSO is a band which foundation is made from a bunch of great guys, with great ideas, great enthusiasm and 100% motivation. I just feel that I can’t mobilize that amount of greatness and enthusiasm, without having a bigger share of the artistic creation and in addition to limited financial gain. I just have too much other things going in my life right now. And I really want to continue working on my own projects. So therefore I leave the drum throne to someone who can put the right amount of energy into it. DSO deserve that".[18] Johan Norbäck filled in as drummer for the rest of the ongoing tour, and eventually became a full-time member.

On April 9, 2012, the band released the new album's first single, "Voodoo Mon Amour" through their Facebook page.[19]

Pandora's Piñata was released on May 14, 2012 in Europe, and May 22 in North America. It received rave reviews from music critics.[20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28] On January 8, 2013, the band released the video from the song "Black Box Messiah".[29]

Pacifisticuffs (2014–2019)[edit]

On August 16, 2014, the band announced that AnnLouice Lögdlund was leaving Diablo Swing Orchestra as a mutual decision, as her opera career "exceedingly has taken up more and more of her time". They also announced Kristin Evegård as her replacement, and that she would be featured on their upcoming single, "Jigsaw Hustle", which was released later that year.[30]

They immediately started working on their next album, Pacifisticuffs, which was recorded between July and October 2016, and set for a late 2016 release; it was eventually postponed for a year due to mixing issues, and was eventually released on December 8, 2017.[31] It was preceded by two singles, "Knucklehugs" on November 3 and "The Age of Vulture Culture" on December 1, and included a re-recorded version of "Jigsaw Hustle". It received very positive reviews from critics, with particular praise going to Evegård's performance.[3][4][5][6][32][33][34] After the release, the band resumed touring.

On February 9, 2019, the band released a music video for the song "Superhero Jagganath" from Pacifisticuffs.[35]

Swagger & Stroll Down the Rabbit Hole (2019–present)[edit]

The band shared that they had started working on their fifth studio album on their Facebook page on August 3, 2019, stating "12 songs in various stages of completion so far. Hoping to start recordings during the summer of 2020."[36]

On February 21, 2020, the band stated that recording for the new album would start on May 4th in Gothenburg.[37] Two days later, they announced the album's title, Swagger & Stroll Down the Rabbit Hole.[38] Recording for the album concluded on August 29, with the recording of the Hammond organ parts.[39] It will consist of 13 tracks, including "¡Celebremos lo inevitable!", the band's first song in Spanish.[40][41] Following Covid 19 related setbacks, the band stated in April 2021 that mastering was the only part of the album left to complete, and that they were hoping for a release the same year.[42] On June 15, 2021, the band announced that the first single from the album will be released in August and the second in October, with the album itself set for a November 2021 release.[43]


The origin of the name of the band is related on their website. The tongue-in-cheek back-story recounts a historically questionable ancestral story beginning in 16th-century Sweden. Supposedly, ancestors of the band members performed orchestral works in defiance of the ruling church at the time (possibly in reference to the newly installed protestant Lutheran national church, in power during the mid- and late 16th century). The orchestra was forced to go into hiding, performing in secret, with the assistance of oppressed peasants during the era. After years of performing for the pleasure of these peasants, the story claims that the church put a bounty on the performers' lives, and that this bounty was so high that the orchestra knew they would soon be captured, and thus chose to play a spectacular final show before becoming martyred to the church.[2]

Band members[edit]



Studio albums[edit]



  • "Voodoo Mon Amour" (2012)
  • "Jigsaw Hustle" (2014)
  • "Knucklehugs" (2017)
  • "The Age of Vulture Culture" (2017)[31]


  1. ^ "Ladies and gentlemen! We are as of now signed to Spinefarm/Universal". DSO's official facebook. July 12, 2017. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Candlelight Records". Candlelight Records. July 11, 2007. Archived from the original on January 8, 2009. Retrieved March 12, 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Diablo Swing Orchestra – Pacifisticuffs Review". Angry Metal Guy. December 19, 2017. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Review: Diablo Swing Orchestra "Pacifisticuffs"". Angry Metal Guy. November 19, 2017. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Diablo Swing Orchestra - Pacifisticuffs (Review)". Crom Magazine. November 28, 2017. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Diablo Swing Orchestra - Pascifisticuffs". Lords of Metal. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "INTERVIEW : DANIEL HÅKANSSON – DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA (2009)". Erwin Van Dijk. July 15, 2012. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  8. ^ "Download this free music album: The Butcher's Ballroom". Jamendo.
  9. ^ a b "Diablo Swing Orchestra: new song posted online". Blabbermouth. July 8, 2009. Archived from the original on July 11, 2009. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  10. ^ Diablo Swing Orchestra (June 30, 2009). "Sing Along Songs album art & special editions revealed". MySpace. Archived from the original on February 7, 2009. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
  11. ^ a b "Diablo Swing Orchestra: new album artwork unveiled". Blabbermouth. June 30, 2009. Archived from the original on July 20, 2009. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  12. ^ "New Diablo Swing Orchestra and Whyzdom tracks online + pre-order info". Ascendance Records. July 7, 2009. Archived from the original on July 13, 2009. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  13. ^ a b "Diablo Swing Orchestra & Whyzdom pre-orders". Ascendance Records. February 11, 2008. Archived from the original on July 13, 2009. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  14. ^ a b Diablo Swing Orchestra (January 18, 2010). "Petter Karlsson to replace Andreas Halvardsson as DSO drummer". MySpace. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  15. ^ a b "Diablo Swing Orchestra parts ways with drummer, announces replacement". Blabbermouth. January 19, 2010. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  16. ^ "Diablo Swing Orchestra". Brutal Assault Open Air. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  17. ^ http://www.independentmusicawards.com/ima/artist/diablo-swing-orchestra
  18. ^ https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10151425163395316&id=61680950315
  19. ^ https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=305872336149003&id=61680950315
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-09-26. Retrieved 2017-11-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ Monger, James Christopher Pandora's Pinata review. Allmusic.com. Retrieved on 5 May 2015
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ [2]
  24. ^ [3]
  25. ^ [4]
  26. ^ [5]
  27. ^ [6]
  28. ^ [7]
  29. ^ https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=528364143862923&id=61680950315
  30. ^ https://www.facebook.com/61680950315/photos/a.10150598590430316.672691.61680950315/10154422415085316/?type=1
  31. ^ a b "So the moment is finally here!". DSO's official facebook. July 12, 2017. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  32. ^ "DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA: PACIFISTICUFFS". Dangerdog.com. December 6, 2017. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  33. ^ "Diablo Swing Orchestra – Pacifisticuffs". Heavy Blog is Heavy. December 15, 2017. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  34. ^ "REVIEW: Diablo Swing Orchestra – "Pacifisticuffs"". It Djents. December 13, 2017. Archived from the original on December 27, 2017. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  35. ^ "Superhero Jagganath — Official Music Video". Diablo Swing Orchestra's YouTube account. February 9, 2019. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  36. ^ "Working on album no. 5..." Diablo Swing Orchestra's Facebook. August 3, 2019. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  37. ^ "We have a date!". Diablo Swing Orchestra's Facebook. February 21, 2020. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  38. ^ "And the title for album no.5 is..." Diablo Swing Orchestra's Facebook. February 23, 2020. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  39. ^ "Last day of recording. Hammond time!". Diablo Swing Orchestra's Facebook. August 29, 2020. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  40. ^ "Kristin's vocals are done and we're getting closer to getting this behemoth of an album done". Diablo Swing Orchestra's Facebook. July 1, 2020. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  41. ^ "The new album will feature our first song in spanish "¡Celebremos lo inevitable!" and it is an ode to those we miss and remember with joy". Diablo Swing Orchestra's Facebook. September 1, 2020. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  43. ^ a b "Diablo Swing Orchestra on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  44. ^ http://everdie.blogspot.com/2009/11/diablo-swing-orchestra.html

External links[edit]