Pacifisticuffs is the fourth full-length studio release from the Swedish avant-garde metal act known as Diablo Swing Orchestra. If you are not familiar with this band, don’t fret, I was unaware of them until a few years ago but once I heard them, I became quite intrigued. Their sound is a crazy amalgamation of prog-rock, metal, and swing (yes, you read that right, swing) that takes the listener down a path filled with hairpin turns and unexpected detours.
Pacifisticuffs is a phenomenally creative record, albeit a bit obscure but with playing that will absolutely blow your mind; this is one talented group of musicians. Admittedly, this is not going to be for everybody as there are no real anthemic tunes or even songs you can crank while speeding down the highway. It is definitely not an everyday listen, even for me, but when I want to hear something completely out of the box, Pacifisticuffs fits the bill perfectly.
The journey begins with “Knucklehugs” and for the remaining 44 minutes or so the listener is thrust down a twisting, winding path into a world of the unexpected where nothing is what it seems. Listeners will be unsure if they should be dancing to the swing beat, banging their heads to the thrash riffs, or combining the two into some bizarre dance ritual looking thing that might resemble a massive swing pit.
Diablo Swing Orchestra, and Pacifisticuffs more specifically, defy all attempts to be categorized which I think just adds to the overall allure; you never know what you are going to hear, but it is guaranteed to be extremely creative and well played.
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” (album version)
07. Pulse of the Incipient
08. Ode to the Innocent
10. Cul-de-Sac Semantics
11. Karma Bonfire
12. Climbing the Eyewall
13. Porch of Perception
Run Time: 44:20
Release Date: December 8, 2017
Stream the entire Pacifisticuffs album via Spotify.