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A dark and heavy prog band from Italy & Slovenia whose music is inspired by old silent horror movies. Devil Doll’s music has been described as “an elaborate and bombastic collision of styles” and “a perverse, yet brilliant soundscape of some forbidden netherworld”. Bands like Jacula can be pointed as an influence to this (at least) very different band.

Devil Doll’s albums are a journey into the unknown theatres of the unexplored soul and mind, they are like a sick cabaret of unsuspecting and, at times, soul-possessing opera. “The Girl Who Was… Death” is an interesting modern symphonic sound with a pervading air of menace. “Eliogabalus” is like a prog-metal symphony, a grandiose, overarching structure that works like a suite. I certainly didn’t take a trip to heaven when I for the first time became familiar with Devil Doll’s many masterpieces. The music is not for everybody, but recommended to
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DEVIL DOLL Discography

DEVIL DOLL albums / top albums

DEVIL DOLL The Girl Who Was... Death album cover 4.03 | 11 ratings
The Girl Who Was... Death
Metal Related 1989
DEVIL DOLL Eliogabalus album cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
Non-Metal 1990
DEVIL DOLL Sacrilegium album cover 3.14 | 5 ratings
Non-Metal 1992
DEVIL DOLL The Sacrilege Of Fatal Arms album cover 4.92 | 3 ratings
The Sacrilege Of Fatal Arms
Non-Metal 1993
DEVIL DOLL Dies Irae album cover 4.07 | 6 ratings
Dies Irae
Non-Metal 1996

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Album · 1996 · Non-Metal
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Unlike most previous Devil Doll releases, Dies Irae was split into parts to allow listeners to easily find particular parts of the composition. Make no mistake though: this is another album-length single-track saga following the precedent and compositional principles established in The Girl Who Was Death, in Devil Doll's characteristic application of symphonic prog compositional principles to gothic rock aesthetics and subject matter. The inclusion of string soloists borrowed from the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra aids the enigmatic Mr Doctor in attaining the level of pomp and gravitas aimed for, and if the band's basic approach hasn't evolved much since the debut, it hasn't degraded much either.

DEVIL DOLL The Girl Who Was... Death

Album · 1989 · Metal Related
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Devil Doll's musical style can be described as a blend of symphonic prog, goth rock, and horror film soundtracks. Though some of Mr Doctor's more pretentious stunts - such as only recording one copy of the band's debut album, The Mark of the Beast, and keeping it for himself, or producing 500 copies of the first run of this album and then burning 350 of them at a concert - might come off as ridiculous attention-seeking, there's no denying that at least on The Girl Who Was Death the man has concocted an intriguing blend of styles which don't obviously go together. With a concept based around celebrating the classic TV series The Prisoner and a typically eccentric vocal performance by Mr Doctor himself, the album is certainly an acquired taste, but one worth acquiring.

DEVIL DOLL Sacrilegium

Album · 1992 · Non-Metal
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Here's a album that really disappointed me. I say disappointed because perhaps my favorite album ever (or at least top 10) is The Sacrilege of Fatal Arms, a 'remix'/extended version of this album, Sacrilegium. This is one case where the 'directors cut' completely lays the original to shame.

Now what kind of music does Devil Doll play? A look at the tracklist says this is one 58 minute epic, which is not the case, however it's certainly epic in a different sense. Devil Doll plays pretty hard rock/bombast prog throughout their discography, and on this album is fitted with instruments as broad as choirs and pianos. As with all Devil Doll releases, the metal influence is slight.

This album was intended to be a grand statement by the band, and as The Sacrilege of Fatal Arms proved, all the elements for a masterpiece were there - but were scattered abysmally. The album design as a single track is so scattershot, parts segue and jump so unexpectedly and randomly there's no way you could ever pick up what the hell the album is about without studying the lyrics carefully, and relistening many, many times, both of which I've done.

To simplify the album to explain further, there seems to be two interlinked narrative themes throughout the album, both interweaved in this CD in a very haphazard way. The music itself lacks any real build or flow because each part seems individual to itself, not part of some grander picture. If Mr. Doctor had not retrospectively remixed this into the true masterpiece it originally could have been, I'd write this off as a very poor release. Such as it is however, I can understand its importance in relation to one of my favorite albums, but still...

I seldom play this album anymore because it simply pales in comparison to its far superior remake/remix. For all who read this, I suggest that you give this a listen along with The Sacrilege of Fatal Arms and decide which works best for you.

DEVIL DOLL The Sacrilege Of Fatal Arms

Album · 1993 · Non-Metal
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A preliminary note. Devil Doll are most commonly associated with rock opera compositions with metal elements. The extent in which metal takes a part in their work is pretty debatable, but integral to the albums - despite being in the minority of their album content. Don't go into a Devil Doll album expecting hour long metal epics - but they are epics of a different nature.

Ah, The Sacrilege of Fatal Arms. I have, for a long time intended to revamp my review over at Progarchives, or at least, justify my perfect score for this album, but never got around to it. Now that I have some time, I will do just that. Devil Doll are a strange is almost not applicable here, because one man who goes by the pseudonym of "Mr. Doctor" designs every aspect of what is heard in the final releases, with the assistance of muliple musicians to give the effect that he desires. There hasn't been any real word from Mr. Doctor aside from a 2006 interview, 10 years after the last Devil Doll album was released. That album, Dies Irae, is considered by most Devil Doll fans to be his magnum opus, though I have always much preferred TSoFA. Let me explain why this album garners a perfect score. TSoFA is actually a remixed/revamped version of Devil Doll's previous album, Sacrilegium. This album was released in 1992, and runs about 48 minutes in length. It is probably my least favorite Devil Doll album, and you would think, given that TSoFA is so heavily based on Sacrilegium, that I would not be so much more affectionate towards its existence. But I am, because Sacrilegium suffers from the feeling of being a rushed and poorly composed effort. Conceptually, all the elements for a masterpiece were there, but they were not assembled into a truly realised work of art. We were pulled from one seemingly unrelated thread of lyrics and music to another, with no sense of meaning or reason. The Sacrilege of Fatal Arms however, is a complete revamp of the albums structure, and design. Lyrically, not a word has changed. The order of the verses have, the music has been remastered into reflecting a very different feeling. There are long instrumental periods throughout TSoFA, which contrasts with Sacrilegium's more sporadic and bombastic approach. There is a catharsis that runs through this album which is unlike any other I've heard. The dated quality of the recording shows in this album, being an independent artist, Devil Doll did not have the highest quality recording studio out there. But this adds to the effect of the album even more. When it wants to be, TSoFA is powerful and majestic in the same fashion as Sacrilegium, but it uses this power sparingly, and in the design of the album, strips back the emotion into the feeling of heartbroken catharsis. This feeling is very much in tune with the lyrics, which after many readings and thoughts, now make sense to me. I'll leave you as listeners to determine what they mean for yourself. In extending the album by almost half an hour, there are elements which reemerge in increasing power. While Sacrilegium tended to not reuse musical elements, a great deal of parts of that album are altered and placed two or three times within the albums daunting length. while in most cases, this would be considered a lazy and poor effort in design, here, the escalating power in these segments, gives the album more momentum and forward progression then Sacrilegium had in its poorly concentrated and undisciplined approach. Both albums are single track efforts - this being the massive length of 79 minutes. The album never really feels like it drags or grows old, except when that is exactly the kind of feeling it wants to reflect. I mentioned at the start of the review that the metal elements are very sparse in this recording, and they are. There are about 10 minutes which feel 'metal' in the progressive sense, the rest are far more subdued and minimalistic. Whenever a verse spoken by Mr. Doctor arrives, it is usually accompanied by a solo piano, strummed guitar, or a beautiful harp. Though it obviously takes patience and time to indulge in an album of this length and conceptual difficulty (I still struggle to understand some aspects), it works only when consumed as a whole. Finding the time to do that is up to you. If I had to pick apart my perfect score, I'd say that there are points where the album appears to take just a few moments too long in instrumental sections before resuming the narrative - however these niggles are really only applicable in the early stages of the album, as the lyrics pick up after the half hour mark. I really can't think of any way to slice or dice this album down from its massive length - and all in all I think this album deserves my wholehearted recommendation fully. For all fans of difficult, Gothic, conceptual and epic music, or music in general. It's really like nothing you've ever heard. (except maybe sacrilegium .)

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