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Devil Doll - The Sacrilege of Fatal Arms CD (album) cover

THE SACRILEGE OF FATAL ARMS

Devil Doll

 

Heavy Prog

3.73 | 66 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

James Lee
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Take the grandeur of progressive rock and the macabre melodrama of goth and you have DEVIL DOLL. Both genres have a potential for unique power, and both can also be extremely silly (I can say this in all honesty, because my fondness for both genres is tempered with a recognition of their respective pitfalls and weaknesses). By the way, I'm also a fan of the Italian sub-genre of progressive rock, so one could certainly think that DEVIL DOLL was made specifically for me.

Except that I don't really like the band. "The Sacrilege of Fatal Arms" is very deep into silly territory, despite the obvious talent and discipline of the musicians involved. Sure, it looks great on paper; spine-tingling orchestral rock that takes the GOBLIN experience to new symphonic heights. I should be loving every over-the-top macabre minute of it, and instead I'm grimacing at the childish vocals ("Man of 1000 Voices"? I hear three at most, and they're all laughable) and dated metal guitars, and getting distracted by attempting to name every classic horror soundtrack reference. Perhaps DEVIL DOLL should try harder to be scary themselves rather than settling for horror-by-association; what little fun could be had from sampled horror film name-dropping was milked to death by bands like WHITE ZOMBIE over a decade ago- and it didn't even work too well back then.

Whereas FANTOMAS, CRADLE OF FILTH and DIMMU BORGIR (and a host of lesser 'fate worse than Death Metal' bands) can tickle your creepybone like a cheap B- movie frightfest, DEVIL DOLL just doesn't hit hard enough to overcome the silliness. They certainly can't hold a candle to some of the truly unsettling music that can be found lurking in various avant-garde classical and experimental industrial albums; the moments of musical quality here are too few and far between to compare to the shudders of Penderecki, UNIVERS ZERO's "Heresie", or even BAUHAUS' "Mask". In 79 minues, you may find perhaps a minute or two of anything approaching effectively creepy and original music, most of which is due to the lush choir and string section. Neither authentically scary nor scary fun, "Sacrilege" reminds me of one of those cheap 'sounds of horror' albums that are purchased for the sole purpose of adding atmosphere to an office Halloween party. This is perfect music for people who think prog peaked with IQ and that horror is best represented by MARILYN MANSON and Anne Rice; i.e., safe pretend terror for people who are easily impressed by an over- the-top spectacle.

James Lee | 2/5 |

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