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Devil Doll - Eliogabalus CD (album) cover


Devil Doll


Heavy Prog

3.82 | 107 ratings

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3 stars In 1989 Mr. Doctor worked simultaneously on three different projects: an esoteric work titled ''The Black holes of my mind'', an adaption on four works of Austrian composer Hanns Eisler under the name ''Mr. Doctor sings Hanns Eisler'' and ''Eliogabalus'', inspired by Antonin Artaud's "Heliogabalus: or, the crowned anarchist".Entering the studio in 1990 he had to face a very limited budget, so his work on Eisler's compositions was abandoned and the other two works were combined in a single album release, ''Eliogabalus''.The album features Roberto Dani as a newcomer on guitar and also fresh drummer Rick Bosco.It was reputedly pressed in three editions, two vinyl pressings, one of which was a limited one of 50 copies, and a CD one.

The 20-min. ''Mr. Doctor'' was the composition intended to become the centerpiece of ''The Black holes of my mind''.Propably this is a cut-out version, which sounds a bit different from what Devil Doll has presented so far.The gothic and heavy elements are somewhat reduced for a more symphonic-oriented sound, which still contains Mr. Doctor's frightening whispers and some bombastic grooves, but it goes mainly in a rather dreamy style with strings, smooth guitars and orchestral keyboards/piano, while the band's leader even sings in a regular style, which reminds me a lot of Alex Caimati from NUOVA ERA.The music is more elaborate and polished with multiple variations between rockin' rhythms, pompous arrangements and spoken parts.The symphonic and operatic elements dominate this composition, which also contains a few excellent female-choir parts.The 25-min. title track does not differ much, even if it was to be originally included in a different work, meaning that Mr. Doctor was stylistically settled around the time.Of course ''Eliogabalus'' has a more varied depth of atmospheres and comes a bit closer to the sound of the previous album.The mood is quite dark and sinister with absence of ethereal themes, although there are even some minimalistic moments throughout.This comes as a mixture of Avant-Garde/Classical influences with full-blown Symphonic Rock, again the great string section and the beautiful guitar melodies prevail along with the soft piano parts and Mr. Doctor's ability to switch characters with his voice.Elements from Horror Film Scores and Ambient Music can also be tasted, ''Eliogabalus'' ends up to be a composition with some majestic moments but also lack of consistency.

While the second work of Devil Doll has much in common with the debut of the ensemble, you should rather imagine a less bombastic and more refined version of ''The girl who was... death'' to meet exactly your expectations.Symphonic Opera with elements from Avant-Garde and Minimalism, not fully convincing, but certainly pretty atmospheric and well-composed.Recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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