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Devil Doll - Eliogabalus Review

by Prog Prince

The point has been made that all of Devil Doll's albums following The Girl Who Was... Death are increasingly ambitious(at least that is what one should assume just by the way the statement was worded), and that is mostly true, except for DD's sophomore release Eliogabalus.

Don't ask me what the word means or its origin, but what we have here is Devil Doll's only two-song album,(Well, technically---- Dies Irae has sixteen tracks, but I've already stressed that the composition is still supposed to be considered one piece of music.)which is broken up into two songs under 30 minutes long. What's so glaringly amusing about these two songs is that each of the titles conveys something obvious about the band. The first song is named "Mr. Doctor"(the notorious vocalist) and the second one is named "Eliogabalus"(the name of the album, obviously). What really tickles my funny bone and incites my natural curiosity is the first track. What is the band's(and/or Mr. Doctor's) intention here, to give a auto/biography of Mr. Doctor/himself? I suppose the logical explanation would be that Mr. Doctor( I wish I knew what his real name is) was inspired by some other person with the same title----probably a villain from an old horror film.

Musically speaking, Eliogabalus is remarkably different than anything Devil Doll has ever done. I know this for a fact because I have all their albums.(except for their demo The Mark of the Beast) Since the band has two separate songs, each one has its own identity while still conveying a long-drawn out story. They're so commercial-sounding in their immediacy, but epic. "Mr. Doctor" showcases the cleanest vocal work from Mr. Doctor, and the opera vocals are once again present here as they are on Dies Irae. In my opinion, those female operatic vocals should play a larger role in the music. The song meanders a bit, but it's still enjoyable and heavily shows Devil Doll's bright, quirky side.

The title track is just as good as the first---probably better. This song showcases some tasteful extended soloing which isn't prevalent on other albums, more new clean choral and individual vocals that are special just to this album, a maniacal clinking instrument in one moment that reminds me of a spider traveling through its web, a series of especially tight drum rolls, superb orchestration, and more.

This is technically Devil Doll's worst album IMO, (I say technically because I dislike Sacrilegium more than this for reasons not purely related to the quality of the music) but it's not bad. I use that term 'worst' very loosely here. Actually, it's quite the contrary....a fun, atypical extravaganza from a band who may have wanted to forsake their creepy musicality for one album.

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Devil Doll - Eliogabalus


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