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16 tracks this time. - 93%

HealthySonicDiet, November 14th, 2003

From what I'd heard about Devil Doll and the vibe that I got from them, I expected something completely out of the ordinary and this is definitely it.
Like all of Devil Doll's releases, except for Eliogabalus, Dies Irae consists of one album- length song. However, this time it's divided into 16 parts, though it's still thought of as one musical composition. By subdividing the music so heavily, each of the different sections of the music has more of its own identity. In this way, I suppose it's easier to tell when the next part of the story concerning "The Day of Wrath" comes.

This effect of having multiple tracks on the album is comparable to Quentin Tarantino movies such as Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs because it's like there are several subplots going on that all intertwine at the end of the album. The rest of Devil Doll's single-song albums sound more like one singular plot.

Ok, I'm sure many of you have heard much about Mr. Doctor. Well, he has a voice that can be horrifying and comical, often at the same time, and I'd be willing to go out on a limb and say that NO vocalist in metal sounds like this guy. That's how unique his voice is. Dies Irae doesn't showcase his best vocal performance, IMO, however. That honor goes to SoFA.

The album begins with a decrescendo of strings that sounds like a submarine and quickly introduces operatic vocals that give way to an evil choir and Mr. Doctor's eerie vocals. This part of the song sounds truly terrifying. After that, it's just a series of vocal theatrics that last about one to two minutes with majestic violins and strings and the occasional guitar solos. Nothing really special about the guitar solos, but Devil Doll isn't about technical wizardry. The lack of technicality in the guitar-playing is surely made up for in the tone. This band has one of the greatest guitar tones I've ever heard. If you wet your pants over epic music, this will do it to you.

The only problem I have with this CD is the brevity of the different sections. It's a little disquieting to hear such abrupt changes in the music and I would prefer for them to last on average three minutes each. Eh, to each his own though. This is some of the most unique music I've ever heard and I'd be hard-pressed to find a band that could adequately compare to Devil Doll. Highly recommended.