|Devil Doll is an experimental dark rock band formed in 1987 by Italian 'Mr. Doctor'. Originally, two lineups were formed, one in Ljubljana in former Yugoslavia (now Slovenia), and one in Venice, Italy. The band has gained a cult following, taking influences from gothic rock, classical and Slavonic folk music, and fronted by the sprechgesang of Mr. Doctor himself.
The first work of Devil Doll was The Mark of the Beast, recorded in Tivoli Studios, Ljubljana in the last half of 1987. Among the sound technicians were Jurij Toni, who would work with the band for the next ten years. The Mark of the Beast was finished, and a single copy pressed, in February 1988. The cover to the album was painted by Mr. Doctor himself, who keeps the album in his home to this day. No other copies exist. A few passages from the album, however, are said to make "cameos" in future Devil Doll albums.
Later the same year, work on a second composition began. This work, entitled The Girl Who Was ... Death, was inspired by the 1967 British television series The Prisoner. 500 copies of the album were originally pressed, in the beginning of 1989, of which only 150 were released. These were distributed out amongst the audience of the second live performance of the composition (the first had occurred before the pressing of the album), each with a unique inlay created by Mr. Doctor. Some of these inlays were written in his own blood. The remaining 350 copies of the album were destroyed by Mr. Doctor once he returned home.
In 1989, Mr. Doctor began the work on three different compositions, The Black Holes of My Mind, Eliogabalus, inspired by Antonin Artauds work Heliogabalus : Or, The Crowned Anarchist, and Mr. Doctor Sings Hanns Eisler, an interpretation of four of German composer Hanns Eisler's works. "Mr. Doctor Sings Hanns Eisler" was never released, and the two former compositions were, due to budget limitations, cut down to fit on a single vinyl, named Eliogabalus. The shortened version of "The Black Holes of My Mind" was renamed "Mr. Doctor" for this release, while "Eliogabalus" retained its name. Eliogabalus was released in 1990, in three different pressings, one of 50 and two of 900 copies. One of the pressings of 900 was on CD.
In 1991, after the fall of the Soviet Union and the independence of Slovenia, the two lineups of Devil Doll were combined into one, and in December, the combined lineup entered Tivoli Studios to record Sacrilegium.
Sacrilegium was released in May 1992. It was released only on CD, but the Devil Doll fanclub released 900 numbered vinyl copies with inlays designed by Mr. Doctor and Adriana Marac.
In January the next year, a soundtrack to a movie by Mr. Doctor, The Sacrilege of Fatal Arms, was released. The 900 copies sold out in 72 hours. In March, drummer Roberto Dani left the band, and was replaced by Slovenian Roman Ratej.
In July 1993 Devil Doll entered Tivoli Studios for recording of The Day of Wrath - Dies Irae. During a mixing session, the studio caught fire. Both Jurij Toni and Mr. Doctor were able to escape, although Toni ended up hospitalised for several days. Mr. Doctor refused to rerecord the album, and rumours of a split-up began circulating. 20 copies of a book containing the sheet music for The Day of Wrath - Dies Irae, as well as a tape of the unmixed recording, was released, though.
At the end of 1994 Mr. Doctor finally agreed to rerecord Dies Irae. The recording started in January 1995 in Akademik Studios. Devil Doll was backed by the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, of which band member Sasha Olenjuk was leader and first violinist. Later, Norina Radovan, a Croatian soprano, was recruited to sing a duet with Mr. Doctor on the album. The recording was released in February 1996, and is the only composition to consist of multiple tracks (Eliogabalus consists of two tracks, but these are two different compositions supposed to have been released on two different albums).
A last album, The Day of Wrath, soundtrack to the second of Mr. Doctor's movies, of the same name, was scheduled for release in 1997, but was never released.
While Devil Doll has never been officially disbanded, nothing has been released since Dies Irae. In 2004, a mailing action was started by a fan and the Fan Club to make Mr. Doctor and Devil Doll produce more material. The letters were printed in a book named 'A Thousand Letters to Mr. Doctor'. Mr. Doctor replied to the effort in 2005, and sent the fan, who started the mailing action, a gift of appreciation. This gift was Mr.Doctor´s personal copy (number 1) of Sacrilegium. Handmade and written in a leatherbox and as extra a handmade, signed artwork with the word ´Astonished´ on it.