Devil Doll is a cult experimental rock band formed and fronted by the enigmatic Mr. Doctor. The music is a dark mixture of goth rock, classical and Slavonic folk music, with influences from several other, mostly older musical styles. Layered on top of this is the eery 'thousand voices' of Mr. Doctor.
Devil Dolls albums do not follow the typical construction of an album, with several different songs that can be easily recognized as such. Instead, each album can be said to consist of a single musical composition, with the exception of Eliogabalus, which due to budget restraints consists of the cut-down versions of two originally separate, album-length pieces. Of the remaining, only Dies Irae has been arranged with several tracks, though listening to any one track out of order does not give the composition any justice. Therefore, if you are going to sit down and listen to Devil Doll, expect to sit for at least 20 minutes, the length of the shortest work, named after the front man himself, and to be found on Eliogabalus.
Thematically, the works of the band are often inspired by gothic horror. Among notable works of inspiration we find Edgar Allan Poe's The Conqueror Worm, which several parts of Dies Irae borrow heavily from, and the British cult television series The Prisoner. Mr. Doctors characteristic sprechgesang works very well with the themes, to create a moodfull piece of musical art that at times can make chills go down your spine. An acquaintance of mine once told me that he got so genuinely freaked out by one of their albums that he could not continue listening to the album. Is this is proof of Mr. Doctors genius in the genre of musical horror, or just proof that my friend is easily freaked out? Well, with the subjectivity that music, and indeed all other forms of art, is subject to, you will have to decide for yourself, but I, as a fan of gothic and psychological horror, reckon him as such.
The rather unusual style of the band means that far from everybody will like their music. In my opinion, to be able to enjoy them fully, you need to focus your entire attention, and listen to a composition from beginning to end. It is not something I listen to if I just want some background noise while I do something else, or music to get in mood for a party. It simply does not work well that way, on most occasions. It can work if I'm sitting down with a good book, especially if it is a horror book, but apart from that, its applications as background music is rather limited.
As for any similar artists, or a definite genre, I really have no idea. I have noticed that several prog rock fans seem to like them, and as such I would strongly recommend the band to anyone with an interest in this genre, especially if they also have a liking for the horror genre and/or gothic imagery. I also imagine that fans of slower, more psychological horror, such as the works of formerly mentioned master of gothic horror, Edgar Allan Poe, would at least potentially find the music interesting.