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Hanging Doll: The Sacred & Profane

It has been some three and a half years since we reviewed Hanging Doll's impressive debut album Reason & Madness so this follow-up release has certainly been a long time coming. Fortunately it proves to be well worth the wait and the Birmingham-based quintet have benefitted from taking their time to unleash this dark, twisted and yet at times beautifully melodic Goth metal masterpiece. In lead vocalist Sally Holliday they have a singer with an incredibly broad range and someone who can sound equally comfortable with the bleak melancholy of "The Inauspicious Host" to the more direct approach of the title track and the alluring, piano-led, lead single "Carnival of Sin".

Adding to the versatility are the supporting vocals of guitarist Daniel Leddy and bassist Kev Wilson; the former's being very much melodic whereas the latter offer moments of controlled yet aggressive growls. And the quality of the songwriting does much to suggest that Hanging Doll have grown in confidence and taken much from the experience that live performances and touring with the likes of Michael Schenker can bring. Riffs that are both compelling and dynamic are aided by a mammoth production job that places a greater emphasis on the rich orchestral sounds that so perfectly complement Sally's distinctive and assured delivery. "The Final Descent" and the dramatic, spine-tingling "A Question of Faith" offer just some of the most engaging moments to be found here.

Overall this is both an inspired and ambitious second album from a band that will hopefully be around for a long time to come; as The Sacred & Profane demonstrates Hanging Doll are surely destined to emerge from the shadow of the bigger names in the genre and make huge strides forward of their own over the coming months.

Track Listing
1. Cradle to the Grave
2. Carnival of Sin
3. Dark Narcissus (The Forest)
4. Lacrimosa
5. Only in My Reveries
6. Immortal Beloved
7. Tincture
8. The Sacred & Profane
9. Flames of Woe
10. The Final Descent
11. Bound in Servitude
12. The Inauspicious Host
13. A Question of Faith

Added: September 8th 2012
Reviewer: Dean Pedley
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1700
Language: english

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