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Devian
Ninewinged Serpent
February 2008
Released: 2008, Century Media Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland

When first presented with the promo for Devian’s NINEWINGED SERPENT, I wasn’t all that enthused until my memory was jogged that this was the new band featuring Legion and Emil Dragutinovic, former vocalist and drummer of Swedish death metal assassins, Marduk. Hearing what those two would do away from the hyperspeed blasphemy of Marduk piqued my curiosity but what was in store was even better than expected. Essentially blackened thrash with a melodic death twist, NINEWINGED SERPENT puts Devian in the running for best new band of 2008 and the album may even hold on to a spot for the list of favorite albums, as well. Legion’s nasty snarl and throaty screams are out in full force here, while the riffing of Joinus and Tomas Nilsson bears a surprising number of melodic hooks that is very different from the Marduk sound. Tossing Fredrik Nordstrom (Dimmu Borgir, Arch Enemy) into the fold to handle the mix has really given this album a sharp edge, too. Add in some pretty cool cover art and NINEWINGED SERPENT becomes the first “must-have” CD of 2008.



The opening instrumental is a dirge-like march that draws the listener near only to get throttled by the jangly riffing on “Dressed In Blood,” a thrashing maniac of a song that utilizes Legion’s acidic vocals to their fullest. “Heresy” and “Scarred” lock into a groovy tempo and the guitar hooks are irresistible and not in a cornball way, either. They are heavy and fast but also possess enough melody to sink into memory long after hitting the stop button. While the bullhorn vocals could have been left as an idea, Dragutinovic shows off some excellent drum fills on “Fatalist.” Later, unleashing some scorching double bass on “Burning Daylight” finds that his time in Marduk sorely undervalued his skills as a well-rounded metal drummer. That song also features some of the best guitarwork on the album as the shredded solo and mid-tempo riffing lays everything out clearly rather than a go-for-broke firestorm. The title track epitomizes unbridled religious evil and you can almost see the grin spread across Legion’s face as he delivers the chorus (“I fucked your faith as a ninewinged serpent”). “Jackal” is on the fence whether it wants to be a searing mass of thrash metal intensity or a slow-boiling melodic death inferno. Whatever it is, the song is one of the best on the CD and demonstrates that Devian is here to shoot first and ask questions later.



Many people following the post-Marduk career of Legion and Dragutinovic may remember hearing early buzz of the band known as Rebel Angels (featuring former Marduk bassist, B. War) and Elizium. Devian is the final product and the guys have clearly gone out of their way to show they are not resting on their laurels on NINEWINGED SERPENT. This album is dark, evil and heavy—attributes of their time in Marduk—but also contains enough accessibility to reel in people across the metal spectrum. The instrumentation is sharp and clear with enough technical flair mixed in with the melodies to rise above the masses. Fans of Marduk will undoubtedly check this out—as I did—just on curiosity alone but there is so much to offer here that Devian really is a band to take notice of regardless of where your metal-o-meter points.





KILLER KUTS: “Dressed In Blood,” “Heresy,” “Scarred,” “Fatalist,” “Ninewinged Serpent,” Burning Daylight,” “Jackal”
Track Listing

1. Serenade For The Fallen (Instrumental)
2. Dressed In Blood
3. Heresy
4. Scarred
5. Suffer The Fools
6. Fatalist
7. Gemini Is The Snake
8. Instigator
9. Remnant Song
10. Ninewinged Serpent
11. Burning Daylight (Bonus Track)
12. Jackal (Bonus Track)

Lineup

Legion—Vocals
Marcus Lundberg—Lead Guitar
Joinus—Guitar
Tomas Nilsson—Guitar/Bass
Emil Dragutinovic—Drums

Other reviews

» Ninewinged Serpent
by Lord of the Wasteland

» Ninewinged Serpent
by Simon Lukic

» God To The Ill Fated
by Erich


Next review: » Devian - Ninewinged Serpent
Previous review: » Devian - God To The Ill Fated

Devian
Ninewinged Serpent
September 2008
Released: 2007, Century Media
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Simon Lukic

Formed by former Marduk members Legion and Emil Dragutinovic in 2006, Devian is a new band and NINEWINGED SERPENT is their first effort. Hardly a “supergroup” as their bio clearly states, Devian comes across as an interesting combination of black, thrash, death, doom and traditional metal.



The album clearly shows promise on the thrashier numbers such as ’Instigator’, ‘Burning Daylight’ and the title track, where the band have melded a sinister black metal attitude with the energy of thrash and it sounds very cool. The more traditional riffs and arrangements of ‘Scarred’ and ‘Jackal’ are another positive and it works exceptionally well as this direction sounds extremely natural as well as powerful – unfortunately that strength does not resonate through to the remaining tracks as they sound rather conventional in comparison. ‘Suffer The Fools and ‘Remnant Song’ will be of interest simply for their doom influences but I didn’t find the tracks entirely convincing, while tracks such as ‘Dressed In Blood’ and ‘Heresy’ are rather standard modern black metal tracks that lessen the overall impact of the better numbers. Many will view NINEWINGED SERPENT’s varied nature as its strength but the lack of direction works against the release because it reduces its continuity and flow, which gets in the way of the listening experience.



If anything, the old school vibe of NINEWINGED SERPENT is one of the albums selling points and I hope that Devian head into this direction with the follow up. I also hope that the band hone in on their sound and latch onto to a clear direction because at the moment the band sounds as if they are testing the waters here a little.



When all is said and done, NINEWINGED SERPENT is a respectable album but is that enough to separate Devian from the pack - or horde if you will? In such a saturated market, I don’t think that will be the case. The band is talented and certainly capable enough, so we may get something truly unique in the future, I at the very least hope so. Either way it will be interesting to see where they go from here.
Track Listing

Serenade For the Fallen (Intro)
Dressed In Blood
Heresy
Scarred
Suffer the Fools
Fatalist
Gemini Is the Snake
Instigator
Remnant Song
Ninewinged Serpent

Lineup

Legion - Vocals
Joinus - Guitar
Tomas Nilsson - Guitar
Roberth Larlsson - Bass
Emil Dragutinovic - Drums

Other reviews

» Ninewinged Serpent
by Lord of the Wasteland

» Ninewinged Serpent
by Simon Lukic

» God To The Ill Fated
by Erich


Next review: » Devil in the Kitchen - Devil in the Kitchen
Previous review: » Devian - God To The Ill Fated





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