Devian
God to the Illfated

Legion and Emil Dragutinovich, both more known for their previous participation in prominent Swedish Black Metal act Marduk, are pretty creative spirits who seem to earn their keep by taking part in as many Metal projects as their time allows. Having tied up with some other not so well known musicians under the name of Devian in 2006 they inked a deal with Century Media and a year later the band’s debut Ninewinged Serpent ushered a promising new name into the extreme metal scene. Being mainly of interest to those into Death Thrash and Black Metal, the album came across like a musical equivalent of Molotov cocktail striking with its rousing grooves and unpretentious yet telling tunes. I really liked it that the guys chose to work on the borderline separating the bands like Marduk and Naglfar on the one edge and The Crown and Impious on the other. However, Ninewinged Serpent’s song material would have turned out even better had they used more diversity in the tunes and paces.

Another year has passed and Devian are striking back with God To The Illfated, a sort of musical “sequel” to the debut. And fortunately, my wish for improvements has been partly granted. While there’s scarcely anything groundbreaking in this assortment, most of the new songs are at least endowed with more varied melodies and tempos even if their overall formula remains unchanged. Of course, it’s probably impossible to go astray with Legion’s sick semi-growled rasps, Emil’s insane yet very well-matched drumming, and the guitar perfection from Joinus (Incinerator, Rise And Shine, Sargatanas Reign, Nominon) and Tomas Nilsson (Suicidal Seduction) opportunely filling this record with all sorts of furious blackened tremolo picked lines, thrashy onslaughts and very melodic solos.

However, there are still a couple of tracks that leave a bit more to be desired. “Saintbleeder”, for example, would have had a stronger effect on me if they left out the weak clean-sung parts in the chorus. The second track “Assailant” would have been better had it sounded a bit more distinct from the Blackened Thrash opener “Mask Of Virtue”. Yet, its extremely melodic neo-classic solo passages and very memorable refrains still make it a mostly worthwhile listen.

On the other hand, a song like “God To The Illfated” gives us a potential mosh pit favorite that without doubt eclipses anything heard on Ninewinged Serpent. This title track is just damn good in its nonstop violence, rushing at a greater pace than anything from the debut and fully impressing with its crashing shred and the sticky gang-like chorus. Similarly good is “South Of Halo” with its incredible soloing as well as killer vocals from Legion and the rest of the band. “Awaiting Doom”, another feast of speed and fury, features a very tasty half-acoustic guitar break set in between the stormy lead-based sections. The album’s longest number and perhaps most creative track “When The Vultures Have Left” features a classic sounding organ intro and fascinating verse parts which reminded me of some of the best moments on Dissection’s Reinkaos. Clearly, the band pushed the envelope of their style even a bit further with this awesome finale.

Being at its heart a blackened Death Thrash album, God To The Illfated is a solid slab of work regardless of its few insignificant minuses. Combining dreary black atmospheres along with ruthless aggression and strong melodies, it may easily grab a larger group of fans than comparatively one-dimensional bands like Marduk or The Crown.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Igor Stakh
December 12th, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Hey, no insulting Marduk or The Crown on my watch! J/k
    You have your opinions, I have mine.
    As for this album, Legion performing clean vocals? I’ve gotta hear that!


  2. Commented by: ceno

    One-dimensional bands can be very good, Cynic. I didn’t mean any insult at all.:wink: I just wanted to say that Devian transcend the limits set by those both bands.


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