Tuesday, 26 July 2011

CD Review: Ninewinged Serpent, by Devian (2007)

The first of two albums from Sweden's Devian contains snippets of rousing moments, but otherwise drowns in a thick soup of indistinguishable sounds. Ninewinged Serpent is death metal that shows promise, but is not often melodic enough.

Most of the best material is stacked at the front end. The intro instrumental Serenade For The Fallen, short as it is, points to a path that most of the rest of the album does not follow: a deliberate pace, brutal power, and massive structure. Dressed In Blood immediately ups the pace and the level of frantic energy, and manages to inject enough of a melancholy melody to augment Legion's gravel-skidding vocals. The best track on the album follows, Heresy locking in on a dangerous rhythm, the guitars of Tomas Nilsson and Joinus competing with Legion to lead the charge towards several satisfying changes in harmony and pace.

Late in the track list, Remnant Song recaptures some of the thoughtfulness that would have benefited the rest of the album: the final 90 seconds of the song are a spine-tingling, headlong descent into utterly compelling hopelessness that, ironically, rescues the track.

The rest of Ninewinged Serpent is rarely less than competent, but seldom proves to be necessary. Devian would go on to produce one more album, 2008's God To The Illfated, an altogether better effort with a significant increase in melodic emphasis and a massive infusion of sophisticated arrangements. If God To The Illfated was the main meal of a short career, Ninewinged Serpent proved to be the appetizer that didn't quite taste right.


Legion - Vocals
Tomas Nilsson - Guitars
Joinus - Guitars
Emil Dragutinovic - Drums

Bass by Tomas Nilsson

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

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

Average: 7.18

Produced by Rickard Kottelin and Devian.
Engineered by Rickard Kottelin. Mixed by Fredrik Nordstrom.
Mastered by Peter in de Betou.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...