Because Devian includes two ex-members of Marduk (lead singer Legion and drummer Emil Dragutinovic), it's only natural that black metal enthusiasts will want to know how Marduk-like Devian's debut album, Ninewinged Serpent, is. Well, this 2007 recording is a departure from Marduk, but not a radical departure. Marduk has a reputation for being a brutal, nasty, vicious sledgehammer of a black metal band; Devian is also a brutal, nasty, vicious sledgehammer of a black metal band, but the thrashy Devian is more overtly mindful of Scandinavian death metal. That death metal influence doesn't assert itself vocally; Legion's vocal style continues to be the sinister death metal rasp that black metal singers are known for, not the "Cookie Monster" growl of death metal. Rather, the death metal influence on Ninewinged Serpent is musical instead of vocal; the songs themselves are often structured in a way that allows for death metal-influenced guitar solos and a lot of thrashiness. Nonetheless, it would be inaccurate to describe this 56-minute CD as blackened death metal. The term blackened death metal refers to extreme metal that is essentially death metal yet incorporates black metal elements, but Ninewinged Serpent is the opposite -- it is black metal with death metal elements (and thrash metal elements as well), not death metal with black metal elements. If Ninewinged Serpent contained symphonic black metal, it would be accurate to describe Ninewinged Serpent as a radical departure from Marduk (who never had any interest in playing symphonic black metal). But again, this album is a departure from Marduk without being a radical one -- and while Ninewinged Serpent isn't the least bit groundbreaking, it is still a decent post-Marduk outing for Legion and Dragutinovic.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson