After the much-lauded debut album “Ninewinged Serpent” in 2007 and a
triumphant 7 week long European tour with Polish death metal overlords
Vader, Sweden’s blackened death/thrash commando DEVIAN
mercilessly return with a second attack: The furious new album “God To
The Illfated”. Featuring former Marduk members Legion (vocals) and Emil
Dragutinovic (drums), DEVIAN anno 2008 offer an increasingly
dynamic, vicious and aggressive sound that captivates the listener with
massive, thrashing riffs and a heartfelt old school spirit.
Recorded once again at Art Decay Studio with Rickard Kottelin throughout
the Summer of this year, DEVIAN decided to subsequently hook up
with Hypocrisy / Pain mastermind Peter Tägtgren for further production
duties and the intense mixdown of the album at The Abyss Studio
(Immortal, Marduk, Dimmu Borgir, etc.) while mastering duties were once
again taken care of by Peter In De Betou / Tailor Maid Production (Dimmu
Borgir, Arch Enemy, Dark Tranquillity, etc.). This illustrious sonic
set-up didn’t fail and consequently “God To The Illfated” sounds as
honest, natural and powerful as it gets, enhancing DEVIAN’s
newest material to document a giant and very impressing step forwards
for the band.
Rounded off by masterly macabre artwork by renowned Greek artist Seth
(Paradise Lost, Exodus, Soilwork, etc.) “God To The Illfated” is a
sensational sophomore effort that is destined to spread DEVIAN’s
qualities and message all over the place.
Don’t miss DEVIAN as part of the “Winterfest” 2009 tour in
January with Deicide, Samael and Vader or catch them on further touring
with Unleashed across Scandinavia.
After having had a chat during DEVIAN’s 7 week tour through
Europe last May, we tracked down LEGION once again to ask him all
about Devian’s latest release, here you can read what he had to
say about ‘God To The Illfated’
First of all, how are you? Congratulations on the release
of your new album 'God To The Illfated', of course we'd like to ask you
a couple of questions about it.
Thanks!! All good there, getting ready to be busy travelling. Yeah man
Devian formed a couple of years ago, your first album 'Ninewinged
Serpent' was released on October 22, 2007 and now you’ve released
another album entitled 'God To The Illfated', so a lot has happened
since the band came into being. Could you start this interview off with
a short introduction of the band and the origin of its name for our
Yes, we were very fortunate to from the get go get the interest and
trust from such an established powerhouse in the Metal biz as Century
Media. We told them all we wanted was a shot at it and they pushed the
button so we have been keeping ourselves busy since then.
The name Devain referrs to the English word Devious since our thematic
body deals with alternative outlooks on life and the beyond. Just
because it´s written doesn´t make it so. There are things known and
there are things unknown and inbetween there is Devian.
It's been less than 1-1/2 years since ''Ninewinged
Serpent' came out, so it seems you had a lot of inspiration for this new
record. How did you launch into writing material for 'God To The
Illfated', and did you guys spend a fair amount of time working on the
album before heading over to record it?
Yes, this album was worked through in a totally different way since the
machine is built now so we just had to hone and keep feeding it, where
as on ‘Ninewinged Serpent’ we had to build it from scratch. This time
the rehearsal room was the place of creativity and the studio was merely
a place of execution, the last time we re-wrote and re-arranged a lot of
stuff in the studio instead. Riffs and ideas just keep coming in this
band and we´re working more on what to put where and what is the proper
thing to do rather than being in a riff-desert, mainly thanks to Emil
who is a mad riff creator, he spills things into the open constantly
while my role is more changing to be the outside observer, to produce
the gutfeeling and overall emotion of the tracks...I remember coming
down to the lounge of the tourbus one morning and Emil had hummed 25 new
riffs into his dictaphone and was trying to arrange them into songs on
the cellphone hahaha, pure fucking brilliance.
Did ideas come easily so that you just had to write them
down or was it more of a careful composing thing?
We let it come as it comes usually, since we’d rather have a sincere
attack than a well thought out formula that sounds plastic. Lately, a
lot of things about the over-all seem to come together and we´re
starting to get a glimpse of the mythology of Devian so things will
probably be more homogenic in the future, just like ‘...Illfated’ has a
clearer soaring nerve than ‘Ninewinged’ did. Then a lot of things mutate
due to our different musical agendas and backgrounds. We can have a
draft for a song that is this and that and then Tomas comes with his
virtuous and classical based ideas that are a far cry from Joinus metal
thrashing mad old school stuff and after a few rehearsals we have
something that is set apart from other stuff, it´s a good going.
What comes first, lyrics or melodies?
Nothing is given, all of a sudden something just comes up in some
member’s head and then as long as it grows with the work input and time,
it might turn into a finished song. Stuff that doesn´t come together
even though we twist and turn it we always discard, it would be beneath
us to aim for a filler that doesn´t truly belong on the album, that´s
when we would need a break and reconsider things.
But usually we have a song and then the vocal lines and lyrical content
grows out from the emotions that the riffs spark, even if it´s a lyrical
idea that would already be around.
What were the goals you had in mind when you started to
record 'God To The Illfated', any elements you definitely wanted to
include on the album?
We always talk a lot of vision and development and we had a pretty clear
idea after ‘Ninewinged’ where we could do better and what to hold on to.
The only thing we thought about was really a new Devian album that would
be as good as we could make it to bring the band forward and treat the
fans with some new quality songs that also would work well in a
livesetting since that´s where we feel most at home.
Was it a conscious decision to do it this way?
We always make conscious decisions and then things grow naturally and
sometimes unexpectedly out of that. But to just have the band as a ship
lost at sea that might end up here or there would not be a good thing.
If you have no clue where you are going you probably don´t put too much
muscle into getting there, either.
What is the utmost important ingredient for a song
according to you?
Emotion. No matter what feeling it transcends, it should be memorable
and move something within. Songs that don´t are just pointless "music".
We use technique as a means to make the song sound the way we want it to
sound, not as a substitute for songwriter quality. Our guitarists both
have the skills to shred like idiots but I think it´s the fact that they
rather bust out into aerial heartfelt solos that puts them apart from
others. Aggression is nothing without beauty, as speed is nothing
without groove and crunch for us since it would make everything
Could you please describe the implications of the title
'God To The Illfated', what does it stand for and is there a special
meaning behind it?
It stands for the fact that there is always another way to see things,
there is always another angle to play. If you´re born with a splinter in
your head that sets you apart from the comfortably bleak masses you´ll
still have a lot to pursue that´s for you. If you´re on the outside it
doesn´t neccesarily mean that you’ll even want to look in. It´s about
outsidership. Just like the Metal scene has always been my home, and the
clandestine subcultures that made the world loathe, fear and fascinate
over it. Would I want things any other way? No. Is it a good home? Hell
Who was responsible for the lyrics on this album? Where
do you get your inspiration from? What would you say are the main themes
in your lyrics?
I am. I get inspiration from life and the way I live and see it. My
lyrics are always about actions I think are real or things that just
need to come out, be it a trauma or something so great that I can´t hold
it in. It´s always intoxicating to write, I tend to get engulfed by the
pen and the paper and hours seem like minutes while scrawling away.
Sometimes it´s a bigger understanding of things and sometimes I think
I´m almost there, stumble and snap out of it with some goofy crap
writings that suck. It comes and goes, usually discharged by depression
and aggression, after a real down, ideas and lyrical content are usually
just flying. When I was younger and started to realise how fucked up I
could be compared to a lot of friends I didn´t want to get professional
help, I was too certain I´d lose my artistic nerve if I wouldn´t so I
kept all the letters till today.
Some of the songs on the new album have a very thrashy,
vicious and aggressive sound, for instance the title song. Is this an
influence you wish to develop more in the future, or can we expect
We all love thrashmetal and it´s a cool outlet for live aggression so
that´s a founding part of what this band is. Slayer has always been my
favourite band since I first bought ‘Reign in Blood’. But yeah, expect a
natural continuing development of things for us musically, to stand
still resting on your laurels is to be engulfed.
How did the recording process proceed this time, did you
work differently than on the previous album? How much time did you spend
in the studio?
Yes it was more pre-meditated and therefore less chaotic. Last time we
had some frustrated outbursts haha...This time we knew how we wanted
everything to be beforehand which helped a lot. We ended up recording
for about 2 months.
Your sound on 'God To The Illfated' is excellent, the
album was mixed by Peter Tägtgren as I'm right, what made him the
perfect man for Devian and can you tell me something about him?
Peter is the man!! We go way, like way back and he´s been an immense
help and support for me in general. We´ve had many a good times on the
road and on a personal level and he has always delivered since he´s
pretty relentless in his work fashion so we knew it was going to be
good. We started out at the Art Decay which is co-owned by Emil but with
Peter coming down and configuring the studio and making clear what he
wanted done. Then we continued the recording in the Abyss and finished
off there with mixing. With enhancing production notes and vision for
the overall picture, Peter is the best I´ve worked with. We wanted the
guitars dry but powerful so you get all the action instead of a carpet
of distortion and he shouted "I just realized what´s what!! I´ve got the
vision!!!" and he kept working from there, the bassguitar that sounds
like a piano from hell in a cathedral was his doing, he spent days
working on the sound of it. Even though it was not easy for him to get
there, he knew what he wanted so bad he just didn´t give up. When he
shut down the studio at night he took his Mac with protools to his
bedroom and kept going haha, what a class act!
In which things/songs on the new album can one clearly
hear his vision and ideas?
The vocal production details for instance, the canon style singing in
"The Unspoken" was one of his ideas as well, as was coaching me in my
pitched melodic screaming.
Do you have any favorites on the album? Which element of
the album are you most proud of?
I´m proud as hell of the album in general because I feel that we´ve
stepped up a notch which was what we set out to do. The vocal variation
was something I felt I needed to get started with since the music called
for it and now with that gate opened it´s gonna spill over on the next
album. I love “Vultures” the most probably. I called for shorter songs
on this one, it was my main pet peeve with ‘Ninewinged’ that we couldn´t
seem to finish a straight forward song in less than 5 minutes apart from
the very last ones we wrote. So we all got to it fixing 3-4 minute songs
when Joinus came with Vultures and I was just like Noooooooooo!!! 7:30
are you nuts?! After he played me the draft I felt like an idiot, his
stuff was absolutely brilliant and the longevity added even more epic
feel to it so very appropriately it became the elegy of Death that I
probably needed to vent the killing of one of my closest friends.
Have you received any feedback on the album yet?
Yes, both from metalheads in it for the music and from press and the
business. It´s been really positive.
Are third party opinions (press, fans, etc.) on your
music important to you? Or are your music and band the only things that
Yeah, it´s extremely important. We feel we would be arrogant idiots not
to listen or care when the only thing that keeps us justified in the
scene is the attention and appreciation from other people in it. We
brought a portable studio on the road with us and depending on how the
audience reacted to the different songs of ‘Ninewinged’ we altered parts
here and there on ‘...Illfated’. So in a very real way, this is an album
influenced by the fans.
Overall, are you pleased with the outcome of the songs or
would you have liked to have changed anything in retrospective?
No, I like our work for being a testimony of who we were right then and
there, we have so much more music left to write and perform and we feel
like our best work lies ahead of us so it´s all good.
Which song is your favorite one to play live? Which song
do you find is the most challenging one to play live?
I thought “Assailant” would be a challenge because of the clean singing
but once we did it it was no problem. So I can’t think of other problems
really since we don´t go all out on a tech level. But “Assailant”, “The
Unspoken”, “I´m the Pariah” and “Vultures” have been insane live because
of the way people have gotten into them, and since we are an interacting
band with the crowd live the venues had a riotlike feel to them.
Who are your greatest influences - both in terms of
composition as well as your guitar playing?
Ozzy, Jim Morrison, Hank Shermann, Michael Denner, Marty Friedmann would
be a few.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and the kinds of
things that motivate you in your writing, your poetry, and your lyrics?
I think if you have the itch of an artist soul you have it for better
and for worse. I remember roadtripping with Emil and we had this long
talk about all the opportunities of a nice life that we´ve passed up so
far to grab metal by the horns time and again in our lives. And all the
anxiety and weirdness that comes with being a creative mind. I told him
"You reckon how easy life would be if we were not so restless and were
content with a dull uncreative regular type of life?". We both stared at
the road for a while and then Emil turned to me and said "But if you had
the choice, who´d you rather be then, than who you already are?". We
laughed. There is no saving us. For better and for worse there is no
other life that is not nuts.
With all the touring and two albums in less than 1 ½
years, how far has Devian surpassed your original dreams and what would
you say is the most rewarding part of being in the band?
I love the brotherhood feel that we have, that we always manage to have
so much fun together. As a pack we laugh at the world and don´t feel any
urge to say we´re sorry. Devian has far to surpass anything. We´re lucky
for what we´ve gotten and achieved so far but this is only the very
What were the highlights and low points throughout your
Highlights: The scandinavian BM rebellion, Panzer Division Marduk,
meeting Emil, founding Devian.
Lowpoints: Some backstabs and betrayals from past glories. Nothing that
I´m bitter about though. Lessons lived are lessons learned.
What is your opinion on the metal scene these days? What
do you think about the overload of bands at the moment?
It´s got an insane amount of talent. And an insane amount of crap that
keeps pumping out by the second. Who´s gonna be able to afford to buy
and support everything to make it last? Everyone is trying to re-coup
lost CD sales by going on the road, with a growing festival season and a
shortened touring season it´s a hard knock life. I think we´re gonna see
an implosion around the corner, fight for survival starts now!
Where do you see the band going within the next 5 years,
and where do you see the band's musical direction going for the next
We´ve been working more on the rythmic side of things, a sharper red
line will burn through the album and the concept and the mytos behind it
will emerge clearer.
Any last statement?
See you at the Winterfest!!
Legion - Vocals
Joinus - Guitar
Tomas Nilsson - Guitar
Carl Stjärnlöv - Bass
Emil Dragutinovic - Drums
Marcus Lundberg - Guitar
Roberth Karlsson - Bass
Ninewinged Serpent (2007)
God To The Illfated (2008)