It is May 1st and I am meeting the four members of Devine Defilement in the smoking area of a bar in downtown Reykjavík. When I get there, the band are enjoying their day off with beer and cigarettes, and all of them greet me with a smile, which, admittedly, stands in contrast to the brutal music on their debut album. ‘Obliviora’ was released at the end of April by the Swedish label Bleeding Music Records—which is quite impressive, given the band only formed around two years ago.
A night to behold
“I was really drunk,” drummer Stefán tells me about how the band got its start. “At the time, both me and Árni [guitarist] were in quite bad bands. I started to rant, like ‘I wanna do something fast and brutal,’ totally drunk—but he took me literally, and here were are.”
That same night, Árni was introduced to the realm of brutal death metal via the sounds of Infant Annihilator and Ingested. “The intensity really got to me,” says Árni. “So, the next morning, hungover as shit, I started writing songs in my underwear.”
Thanks to that productive hangover, some songs of Devine Defilement’s debut album were written even before the band existed. After going through several line-up changes, the band is now complete with bassist Snorri and vocalist Ingó. Having just joined the band earlier this year, Ingó—best known for the cult doom band Plastic Gods—is not featured on the album. “We already added a new song with my vocals and lyrics to our live set, though,” he says.
Divine spelling errors
If you’ve read this far into the article and haven’t been able to shake the spelling of the band’s name, you’re not the only one.
“I sent the guy who did the original logo the name and it was spelled right. I just want to put that out there,” laughs Stefán. ”But he was quite fucked up when he made our logo and we actually didn’t catch the spelling error until a month later.”
The band has now fully embraced this twist of fate and its origin story. “Our friend Krummi, from Mínus, actually thought the name was about defiling porn stars,” adds Stefán. For the purposes of this article, the author did some thorough research and there is, in fact, a porn actress by the name of Ava Devine.
However, Devine Defilement aren’t about degrading adult films actors. Even though the music bears references to the subgenre of slam death metal, the band distance itself from the genre’s often misogynist lyrics. “The lyrics for the album are sort of about depression, figurative monsters in the human sense, and just evil,” explains Ingó. “It’s about the darker side of humanity, I guess. There’s some anti-religious stuff in there, as well.”
In a way, you could call it sophisticated slam death metal. Can we make that a thing?
Death metal and pornogrind
Apart from playing a few shows in Reykjavík and at Icelandic festivals like Eistnaflug and Norðanpaunk, the band was also added to the bill of the European Perversion Tour as the only Icelandic band in May with Lividity, Bastard’s Asylum, Sacrificial Slaughter, and Bowel Evacuation.
“Stay tuned in June,” adds Stefán. “Because we’re printing some pretty T-shirts that include our dear friend Bjarni Ben.”
‘Obliviora’ is out now on Bleeding Music Records.
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