Dvne – Voidkind

Dvne – Voidkind

Dvne are a progressive metal band from Edinburgh, and Voidkind is their third full length album. They are a heavier proposition to my usual taste to be honest, but sometimes a band comes along which demands your attention, and they make their demands impossible to ignore.

Their sound is pretty brutal, doom metal with post metal influences, and a definite prog leaning. They are clearly fans of sci-fi in general, and Dune in particular, but their lyrics are mysterious and vague, drawing on religious imagery and arcane references. If you aren’t following the words as printed in the booklet, you won’t decipher half of it, but the music is the main attraction here. Summa Blasphemia charges out of the starting gate and will flatten you if you don’t step out of the way. It’s a furious cacophony of rolling drums and intense riffing topped off with a healthy dose of harsh vocals, and acts as an unapologetic statement of intent. One of the things which makes this so listenable for me is the sharing of vocal duties, mainly between Daniel Barter and Victor Vicart, which alternate between harsh and pained, and high pitched and clean. Well, mostly clean, although Victor does work himself into a bit of a lather at times! The clean vocals highlight the melodic content of the songs, and there is always melody despite the bombast. When the band gel with their trademark unified riffing, they are unstoppable juggernauts. At times they are like a doom hybrid of Long Distance Calling and Tool. Dudley Tait’s drums are particularly skilful, and very Tool-like, but within much darker and heavier songs which tend not to outstay their welcome.

Eleonora follows and is a standout track which is masterfully executed, thoroughly justifying its near nine minute length. It is noticeably more prog orientated, with an atmospheric bass led breakdown section which gradually rebuilds culminating in an epic scream of anguish and a magnificent and energetic riff-fest for the remainder of the track. Again, the contrasting vocal styles work really well, and we end on a drawn out keyboard note. These opening two songs set the tone for the album, and for my money, they are an irresistible force which cannot be denied, so we go on.

Reaching for Telos carries us forward on waves of guitars and keening clean vocals, locking in to synchro riffing before a subdued passage allows breath to be drawn. Buzzing guitars like a swarm of restless bees give way to interlocking power chords as we race on. Reliquary is altogether angrier, monumental drumming and almost unremitting riffing, but with some glorious bursts of lead guitar work; this is a well oiled machine, but a machine with soul and passion. Serene passages, brief but rather beautiful, contrast with the energy fuelled brutality.

“Thirteen amphorae line the moor before me.
Sublime, in clay and violet thread.
Arranged in patterns of remembrance.
Cracked open.”

Whilst the words may not exactly tell a story, they do conjure an atmosphere which complements the musical ambitions of Dvne. Their guitar interplay is often quite complex and intricate, a sort of doom laden Crimson perhaps until the crushing power and rage takes over, as it inevitably must. Some of the less hectic moments in Abode of the Perfect Soul show technical musicianship of the highest order, and the rockier sections, whilst simpler, display a unity and tightness which is undeniable. Basically, these guys rock. As we reach the album’s climax, Cobalt Sun Necropolis is prefaced by whining feedback and distorted guitar doodling, before a mid tempo chug with restrained clean vocals, Victor Vicart intoning strange lyrics about mystic spheres and elixirs, before things go all heavy, Daniel Barter growl-screaming his section.

“Million eyes, ravenous,
Across the sky, preying.
Exponential membrane.
Tapestry of flesh.

Written down, the words might appear a bit silly, but trust me, when Barter delivers them, they sound earth shattering. The song collapses under its own weight in the end, and static is all that’s left, and it’s a relief when it abruptly stops. After what has come before, the silence is a stark emptiness, and I’m sorely tempted to fill it by playing the album again.

So there it is, not typically prog, more doom post metal than anything, but with definite progressive leanings, impeccable playing, and a really satisfyingly heavy listen. It’s been a while since I really enjoyed something as uncompromisingly robust as this, but Voidkind is a great album, and having caught them on their recent tour, I can confirm that it translates extremely well on a stage. Dvne are most definitely in the ascendant, and for those who can cope with the heavier end of things, I whole heartedly recommend giving them a listen.

01. Summa Blasphemia (5:28)
02. Eleonora (8:48)
03. Reaching for Telos (5:23)
04. Reliquary (7:46)
05. Path of Dust (1:28)
06. Sarmatae (4:30)
07. Path of Ether (1:30)
08. Abode of the Perfect Soul (7:27)
09. Plērōma (6:01)
10. Cobalt Sun Necropolis (9:57)

Total Time – 57:48

Victor Vicart – Guitar, Keys, Vocals
Allan Paterson – Bass, Guitar
Dudley Tait – Drums
Daniel Barter – Guitar, Vocals
Maxime Keller – Keys, Vocals

Record Label: Metal Blade Records
Country of Origin: U.K.
Date of Release: 19th April 2024

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