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DVNE - Voidkind CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.27 | 6 ratings

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3 stars Dvne (presumably pronounced like "dune," though Google Translate also tells me it's Bosnian for "days ago") is a Scottish quintet, and they're one of the more talked-about bands on the parts of the Internet where I spend my time. Voidkind is their third full-length album, coming three years after their last release. Dvne is a band I've listened to and contemplated covering before, but for whatever reason Etemen Ænka, their 2021 album, just didn't quite catch my fancy. (2021 was also an exceptionally good year for the type of music I like, so they had some stiff competition for my attention. 2024, in contrast, is shaping up to be a slower year for me.)

Disregarding my above disparaging of the current year, Voidkind is a legitimately good album. Dvne's sludge metal roots have gone in a more atmospheric, post-metal-type direction. Normally, I'd be a bit wary about that?unless it's preceding the word "punk," the prefix "post-" is often an indicator there's a higher risk I'll be a bit bored?but the songwriting is smart, and the playing is crushing and dynamic.

The album kicks off with "Summa Blasphemia", and it's got an immediately-engaging rolling rhythm. There's something slightly askew about the meter, and I really like the band's guitar tones. As the song builds to its climax, there are some subtle but powerfully effective atmospheric touches that add to the drama and impact.

"Eleonora" has a jangly, tense arpeggiated opening. The vocals here are more delicate and match the nervous feel of the unconventional guitar line. Dvne does a great job of building the intensity of this piece across its nine-minute runtime.Things quiet down around the song's midpoint, and there's a lovely, jazzy little bass groove that keeps this cut moving. 

Things explode into high gear immediately on "Reaching for Telos". The vocals are a little post-hardcore-y for my taste, but the underlying composition is clever and satisfying. I'm also a big fan of the quieter moments; this band does a great job at weaving together guitar lines in a way that feels purposeful. "Reliquary" keeps the high-octane momentum of the previous cut going, and it features more smartly-tangled riffs and licks. Bits of doom metal crop up here, and that sort of variation is appreciated. Atmospheric sludge is a genre that can become samey to my ears quickly.

"Path of Dust" is a 90-second breather of quiet guitar that serves as an introduction to "Sarmatæ", where distortion blasts back to the forefront. There's a vaguely-Middle Eastern vibe to the guitar parts, which I like a lot. It builds to an especially strong apex, with guitar and bass anxiously jumping around each other. "Path of Ether" is another 90-second interlude. It functions as a necessary breather, but it probably didn't need to be 90 seconds.

Another impactful riff gets things going on "Abode of the Perfect Soul", and it's around here that I was finally able to articulate why I often struggle to really enjoy bands like Dvne. In isolation, these songs are all good, but I usually listen to whole albums at once. There is something of a limited sound palette, and song after song after song of this can lead to things bleeding together. None of the songs on Voidkind are bad. They're just kinda similar. And this is one of the more distinctive songs on the album. There's a ton of dynamism, varied riffs, and vocals in different styles. It's probably my favorite on the record.

"Plērōma" slowly fades in, and it's not my favorite cut. Something about the vocals?especially in the chorus?rubs me the wrong way. This cut is a bit major-key for my taste, and it doesn't really suit the band's style too well. The bridge, though, is strong, with more subtle and creepy atmospherics.

Voidkind ends with the ten-minute "Cobalt Sun Necropolis". After a slow, ringing solo guitar intro, the verse has a determined, marching feel to it, with an emphasis on the melodic, multilayered vocal performance. As with elsewhere on the album, there's a good, natural build in this song.

Dvne's newest album is pretty good. I don't think it's sonically varied enough to justify its hourlong runtime, but aside from "Plērōma", there are no obvious songs to cut. If you're looking for some sludgy, post-ish prog metal that blends pummeling distortion and lighter melody, this is a strong choice.

Review originally posted here:

TheEliteExtremophile | 3/5 |


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