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Victor Vicart: Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Allan Paterson: Guitar, Bass
Dudley Tait: Drums
Daniel Barter: Vocals
Maxime Keller: Keyboards, Vocals

Formed in Edinburgh in 2013 by displaced Frenchman Victor Vicart and native Scot Dudley Tait, post-metal prog-sludge artisans Dvne have been building a powerful head of steam since their second album, 2021′s kaleidoscopically mesmerising Etemen Ænka. Their first release for the legendary Metal Blade Records label, the LP was a concerted hike up the greasy pole for this enigmatic outfit, enabling Dvne to embark on UK and European headline tours and win spots at such discerning festivals as Hellfest, ArcTanGent, Desertfest, Damnation and Resurrection. A live EP of reimagined album tunes, 2022′s Cycles Of Asphodel, kept up their profile while satiating demand from a rapidly mushrooming fanbase, and now in 2024, stunning third album Voidkind looks set to propel this expanded five-piece line-up (welcoming Maxime Keller on keyboards) to the top of their game.

Victor admits the band felt pressure for this LP to outdo its widely acclaimed predecessor, but not from label, media or fans: “It’s pressure we put on ourselves, rather than what people expect from us,” he muses. “We felt pressure for Etemen Ænka because it was our first album for a big label and more people would be following us up. But the difference here – and the difficult thing – was that we wanted to do something we would be equally happy with, but with a different angle and flavour. So when we started playing Etemen Ænka songs live we started thinking ‘hmm, what’s missing? What don’t we have?’ We talked about immediacy; we wanted some songs that were straighter, with less of the long build-ups. We still have the big nine-minute songs, but now we also have these more concise songs that still feel like us.”

Certainly Voidkind succeeds in finding new modes of expression for Dvne. The songs are more pointed, direct and memorable, but the soundscape still a radiant, evolving, hypnotic flow, the effect achieved with fewer layers of sonic ornamentation, consciously urging closer to Dvne‘s incendiary live sound. And despite the addition of a full-time keyboardist, Victor has no doubt about the album’s defining feature: “We wanted very distinct left and right guitars, and punchier drums and bass, which would transcribe better live. And the synths needed to be clearer; it’s very easy to put five guitars on each side, loads of different vocals and keys, but then you end up watching a band with an album you really like, and the songs sound nothing like the record. That’s what we wanted to avoid. As soon as the song starts, we want people to immediately recognise the riff.

To that end, Victor stresses the importance of jamming, a creative process almost forgotten in these days of remotely dubbed sound files. “Some of the best moments on the album are things that came off-the-cuff in jams,” enthuses the frontman. “I don’t think we could do that thing of ‘here’s the album, learn your part then record it’. You’ve got to get the feel, and get that excitement going before you enter the studio. That’s why we don’t much use click-tracks; we play in the room when tracking the drums, so the song flows.” For the first time, all songs were fully demoed before entering the studio, this meticulous preparation allowing the band to expand their dynamics even further, artfully blurring lines between light and shade: “If you ask me what Dvne is in terms of our approach to music, usually it’s a contrast of the really heavy and the really delicate,” Victor ponders. “But if something’s very heavy, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be melodic as well.”

Conceptually, the lyrics continue the band’s overarching narrative – “following a religious group through the generation line from the beginning to its end” – while Voidkind‘s extraordinary sleeve art depicts the main theme of this chapter: “A godlike entity seducing & luring followers through their dreams and these followers’ multigenerational journey to reach their god dimension.” Victor reveals one book has been particularly impactful on the band’s thought process: 1989 novel Hyperion by Dan Simmonds. “It’s a very dark sci-fi book with loads of interesting parts, so you can go really prog with it, but you can also go more violent and animalistic.” Further inspirational touchstones include FromSoftware video game Dark Souls, and the Japanese manga series that inspired it, Berserk: “It’s a very cool, violent, psychedelic, mediaeval dark fantasy,” explains Victor. “We wanted to have these kinds of visuals and aesthetics on this album, in this mix-up of things. Even without the vocals we wanted to evoke something, different places and spaces, and take the listener on a journey.

Asked how he feels about Dvne‘s evolution at the ten-year mark, Victor sounds gratefully poised at the most exciting stage of a musician’s career: “It wasn’t until 2017 that it started feeling like a band with a mission behind it, to go on tour, grow, do better shows and do what we want to do creatively. We have fans now – real fans, it’s awesome! – but we still feel like a young band. A bit more mature maybe, but I don’t feel ten years older!

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