DVNE @ La Belle Angele, Edinburgh, 16 May

DVNE return to Edinburgh with an avalanche of new songs from their merciless third album Voidkind

Live Review by Chris Sneddon | 28 May 2024
  • DVNE @ La Belle Angele, Edinburgh, 15 May

Purveyors of sci-fi-infused extreme prog metal, DVNE formed in Edinburgh in 2013 before releasing their thunderous debut album, Asheran, in 2017. By the time the crushing follow-up, Etemen Ænka, arrived in 2021, DVNE had been picked up by Metal Blade Records and their impressive live shows had grown in notoriety. In metal circles at least, DVNE were a band on many people's lips. Fast forward to 2024 – a month after the release of their merciless third album Voidkind – and DVNE return to Edinburgh with an avalanche of new songs. Voidkind proves DVNE are at the top of their game on wax, but can they recreate it live at La Belle Angele?

Before that question can be answered, the support acts warm up the crowd and it’s obvious why they were chosen. Glasgow’s Cwfen receive a warm reception for their gothic doom and terrifying black metal screams, whilst Madrid-born, Edinburgh-based solo artist Maud The Moth’s hypnotic looping synths, pianos, and vocals are powerfully cinematic. When DVNE approach the stage, one by one, each is met with enthusiastic applause. There are no gimmicks here. Four dudes in black shirts; one shirtless drummer. They're not the most animated on stage, but the musicianship is deadly and the combined noise monstrous. Allan Paterson's bass grooves are gargantuan, Victor Vicart and Daniel Barter's guitar solos and riffs are formidable, Dudley Tait's drumming is concussion-inducing, and Maxime Keller's synths enhance the tornado of destructive noise.

But what about the screams? They’re simply murderous. Reliquary bears witness to the astonishing interplay between each vocalist as Keller, Vicart, and Barter trade screams to devastating effect. Reaching for Telos, Sarmatæ and Abode of the Perfect Soul are reproduced with astonishing accuracy as the band pound, pummel and glide through stretches of thrashing heaviness and haunting sci-fi beauty. But Cobalt Sun Necropolis is the most impressive performance, and after ten minutes of thunderous grooves, it’s hard to believe the band are still standing. Often the synths struggle to break through the noise, and Plērōma is one of the few times they noticeably come to the fore, but Keller's voracious backing vocals on both the screams and cleans provides a visceral boost in fidelity.

DVNE are already an incredible live band with some of the most exhilarating songs in modern metal at their fingertips. But they’ve got the potential to become even better – and that’s a wonderful thought.