Comprised of members from Scotland, England, France, and Germany, Dvne are a clashing of worlds in more than just one sense, with the music they create seamlessly drifting between an array of diverse genres.
The young band may have turned some heads with their two compelling EPs, but as their first full-length, Asheran stands as a full realisation of their epic potential and then some. Not only is the release centred around ambitious concepts (ranging from dystopias to utopias, environmental issues to the future of humanity), but musically it seamlessly bounces back and forth gleefully. If pushed, one could say that Asheran’s sound is primarily rooted in stoner-esque doom, but the biggest misconception one could make about this album is to assume it staggers forward with slow, monotonous riffs.
Instilled with a brawny strain of prog that both embraces big riffs and creates colossal soundscapes worthy of the album’s sci-fi themes, the album proves itself willing to slow things down for moments of respite as well drive forward with uninhibited aplomb. Asheran’s tracks are lively and versatile affairs that, more often than not, are worthy of their longer than-average song lengths. The band display writing ability and musical chops worthy of veteran musicians, expertly utilising palpable moments of restraint to increase the dramatic impact felt when the imposing guitars are let loose.
The riffing on the album is seldom overly technical, but its rich production ensures they pack a gargantuan punch, the likes of which rival the prowess of genre giants like Baroness and Mastodon. Perhaps the most thrilling thing about Asheran is just how unrestrained its tracks feel. Dvne go wherever they please across the album’s 60 minutes, and are as comfortable throwing in melody, melancholic atmospherics and emotional croons as they are guttural growls, death metal intensity, and skull-crushing riffs. Opener ‘The Crimson Path’ melds Middle-Eastern textures with potent guitars, ‘Viridian Bloom’ offers staggering emotional weight and closer ‘Scion’ is one of the most boundary-pushing tracks you’ll hear all year.
Asheran is a remarkably dynamic release that drifts through stoner rock, post-metal, doom, death and prog without dropping in quality. It’s a rare thing that an up-and-coming act should live up to their potential so quickly, and Dvne deserve full credit for creating an album that’s able to live up to expectations by being as epic as it is ambitious.
Asheran is out July 28th on Wasted State Records. Purchase here.
Words: George Parr