Live Review: Dvne – Oslo, London
15th April 2023
Support: Pijn, Codices
Words: Julian Pepper
Over the weekend of 15/16th April I witnessed six bands play great live sets and provide ample evidence that the UK metal scene is truly alive and kicking!
First up on the Saturday was the triple bill of Codices, Pijn and DVNE at Oslo in Hackney.
Codices were a band that I wasn’t familiar with before and were a very pleasant surprise! Their vinyl that I purchased after their set had a sticker on the front stating that they were “For fans of And So I Watch You From Afar & MaybeSheWilll” and this is definitely the post rock ballpark that they are playing in!
Unlike some post rock bands they had a real groove and swagger to their instrumental sound. The set unsurprisingly consisted of tracks from debut album 'Vivid', with 'Machines Driving Machines' and 'Chatbox Dialogue' being particular highlights.
The set was concluded with a new song called 'Words', which bodes very well for the future and included the crowd being encouraged to participate with the “I am lost, I am broken, Stay with me, I will find you” refrain! A great start to the evening!
I’ve seen Mancunians post rockers Pijn a few times before and never cease to be impressed by their sound, which is augmented and thickened throughout by the unique addition of cello and violin.
Pijn’s progressive instrumental sound ebbs and flows throughout the set, from delicate passages to full on heavy doom style moments. Whilst the songs played are mostly from 2018’s superb 'Loss' such as opener 'Denial', it was latest single 'Weave In' that really hit the spot for me. In its 11 minutes it captures everything that’s great about Pijn, from the subtle cello, violin and guitar intro that gradually builds up into crushing riffs and thundering drums, to the point where everything slows down again and cascades to a string drenched finale – marvellous stuff!
DVNE have continued to go from strength to strength since the release of their superb 'Etemen Aenka' album in 2022, which is evidenced by the packed and enthusiastic crowd who have crammed themselves into the Oslo tonight!
Starting the set with 'Towers' and 'Court of the Matriarch', it’s immediately apparent that DVNE are on fine form! Their progressive heavy sound, which is infused with elements of post rock, doom and smatterings of black metal to produce a unique DVNE experience, sounds superb from my position at the front. The dual vocals of Victor Vicart (mainly clean vocals) and Dan Barter (gruff vocals) work so well together over the thundering backbeat provided by Dudley Tait on drums and Allan Paterson on bass. The guitar work of both Victor and Dan veers from intricate sections to full on brutal riff frenzies, which is best epitomised during 'Thirst', the only track played from previous album 'Acheron' tonight that also kicks off the first pit of the evening!
Crowd favourites such as 'Omega Severer' and 'Si-XIV' keep the energy levels high as the band tear through tracks from 'Etemen Aenka' before ending their superb set with 'Of Blade and Carapace', one of their best songs in my opinion!
There is something very special and unique about DVNE. They mix elements from the likes of Mastodon and Gojira with more progressive and extreme influences to great effect and deserve to be huge. Their next album could well be (and hopefully will be!) a big breakthrough for them and I for one cannot wait to hear it!