Etemen Ænka, the latest slab of awesome from Dvne (Pronounced “Dune”) is like the perfect Prog pinnacle when At The Drive-In’s more raucous moments collide with Mastodon’s refined riffage. And as far as second records go, Etemen Ænka is undeniably a triumph from the first blast straight through to the last gasp.
“Enûma Eliš” is an explosion of excitement to start, triggering this infectious progressive heaviness that carries on throughout Etemen Ænka while “Towers” is a burgeoning monolith that sounds like Neurosis at their very best.
“Court of the Matriarch” buzzes to life at its’ onset before settling into a quiet and more introspective, almost spiritual groove with soaring vocals changing the sonic trajectory which bleed into (mostly) instrumental “Weighing of the Heart”. Seemingly sanguine, “Omega Severer” is actually this ball of barely contained fury with conflicting vocal deliveries offering heavenly tidings one moment, hellacious grievances the next. Add guest Lissa Robertson’s angelic voice to Victor Vicart’s Jekyll and Hyde vocal approach and you have yourselves one complex epic.
“Adraeden” offers a slight sonic reprieve before the guitar-heavy onslaught of “Si-XIV” arrives bringing a beastly brilliance. “Mleccha”, like most Dvne divinities, takes a detour or two or three along its’ journey with a state of zen to begin which is quickly overpowered by a crushing rhythm section, subtle synths, and gargantuan guitar tones to make this eight minute trip not only magical but, most importantly, memorable.
Closing out Etemen Ænka with a seismic siege, “Satuya” is akin to an aural odyssey, traversing heavier terrain one moment while plodding through peaceful plateaus the next to give listeners one last tender throttling.