Dragged into Sunlight’s second monolithic entry into their full length catalogue is at times deeply challenging in its approach to the album template, but this terrifically secretive group allow the forty-minute, one track opus to flow with a tangible presence and disarming energy. “Widowmaker” begins with a beautifully rendered, acoustic passage that lends the work a peaceful aura in the gently caressed notes that echo with a subtle and sweet melancholia. Dragged into Sunlight are disturbing in their ability to take even these quiet moments of serenity into the unknown – if you are at all familiar with this enigmatic band, then that constant “….holy shit, something is going to happen and even though I’m expecting it to, it’s still going to be awful” thought will never leave you. The somber tones that Dragged into Sunlight elicit from their instruments here are the calm before the proverbial storm. And oh, what a storm it is.
The shadows grow ever more confining as the initial steps of “Widowmaker” filter through the foggy atmosphere created by this definitely against type band. Whilst most bands of this death/doom/black style tend to stick to what they know, Dragged into Sunlight consistently deliver an experience, albeit one of intense disinclination to stick to any known path.
Moments are broken down by their feeling rather than track names and numbers and each section flows into the next quite sublimely. Vibrant violin work accompanies the funereal aura of “Widowmaker” and the eleven minute mark onward holds a horror within its mournful strokes of guitar and string. The tension is palpable and the break is surely to come, right? No. Dragged into Sunlight tease with the occasional whisper of voice, snaking through the mists conjured by the aural landscapes that encompass and oppress.
And then. Without warning, the shift comes. Sampled speech is heard over monstrously deafening walls of electronic sound and Dragged into Sunlight utilise delightfully disgusting vocal lines to evoke a sense of terror and all-consuming weight. Screeches are played off against guttural growls and techniques found in death metal as well as black metal are used to devastating effect. “Widowmaker” has turned, and it’s for the absolute worst.
Doom soundscapes permeate the filth; cavernous hollows open up around the pained words thrown out by vocalist T. his voice writhing with such hate and misanthropic abhorrence that you can almost taste the anger that drips forth from this band. Shocks of reverb glance of the walls of despair and “Widowmaker” makes its slow and distrusting way towards finality. Furious textures suddenly coil around the closing stages of “Widowmaker” and bursts of frantic drumming speed up proceedings around the calmer moments that intersperse this journey towards the bitter end. “Widowmaker” concludes on stabs on wailing feedback and Dragged into Sunlight’s exhausting voyage into true revulsion is finally over. It’s overwhelming, crushing, and at times starkly beautiful. This is catharsis at its most revealing.