For all its obscurity and its masked existence, Dragged Into Sunlight is an amazingly no-bull*** band where it matters most. Hailing from the UK, the hybrid metal outfit has perched itself as its own sort of black hole in between subgenres, amassing a cult following from several different reaches in the process. Fusing doomy sludge metal with the machinegun ferocity of death metal, you’d be forgiven for thinking they were another archetypal black metal band upon glancing over their shadowy stage presence and pseudonym-laden lineup. They rock balaclavas offstage and play their candlelit shows with their backs turned away from the crowd, and while not totally averting the theatrical tropes that have come to be associated with black metal, their priorities are nevertheless screwed on the right way, as the focus is clearly set on delivering a brutalizing atmosphere and performance of the music itself.
And what a fantastic playlist to perform. Firing right out of the gates with razor precision of their craft, Dragged Into Sunlight’s debut album Hatred For Mankind pushes the band into instantly respected territory within the ranks of Eyehategod and Anaal Nathrakh. Slow-burning doom riffs make their home beside tremolo-fueled, fiery death metal (ala Incantation) with admirable cohesion, wired with blistering black metal conflagration for a little propulsion through the astringent trenches. The production places distortion at the helm, exacerbating the caustic drumming and frenetic guitar work to eardrum-rattling proportions, lending the excellent musicianship that much extra bite. This is especially effective on the relentless riffing that ignites the beginning of opener “Boiled Angel”, or on the pummeling 1-2-3 build-up on “Buried With Leeches”, with screams spiking in intensity with each passage. When the guitars mellow back into doomier territory, as it is laced in the composition of “Lashed to the Grinder and Stoned” with ominous baying of “watching/waiting/visible”, the passage mutates into a death metal outro that can only be described as evidence for their expertise in the craft.