Blackened death quartet Dragged Into Sunlight open their debut with the biggest, doomiest sludge riff to come from a U.K. band since Electric Wizard unleashed "Funeralopolis." The album's tone is extremely underproduced. This sort of thing has proven disastrous with other bands, but Dragged Into Sunlight nail it with a gargantuan bass tone and kick drum. To round out the album's savage style, the group's vocalist shows off an unparalleled range, reaching for anguishing screams and terrifying growls akin to Job for a Cowboy but darker, denser, and jampacked with misanthropic hatred and Satan worship.
"Volcanic Birth" is the album highlight, beginning with a haunting sample from an interview, "To even begin to try to live with myself, I must take responsibility for what I've done." The song bludgeons its way through death-metal riffs with all the heart-wrenching appeal of Behemoth. Like most of the songs, "Volcanic Birth" is over nine minutes long, which is tough to pull off in death metal. But the same riffs are revisited, slowed down, and manipulated to create a captivating climax. The same mysterious voice is also revisited, this time almost inaudibly muttering something like, "Tie you down, rape you, shoot you in the head."
The rest of the album follows suit up until the closer, "Totem of Skulls," about Ted Bundy and his murders. He may be a tired subject in metal lyrics, but the band backdrops another chilling sample that reveals painfully honest details about the brutal murders with an unsettling atmospheric track consisting of nothing else but feedback; a truly frightening finish to an instant underground classic. CODY THOMAS