December 2, 2012

Filthy Music Review - 'Dragged into Sunlight: Widowmaker'

Dragged into Sunlight – Widowmaker (2012)

Prosthetic Records

Review by Jude Felton

In 2011 UK band Dragged into Sunlight unleashed the devastating Hatred for Mankind on the world. It was a quite superb doom-laden excursion in the blackest of metal, with each of the seven songs designed to beat you down as they speed towards the apocalypse. It was brutal and nihilistic; a quite stunning debut album. Now they are back with Widowmaker, but do not expect a carbon copy of Hatred for Mankind, as this is a quite different affair.

Widowmaker does not have song titles, shit it doesn’t really have individual songs, so to speak. In fact, the forty minute album is broken down into three parts and works best as a complete piece of work. Don’t try and listen to this album in fits and starts, give yourself time to digest the entire disc; it is well worth your time.

The band, who been known to play live with their backs to the audience, where balaclavas to obscure their identities and are known only by one letter names, aren’t interested in what you think of them, they want their music to do the talking. Or should I say they want their music to beat you up and let you know that all is not good in the world. This is Black Metal, but don’t go expecting blast beats and music that flies along. Hatred for Mankind gave us the faster tunes, for the most part, but Widowmaker takes the music into doom territory, which grinds along and methodically takes no prisoners.

The first tune, of the three, plays out like the bastard cousin of Carter Burwell’s Fargo theme, with strings and the sound of a bleak and barren landscape confined to music. Actually, it would be unfair to say that Dragged into Sunlight would be confined to anything; this is music that goes anywhere and everywhere, with no boundaries.

The second and third pieces of music here bring the heaviness in, with thunderous guitars and apocalyptic drums; the tortured vocals painting a despairing picture of the world. The vocals are actually few and far between over the 40 minute running time, but when they do come in they do not paint a pretty picture.

There are many bands out there that are trying to paint a bleak and depressing picture of the world, but is has been a very long time since one has done it as effectively as Dragged into Sunlight. Widowmaker is the perfect counter to Hatred for Mankind, and it will alienate some listeners, but I have a feeling that this was the band’s plan all along. They don’t care, of this I am sure, and Widowmaker they have crafted an absolutely brilliant album.

Widowmaker is available now from Prosthetic Records.

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