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Underground music. It's a term that's been used, abused, and generally worn out over the course of heavy music's history. The general population's perception of "underground" is flawed; they think that if you record an album yourself and use a high contrast black and white cover, you have underground "kvlt" art. Most bands who embody this attitude fall short and end up sounding uninspired. To be truly underground (in my opinion), the music needs to evoke a feeling of dread, fear, and a sense of mystery.
However, once in a while a band comes along with a truly unique sound and reinvents what is meant by "underground" music. Dragged Into Sunlight is one such band that changes the game. The visual style and music come together to create a sound that is truly unique.
And what a fucking sound! Seriously, folks, it has been a LONG time since I was truly devastated by a band's sheer sonic brutality, but this album certainly did the job. Never have I heard such a terrifyingly brutal and effective combination of death metal, black metal, doom, and SUPER dirty sludge. We may very well be looking at the scariest and heaviest album of 2010.
The album starts out with a voice sample (of something, sounds like it's an interview or something), and quickly erupts into an incredibly visceral, heavy, down-tuned riff that is "Boiled Angel" that's somewhat reminiscent of Crowbar. The vocals are unintelligible, but are terrifying, particularly when the singer does one of those very high screams. It may sound like a worn cliche, but it LITERALLY sounds like what a person would sound like if they were subject to several hours of brutal torture.
One of the most impressive things about this album, as I mentioned, is the band's talent at mixing several elements of the extreme metal spectrum into one twisted abomination. "Buried with Leaches" is a brilliant example of this, starting this song off with a riff that wouldn't sound out of place on one the Gothenburg melodeath band's albums.
The only drawbacks I can think of on this album are the overuse of sound samples (they get old rather fast, in my opinion), and the fact that the longer songs require a fair amount of endurance to listen to all of it. It makes no difference to me, however, as I enjoyed literally every riff, scream, and blast beat on this album.
To conclude, this album is one of the few releases of this year (or in the last little while) that I would consider true underground extreme music. The sonic and visual brutality presented here makes almost any listener cringe with fear and I have a feeling that's EXACTLY what Dragged Into Sunlight wished when writing these twisted, sludgy hymns to darkness and evil. Well fucking done.