Dragged Into Sunlight

Widowmaker

01.  Part I
02. Part II
03. Part III

[11/06/12]
[Prosthetic Records]

 

Sparse, haunting chords are what greets you during the opening of Widowmaker. It’s a million miles away from the dirty and crusty doom that acted as your entry into Dragged into Sunlight‘s debut Hatred For Mankind, but in the build up to the release of this album, this Liverpudlian nightmare were adamant that it was not to be considered a follow-up and the next 15 minutes show you exactly why. ‘Part I‘ is comprised solely of haunting violin, brooding atmospherics and a dark, twanging guitar that’s more reminiscent of Earth‘s latest output than anything else. It’s minimalist and mournful, but incredibly hypnotic as the tension builds before ebbing away into the murky depths of ambiance.

Part 2‘ instantly changes the mood by turning it’s attention to mid-paced doom riffs instead, à la Rwake, diSEMBOWELMENT or Ramesses. There’s a metronomic pulse to the track as it seems to trudge and meander along at a rigid brisk walk for the majority of the first half — while it never really strays too far from it’s start point, each section sticks around just long enough so not to wear out its welcome and the robotic, hypnotic dirge actually enhances the bleak atmosphere rather than muddying it. Vocalist T’s deranged shriek is still as powerful as ever, but when set against a back drop of churning riffs and samples that lie just out as a whole, it’s far more reminiscent of the visceral DIS that we used to know, but the general effect is less ‘suffocating oppression’ and more ‘brooding unknown terror’.

Finally, ‘Part 3‘ rears its ugly, disfigured head and peaks the whole record. In fact, it’s when you reach ‘Part 3‘ that you finally start to realise precisely what Dragged Into Sunlight were aiming for — as cliché as it sounds, Widowmaker is one extended piece that NEEDS to be heard in one sitting to truly appreciate it’s intent. Each moment of suicidal introspection and dark ambiance is there to act as a counterpoint to the ruthless blasts and frenzied pleas, such that the whole record is one dynamic, ever-shifting monstrosity that, if you let it, will swallow you whole. It’s not an easy listen by any means and it won’t be one you could find solace in everyday, but the challenge and depth on display here will rival nearly anything else you’ll hear this year.

To use an abstract analogy, Dragged Into Sunlight are David Lynch and Widowmaker is their Eraserhead — a surreal and disturbing piece of art. It may make little sense initially but as you unfurl the layers and venture deeper into this deranged mindset you start to see the purpose and double-meaning in it all; the dense industrial hum is there, it fills every nook and cranny possible, the babies’ inhuman cries are recreated in vocalist T and, at the heart of it all, you are Henry Spencer — gormlessly doomed to experience this cold, surrealist nightmare.

 

Dragged Into Sunlight – Widowmaker gets…

4/5

– DL