Since their latest release, Widowmaker, in 2012, Dragged into Sunlight had been touring but playing only songs from their debut, Hatred for mankind. The forty minute long composition divided in three part was probably not the easiest to perform so its no surprise to see the british extreme metal group come back to a shorter format on this collaboration. Albums such as this one are all the rage at the moment. Since Thou and The Body put out Released from love and Full of Hell collaborated with Merzbow, a flurry of collaborations, mostly with sludge duo The Body (they just released an album with Krieg, are planning another one with Full of Hell and is rumored to be doing one with electronic producer The Bug).
Metal has never been a culture of collaboration between artists outside of bands. Individuals could be featured on a song but full albums were not the norm, especially between two formations. Now that the barrier seems to have dropped, it’s refreshing to see fresher material being put out by more adventurous formations who are ready to experiment with their music but also their way of writing. In the case of Dragged into Sunlight, it seems like they invited the man behind Gnaw their Tongues to add some textures and sounds to their familiar mix of black and death metal but the result makes the sound more menacing and less chaotic than it had been in the past.
From the first song, introduced by a sample of a voice describing a gruesome scene of murder, the stench of Gnaw their Tongues oozes from the song making the album sounds even more perverse that it could have been without his contribution. Dragged into Sunlight has always used voice samples in their music but never to the extent of creating something as unsettling as Gnaw their Tongues does in his albums (fans will remember the introduction of An epiphanic vomiting of blood). The composer also adds some textures and some vocals but never overpowers the riffs. Instead he enhance the more atmospheric parts of the songs Dragged into Sunlight had already developed on previous albums and makes them darker and more menacing.
On the other hand, Dragged into Sunlight sounds now more focused than ever and have considerably grown as song writers. The material therein instantly invites the listener into the experience rather than bashing him with some discordant riffing. The production is also cleaner without sacrificing any of the grittiness of the atmosphere. Some impressive work has most notably been done on the drums who sound cleaner but not less human compared to the synthetic and unhinged playing on Hatred for mankind.
The end results makes the collaboration between the two entity very natural, like they were always meant to be together. All of the artists involved contribute to the overall atmosphere to build an album that stands as one of this year’s darkest and most perverse while being more musically approachable than most of the album both have ever put out. A must have for fans of both and an excellent entry point for people who had previously overlooked one, the other, or both.