Live Report: Dragged Into Sunlight, MAKE in Brooklyn

Dragged Into Sunlight released Hatred for Mankind back in 2009, but most would-be fans in the US didn’t get to hear it until 2011 when Prosthetic Records re-released it for the North American market. The NA metal community owes Prosthetic a collective thank you for that. Hatred for Mankind is an album that revels in rawness, violence, and misanthropy. It flies a big Fuck You flag. It features spoken word samples, pinched from a variety of obscure and depraved sources, to good effect—“You’re an inhumane bunch of fuckin’ livin’ bastards and bitches and you’re gonna get your asses nuked in the end!”* It rips; it’s nasty. Here.

Dragged Into Sunlight made their US live debut at Maryland Deathfest a few weeks back and continued on to a string of about 20 dates that ventured as far west as Texas, including a stop at Chaos in Tejas, but they mostly stuck to the East Coast. For the first half of the tour, they were accompanied by sludgy doom specialists Cough. Wolvhammer was originally going to grab the baton, but dropped off the bill. North Carolina’s MAKE, a great band with a terrible name (try to Google it), filled in.

The Thursday night show (6/14) at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn was the last stop on the tour. A local Brooklyn band, The Year Is One, opened. They play a hectic and sludgy brand of grind—short rippers (the longest song on their recent album is just over two-and-a-half minutes) with little to distinguish one song from the next. That’s about all I’ve got to say, but perhaps someone with more expertise on the genre can comment better.

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When I heard MAKE was filling in for Wolvhammer, I was a little disappointed. Not because I dislike MAKE—I’d never heard of them, actually—but because I was pretty excited to hear Wolvhammer live. After seeing MAKE, though, Wolvhammer dropping off the bill was a blessing in disguise. MAKE plays a psychedelic groove-laden brand of doom, with dueling vocalists, one of whom has a more traditional doom-y guttural growl, the other a rasp borrowed from the black metal palette. The band begins most songs with extended instrumental sections,V and frequently goes into hypnotic hook-y interludes. It’s righteous, and the band performed flawlessly.

. . .

After a beer, I reentered the show space to find a lit candelabra at the front of the stage with some sort of cloven-hoofed animal skull atop it. I think it was an antelope—you’ll see in the photos below. The rumblings of a coming aural onslaught were spilling from the speakers, and when the sample that kicks off “Boiled Angel, Buried With Leeches,” the first song on Hatred for Mankind, came on, it became clear how virulent the coming set was going to be.

Dragged Into Sunlight has always embraced a sort of menacing anonymity. In press photos, they wear ski masks. Live, Dragged into Sunlight performs facing the back of the stage. It sounds gimmicky, but it works. The singer and bassist were barefoot, and I found myself thinking as they tore through their short and ugly set that it made sense in some brutal, primal way. They sounded great—as raw and hateful as they do on recordings. Towards the end of “I, Aurora,” the singer turned around to face the crowd. He blew out the candles on the candelabra and walked off the stage, stepping through the crowd toward the bar.

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— Wyatt Marshall

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*Google tells me the quote is from the documentary Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer, a film about Aileen Wuornos’ life as a highway prostitute and her execution for murdering several men. In Florida, of course.