Dragged into Sunlight – Hatred for Mankind
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Few albums lately have floored me like Dragged into Sunlight’s Hatred for Mankind. From the disturbing visuals to the doom-on-steroids sound, it’s not just interesting or original music; it’s something that approaches genuine outsider art.
Hatred for Mankind (Mordgrimm, 2009 / Prosthetic, 2011) contains a bevy of dark riches. Its visual approach is pitch-perfect, from Justin Bartlett’s psychotic artwork to the minimalist CD booklet. This album begs for proper vinyl treatment.
Bartlett also designed the artwork for Detritivore's Pakt (review), and he tops himself here. The main illustration shows three black-hooded apparitions surrounding a pregnant woman. A child is being pulled from her womb via ropes or tentacles tied to a goat. The idea isn’t much different than Vincent Locke’s cover for Cannibal Corpse’s The Wretched Spawn. But it’s much more haunting in that it looks like it was etched by backwoods cultists on a cave wall. The CD booklet is written in a scrawl like what’s left behind on the chalkboard after detention. While listening to the album at work, I hid the CD. It would surely merit a visit from human resources.
The music matches the formidable aesthetics. This is dark, depressing stuff that makes you miserable despite clean production and the occasionally humorous soundbite. "Buried With Leeches" opens with feedback and a scream that’s just too authentic. About three minutes in, there’s a tradeoff between riffs and harrowing screams. It's like mid-'90s Napalm Death cross-breeding with Coffinworm. "Lashed to the Grinder and Stoned to Death" is 10-plus minutes of mid-tempo doom, angry guitars, and Impetigo-style soundbites. "Boiled Angel" was also the title of a late '90s underground comic that landed artist Mike Diana a criminal conviction for obscenity (a first for comics). I have to think the song title isn’t coincidental. "I, Aurora" sounds like a serial killer’s ballad. It’s what we’ll hear on CNN if someone in Dragged into Sunlight turns out to be a legitimate psycho.
The band's name is remarkably fitting. Three words conjure a cosmic reel of dark imagery: Nosferatu meeting his end by morning light, a sociopath in a dingy apartment with the blinds drawn, an outcast afraid to leave his house and face the world. The band looks like an anarchist collective, wearing black face masks and plain clothes. It’s much more appropriate than corpsepaint.
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