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Dragged Into Sunlight - The Library, Leeds - 28th May 2013 (Live Review)

Sunday, 02 June 2013 Written by Ben Bland

The Library looks an unlikely venue for an act as extreme as Dragged into Sunlight to turn up and blow apart. A ‘Scream’ pub down the road from Leeds University, there is no mention of live music outside to any casual passers-by. The place strikes a curious contrast to the mysterious, shadowy aesthetic of this evening’s headliners.

Still, as local stoners Bong Cauldron begin their set it’s clear that this is indeed the place. Why warm up gently when you can have riffs the size of large asteroids kicking off the evening instead? Unfortunately these are slightly one-dimensional asteroids, which leads to the a half an hour passing by more at the speed of snails rather than the speed of light. Sunwølf are much better, with a little more variation making their half hour of fuzzy drone infinitely more captivating. The visuals that accompany the set may be a little dull at points but thankfully the subtleties of their tracks makes up for it.

Bossk are, of course, effectively legends of the British sludge scene (such as it is). When they returned to action last year it was to a fairly rapturous reception and, judging from the reaction they receive here tonight, and that which they received at Damnation Festival last November, Leeds cannot get enough of them. It is their compositions with vocals that prove most impressive, adding some extra power to what is, a lot of the time, an exercise in solid but unspectacular instrumental Isis-isms. Their new record should prove one to look out for.

Dragged into Sunlight emerge clad in darkness as always. The anonymous quintet certainly know how to create an atmosphere and, although the incense is unfortunately largely whisked away by an overly anxious ventilation system, it takes but seconds for the band to have Leeds in the palm of their hand. The flashing strobes and deranged vocals are one thing but the brutal sludge-meets-grindcore-meets-black metal sound that results when all the elements of the band are brought together makes for something far more “extreme” than the vast majority of heavy acts plying their trade these days. For forty-five minutes, which passes more like a quarter of an hour, Dragged into Sunlight provide a masterclass of sorts. Their live show manages to capture the disturbing tone of much of their recorded output whilst retaining the raucous energy of a less esoteric metal act in the process, partly due to the snatches of movement visible through the strobe-fest. All in all this is uncompromising heaviness at its very best.


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