When: Sat., June 9, 9 p.m. 2012
Lots of upstart musicians conceal their identities in an attempt to whip up online buzz—if people get to talking about who's behind your bedroom-produced tracks, the thinking goes, it'll be good for the brand. Maybe I'm a crank, but I prefer artists who adopt anonymity as an expression of misanthropy, proceeding from the premise that their identities are irrelevant and the curiosity of other humans is as inconsequential as the attention of vermin. The members of noisome Liverpool four-piece Dragged Into Sunlight don't use names, not even aliases—at most they're credited with one initial apiece on their releases. They wear black ski masks in their promo photos, and they perform with their backs to the audience on a dim, fog-enshrouded stage adorned with animal skulls and medieval-looking candelabra, barely lit except by the spasms of a huge strobe behind the drummer. (The band does have a Facebook page, though.) Their music combines doom, death, black, and sludge metal into an incomprehensible Lovecraftian horror that changes shape every time you take your eyes off it—its suffocating, protean bulk extrudes wobbly gray long tones that yawn and ooze, riffs that slash and swoop and claw, and sputtering bursts of frenzied scrabbling and thumping. The singer's hair-raising imprecations range from tortured shrieks to clotted, contemptuous growls, and the band often uses sampled speech in place of vocals, a la Eyehategod or Buzzov-en—"Boiled Angel" even manages to make a hoary old Charles Manson rant unnerving again. Dragged Into Sunlight's only studio full-length so far is 2009's Hatred for Mankind, reissued last year by Prosthetic, but a new one called Widowmaker—allegedly the first in a trilogy—is in the pipeline for 2012. —Philip Montoro Make, Hunters, and Austaras open.