Dragged into Sunlight / Primitive Man / MAKE
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Kings | Raleigh, North Carolina
I had been anticipating this show since the the day the tour was announced. I had experimented with Dragged into Sunlight’s earlier work but their latest release, “N.V”, took their sound to a whole new level. Toss local favorite’s MAKE into the mix and I was ready to roll.
Chapel Hill’s own MAKE brought the thunder on their last night of the tour. I was a little jealous that the western leg of this tour was opened by SLC bruisers Cult Leader but MAKE softened the blow.
This was my 3rd time seeing MAKE and they keep getting better each time I see them. They started the night off on the right foot with a pummeling set of dark, post-metal riffage.
Unlike the last time I saw them live (May 10th, 2016 at The Pour House, supporting Dead Meadow), the vocals were actually levelled correctly for the space, showcasing Spencer’s fury on the mic. The whole band sounded crisp and sharp despite what appeared to be a shortened set due to the late opening of the doors. In hindsight, I would have much rather had MAKE play more of their back catalog than vacate the stage to allow Primitive Man to bore me for more than 30 minutes.
4/5 stars = Great
MAKE won’t be merely opening regional shows for long. Their stock is rising.
[Editor’s Note: If you’re lucky, I might even continue praising their efforts as I review their latest offering, “Pilgrimage of Loathing” sometime in the near future.]
During their initial mic check, Ethan from Denver’s own bastard sons Primitive Man let out a gutteral, bellowing, “Check!” that caused the girl sitting across from me at the bar jump a good six inches into the air. Sadly, that was my favorite part of PM’s set.
Doom as a genre doesn’t understand that you can’t have all fall. You need some rise. Although doom aficionados would tell me that I am missing the point entirely but I guess I just like my music to contain at least a couple of notes. To each his own. But I still found myself checking my phone and salivating for Dragged into Sunlight.
At about the 10m mark, PM finally kicked it into overdrive, but like the interest of all of my former girlfriends, it was short lived and fleeting. We then waited 30 minutes for a 7-second thrash part that started the briefest circle pit of all time.
I will say that PM was bone-rattlingly heavy, so they got that going for them. I do plan to give their records a spin to see if I can discover what I might have missed in their live sound but overall, their set left me wanting.
2/5 stars = Meh
Dragged into Sunlight
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: We reached out to the venue and the bands regarding photography rules since the staff of RDU Music are responsible adults. MAKE was like, “Yeah, dudes. Get it.” [Editor’s Note: Not a direct quote, though should have been.] Dragged into Sunlight on the other hand epitomized the polar opposite. They did not allow any photography without express written consent. At least they gave a good explanation: “The band have worked very hard to maintain relative anonymity…”
Alright, DiS. I can get behind that. I even Googled around and discovered that it was challenging to find a clear photo of any band member’s faces. But the door guy had enough on his plate, being forced to not only check IDs but also take tickets without the aid of a barcode scanner so he didn’t give two fucks when Lan brought his camera in and went nuts for all three sets. In case DiS takes umbrage with the sweet shots Lan was able to capture, it was pitch black and smoky as a BBQ joint up in Kings for your set. And don’t get me started on the strobe. That was the only lighting in the joint save for eight candles so your secret identities are safe with us.
I had been reading up on Dragged into Sunlight’s stage show and kept stumbling on terms such as pummeling, seizure-inducing, and challenging. I was very excited to witness this spectacle for myself. As the crew began setting up, the centerpiece was unveiled: an 8-feet wide black wrought-iron candelabra adorned with a deer skull. Atop each perch was a 6-inch wide candle, dutifully lit by a roadie with great care. It was placed front and center, which I found to be strange due to its size. I quickly realized that it was to act as the visual focal point for a distinct reason: Dragged into Sunlight plays with their backs to the crowd.
Earlier in the week, after spinning a couple DiS records on Spotify, Lan texted that he thought that DiS was what the demons in Castlevania would jam to in their spare time whilst torturing victims. I thought that was apropos once the intro kicked in. From that point on, all I heard were the sounds of demon souls escaping their underworld prison. All I saw was the candelabra illuminated in strobe bursts. It was exquisitely painful. Potentially the most “metal” thing I have ever seen. I especially like it when bands make it challenging for me to headbang. Kudos, Dragged into Sunlight. I can say that I experienced one of your live shows and lived to tell the tale. (But I might owe Satan his due.)
4/5 stars = Great
I have no idea what I witnessed…but I sure as hell liked it.