EP Review: Terminal Aggressor II by Dragged into Sunlight

Dragged Into Sunlight have just released a new EP called Terminal Aggressor II, more than a decade after the release of Terminal Aggressor.

The extreme metallers from the UK formed in 2006. The band contains 4 members who have never disclosed their identity. Instead they wear balaclavas, play with their backs to the audience, shrouded in smoke and lit by only candle light. Musically they take influence from all across the extreme metal spectrum. They released their debut, Hatred for Mankind, back in 2009. That album was followed up by 2012’s Widowmaker, an album that contains 1 song separated into 3 parts that combined is over 40 minutes long. Their last release was a split album with Gnaw Their Tongues called NV, released in 2015.

Dragged into Sunlight Terminal Aggressor II

Before all that though, came their demo in 2008, Terminal Aggressor leading us now in to 2020 with it’s follow up, Terminal Aggressor II. In the band’s usual style, Terminal Aggressor II is released as an EP but contains just one song. That song is the title track, and 28 minute long Terminal Aggressor II.

It starts off with ominous noises, feedback, distorted notes, echo and the like. Noises that worm their way into your head. We are about three minutes in before we start getting occasional blasts of drums joining the atmospheric chaos. About 4 and a half minutes in before a sombre guitar melody starts breaking through the clouds. More notes get added in layers, building the structure of the song while the crackling sounds of distortion hammer away at you still.

Suddenly at around 7 and a half minutes in, the noise disappears leaving nothing but a doomy melody ringing clearly. After a time, the noise comes back in again sitting just under the clear ringing melody. Suddenly the noise starts building in volume and pitch, making you squirm. Making you uncomfortable, to the point where you almost want it to stop but with 20 minutes left you can’t possibly.

Just before it becomes too much, a deafening and repeated roar takes over, the noise fades back a bit leaving a little spoken word rattled off over screeching guitars. The atmospheric noise returns and starts bashing your mind again. That lasts for a few minutes before a solid drum rhythm jumps in and gives you something to bang your head to. It’s great and sits wonderfully in with the squeal fo guitars and backing noise. It then takes a turn, spewing forth some absolute horrific anger. Vicious vocals are screamed and screeched at you with soul crunching malice. The guitars hit into a dark and loose riff while the drums continue to blast out a mesmerising pattern.

This is fucking heavy. This is the stuff of nightmares. Dragged into Sunlight are not a gateway band. This violent assault hits you for a good 7 or 8 minutes before slowly fading back into a broody, funeral tone and back to the spoken word. The dark melody continues, occasionally added to be a little guitar squeal, or cymbal roll. This continues until near the end when a slower doom laden style drags us towards the end, an ending that comes in squeals and screeches.

Terminal Aggressor II is an experience as much as it is a song. Dark and unrelenting metal that leaves a lasting scar on your soul. It is interesting to listen to but also occasionally difficult. Whether due to the sheer vitriol that pours through your speakers or the brain shrivelling distortion and feedback. A fascinating listen, from a talented and expressive band, even if it isn’t the sort of thing you could listen to every day. Or for too long, for your own sanity.

 

 

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Terminal Aggressor II by Dragged into Sunlight
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